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25 Aug 22. Ukraine War Reveals Need for More Anti-Drone Tech, US Army Says. The service’s expectations are built on Middle Eastern experience. That isn’t going to work.
Russia’s heavy use of a wide variety of drones against Ukraine has the U.S. Army rethinking its anti-drone plan, service officials said.
Much of the Army’s current thinking is based on the Army’s experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, said Maj. Gen. Sean A. Gainey, who runs the service’s Joint C-UAS Office. In those wars, the United States could deploy very large armed drones virtually anywhere while adversaries such as ISIS were just beginning to use small drones to drop small munitions. So the United States developed and published a plan for dealing with small UAS in January 2021.
“What we’re seeing in Ukraine,” Gainey said, is that “when you scale this capability from a small quadcopter all the way up to a larger group three” —a drone that weighs around 1,300 pounds and flies at 1,800 feet—”and are able to leverage [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance] to put other effects of other systems to bear, [it] really shows the importance of having counter UAS at scale, not just at a fixed site.”
The Army is trying to equip at least two divisions with new anti-drone weapons by Sept. 30, he said at an AUSA event on Tuesday. The Defense Department plans to spend $668m on research into new anti-drone tech and $78m on procurement of new technologies for the next fiscal year (starting in September and ending in October, 2023.)
“So we’re not hamstrung from a UAS attack and not being able to defend all the way down to the forward lines,” Gainey said.
Those capabilities can take a variety of forms; the military is already working with hunter drones and laser and microwave guns. And they’re looking to experiment with more as soon as next month at a new tech demonstration, said Gainey. But new experimental capabilities should work with the Army’s Forward Area Air Defense Command and Control, or FAAD C2, software to better coordinate detection and delivery of effects, he said.
Russia has made large and small drones a key feature of its campaign against Ukrainian forces but the war has also shown how drones, in the hands of a poorly-trained or poorly motivated force, can also be a liability. For instance, downed Russian UAVs have produced intelligence gains for Ukraine, as when Ukranians were able to collect information about a Russian base from footage left on the memory card of a captured drone.
According to Sam Bendett, an adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security and an adviser at the CNA Corporation, Russian Telegram channels supporting the war are full of advice for drone operators on proper operational security tactics. “Do not launch UAVs from (military) checkpoints or even near them,” reads one post. ”A lot will be visible from above if the UAV is lost or the video/telemetry radio channel is intercepted.” (Source: Defense One)
25 Aug 22. US AFLCMC awards contract to build autonomous swarming AI munitions. The Web Weasels solution allows commanders to plan, task and manage multiple swarming assets. Liteye Systems and Unmanned Experts have secured a contract to build Web Weasels (WW) autonomous swarming artificially intelligent munitions for the US Air Force (USAF).
The $1.8m, one-year contract has been awarded by Air Force Life Cycle Management Centre (AFLCMC) Armament Directorate.
A part of Unmanned Experts parent programme called Air Commons -Swarm, WW allows commanders to plan, task and manage various swarming assets via a Swarm ATO and Swarm Engine.
“WW’s goal is for swarm operators to be able to train and deploy AI collaborative autonomous munitions rapidly and globally on any mission type.”
The autonomous collaborative munition squadrons, operating at risk, require tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) to manage speed-of-datalink environments during modern combat.
WW technology seeks to integrate AI/ML trained algorithms with Air Commons – Swarm’s capabilities. This combination helps deliver pre-launch munitions with TTPs for a specified mission set.
The munitions will be launched with AI-on-the-edge hardware and firmware, enabling collaborative assessment of the combat environment. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
24 Aug 22. Chile inducts AWACS aircraft from UK. The Chilean Air Force (Fuerza Aérea de Chile – FACh) has inducted into service two Boeing E-3D Sentry airborne early warning Mk 1 (AEW1) aircraft from the UK Royal Air Force (RAF). The two operational Airborne Warning And Control System (AWACS) aircraft were acquired along with a third aircraft to be used for spares, earlier in 2022. During the induction ceremony on 19 August, the Chilean Ministry of National Defense noted that the two E-3Ds will replace the single Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Phalcon (known as Cóndor in national service). Both types are based on the same 707 airliner, and so share some synergies in support, training, and operations. (Source: Janes)
23 Aug 22. Collins Aerospace completes first test of Fast-Jet reconnaissance pod. The MS-110 reconnaissance system offers advanced imagery and multispectral capabilities. Collins Aerospace has completed the maiden flight test of its next-generation Fast-Jet reconnaissance pod on an F-16 fighter aircraft.
The flight test of the pod, called the MS-110 multispectral airborne reconnaissance system, was conducted for an undisclosed international customer.
The test validated the aircraft’s integration and flightworthiness, as well as the full-system performance while confining to the requirements of tactical jet flight envelopes.
The MS-110 system provides a longer range and wider area of surveillance in contested environments or during peacetime scenarios against near-peer threats.
It further enhances the airborne reconnaissance mission capabilities of an aircraft.
Collins Aerospace’s reconnaissance system offers advanced imagery and multispectral capabilities, as well as detects targets in poor atmospheric conditions.
It can also be rapidly disseminated using high-bandwidth data link and the company’s ground intelligence-sharing architecture.
Collins Aerospace Airborne ISR Solutions director and general manager Lora Magliocco said: “Accurate and reliable intelligence that can be shared at a national and coalition level is critical to mission success in the Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) battlespace.
“Successfully completing this trial demonstrates the readiness of the MS-110 systems to support customers around the globe.”
The sensor system has evolved from Collins’ highly successful DB-110 system and uses multi-spectral imaging expertise from SYERS-2C equipped on the U-2 high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft.
According to Collins Aerospace, this system has been fielded and is operational on various tactical fast jet aircraft, including the F-16 and F-15 fighter jets.
Furthermore, the MS-110 system is also compatible with medium-altitude long-endurance uncrewed aerial vehicles such as the MQ-9 Reaper UAV.
Last year, Collins Aerospace secured an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract from the US Air Force to provide its Fast-Jet reconnaissance pod. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
23 Aug 22. Defense & Security 2022: SK Group presents its latest offering in small arms solutions, optical sights and ‘through-the-wall’ imaging systems. The various solutions are being presented by three high-end SK Group companies: IWI, Meprolight® and Camero-Tech.
Defense & Security, Bangkok, Thailand, 29 Aug. – 1 Sept. 2022, stand J09
Ramat-Hasharon, Israel: SK Group – a privately-held technology and innovation holding company, specializing in global frontline defense, paramilitary solutions, marine infrastructures, and property development, founded by Mr. Samy Katsav – is presenting its latest offerings in small arms solutions, optical sights, and ‘through-wall-imaging’ systems, at the Defense & Security exhibition this week.
The SK group takes a holistic approach to one of the main challenges of modern warfare – affording full protection to forces on the ground as they perform missions at a distance from the hostile force, as well as QCB.
“SK Group companies are committed to the protection of ground forces in combat on today’s battlefield,” says Ronen Hamudot, SK Group Executive VP Marketing and Sales. “Our range of solutions includes: IWI’s 7.62X51mm Ace Sniper S.A Rifle, which enables fast and accurate engagement of multiple threats at long ranges; thermal sights developed by Meprolight for day and night combat, including the recently-launched hybrid TIGON which combines thermal & red dot technology for both day and night applications; and Camero’s unique XaverTM through-the-wall imaging systems, which enable detection through structures and walls from a distance of over of 50 meters. The group’s solutions are operationally proven and are in use by diverse IDF units.”
The following solutions will be showcased at the exhibition:
IWI: the Negev series of light machine guns; the ARAD multi-caliber Assault Rifle used by militaries and law enforcement agencies worldwide; and the recently-launched ACE sniper rifle. Also on display, the company’s new version of the GAL VPS system, a riot control protective suit, which reduces trauma inflicted on operators by up to 90%.
Meprolight: the recently introduced Mepro TIGON hybrid sight integrating the advantages of standard “red-dot” optics featuring transparent see-through window for optimal day use with those of uncooled thermal imaging technology enabling efficient operation in low-visibility and complete darkness conditions.
Camero-Tech: the Xaver™ XL40 and XL80 – the company’s latest offering of through-the-wall imaging systems – portable units that enable operators to detect life and static structures from distances of 50 and 100 meters.
ABOUT SK GROUP
The SK Group, founded by Mr. Samy Katsav, is a privately-held technology and innovation holding company specializing in global frontline defense, law enforcement solutions, marine infrastructure, and property development solutions. The SK Group provides small arms weapons, electro-optics sighting solutions, and IR/ visible illumination solutions, naval solutions and more. Drawing on Israel’s innovation and field-proven solutions, the SK Group offers a powerful track record of technology, experience, and excellence.
For more information on SK Group, please visit https://www.sk-g.net or https://www.linkedin.com/company/skgroupdefense/
22 Aug 22. Flex Force’s latest Dronebuster hand-held counter drone device features satellite navigation. Flex Force Enterprises has launched a new Dronebuster SNA hand-held drone countermeasure. The Dronebuster SNA provides a satellite navigation attack feature used in lieu of, or in combination with, existing full spectrum jamming already available in the Dronebuster. The size, weight and ease-of-use of the system was also focus of the design team, with existing Dronebuster controls maintained while hardening the housing. The new system is both programmable and interfaceable with other C-UAS sensors, says the company press release.
Since delivering its first Dronebuster over five years ago, Flex Force reports ongoing design improvements to the Dronebuster to improve performance. Flex Force has continued to work with end-users to understand requirements and release product capabilities that increase performance and reliability while maintaining ease-of-use. The Dronebuster has sold over 1200 systems around the world. Flex Force Chief Engineer George Schwartz noted, “Adding this navigation attack capability while maintaining the jamming performance was a remarkable achievement by our engineering team. This new Dronebuster SNA provides significantly improved capability while shrinking the size & weight of an already market-leading system.” The Dronebuster is marketed for authorised US Government and International Government users only. Flex Force will have the Dronebuster SNA at the upcoming Counter UAS Summit in Alexandria, VA 17-18 August 2022 and EW LIVE 22 event in Estonia in September
For more information visit: www.flexforce.us (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
19 Aug 22. D-Fend and Syzygy Cooperate to Optimize C-UAS Communications and Data Management. D-Fend Solutions, a supplier of radio frequency (RF), cyber-based, counter-drone takeover technology and Syzygy Integration, a next-generation situational awareness technology engineering firm have integrated D-Fend’s EnforceAir C-UAS with Syzygy’s SNAP (Sensor Network Access Point).
The integration will strengthen support for the Team Awareness Kit / Tactical Assault Kit (TAK) across the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Justice (DOJ) and first responders in contending with rogue drone activity at sensitive and critical sites and events. TAK is a cost-effective, off-the-shelf government sponsored solution developed by the Department of Defense that enables tactical data generation, visualization, and sharing to facilitate communications across multiple users and achieve shared tactical situational awareness.
This integration also enables EnforceAir to immediately work with camera systems, radars, and other sensor technologies for fusion and filtering via all the capabilities in SNAP. SNAP also enables all the sensor data to work across enterprise networks via secure connections, mobile ad-hoc networking (MANET), goTenna and Iridium simultaneously.
“We are gratified to collaborate with Syzygy Integration,” said Zohar Halachmi, Chairman and CEO of D-Fend Solutions. “The integration of EnforceAir’s unique and proven cyber takeover counter-drone capabilities with SNAP will lead to greater optimization of cross-functional tactical data flow and communications for various C-UAS scenarios, sectors, and use cases, delivering more robust airspace safety and security in the context of heightened threat levels from hostile and unsafe UAS activity. This integration is timed perfectly given the clearly increased threat from unauthorized UAS activity, and the requisite need for enhanced situational awareness and defensive coordination,” said Wesley Mitchell, President of Syzygy Integration. “Through this strong collaboration, we are taking more impactful steps towards protecting airspace with greater alignment and coordination across multiple operator users and stakeholders. We are proud to deliver enterprise situational awareness to the extreme tactical edge through our goTenna mobile mesh network solution in collaboration with D-Fend Solutions and Syzygy Integration,” said goTenna’s Chief Executive Officer, Ari Schuler. (Source: UAS VISION)
18 Aug 22. Russian counter drone system “destroyed by grenades dropped from a small drone.” A Russian counter drone system has been destroyed by a Ukrainian-operated drone according to a report by UAS Vision. The RLK-MC-A (ROSC-1) Valdai system is shown in a video circulating on social media being attacked by a civilian drone modified for military operations, says the report. The anti-drone system was developed by the Lianozovo Electromechanical factory. Work on the project began in 2016, and the system entered Russian military service in 2021. The attacking drone appears to be dropping three modified hand grenades – RKG-3 or a similar model – with additional fins attached. The incident suggests either that Valdai cannot intercept small drones like those produced by DJI, or that it is malfunctioning.
Various documentation of the ROSC-1, available online, claims that it is capable to detect and disable small drones at the distance of up to 10 kilometers.
The question remains whether the system in the new video is indeed the ROSC-1, asks UAS Vision. The most identifiable part of the system – a control module, which can be mounted on a truck or in a shipping container – is not visible in the video.
It also calls into question if an operational or even complete system was attacked. While the two subsystems visible in the video indeed constitute a lucrative target and may have sustained substantial damage from the shrapnel thrown around by the grenades, the control module, a much larger and arguably more important target, remains absent. For more information visit: www.uasvision.com (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
19 Aug 22. Reveal Technology and Teal Drones Demonstrate Multi-Drone Mapping to US Military. Military tactical teams’ ability to quickly produce accurate maps of areas targeted for military operations can mean the difference between mission success or failure. Meeting this need, Reveal Technology has teamed with Teal Drones – a division of Red Cat Holdings (NASDAQ: RCAT) – to enhance Reveal’s “Farsight” mapping software by automatically combining imagery from multiple unmanned aerial systems (UAS) to produce high-fidelity 3D maps. By dramatically increasing the speed of collection, users receive Farsight maps and analytics faster than ever. The groundbreaking technology was recently successfully demonstrated to U.S. Army Special Operations Command near Fort Bragg.
“Farsight already significantly sped up the rate at which aerial imagery could be used to help teams more safely and effectively carry out their missions,” said Reveal COO Andrew Dixon. “Simultaneously gathering data from multiple drones, such as using Teal’s 4-Ship multi-drone system, compounds this for significant intelligence advantages on the battlefield.”
Just introduced in June, the 4-Ship allows a single operator to simultaneously control up to four of Teal Drones’ Golden Eagle drones, allowing for instant and ongoing 360-degree surveillance of a target. Farsight gives military teams virtually real-time access to detailed 3D maps of a target area that can be overlaid with:
Line-of-sight analysis, which allows a team to choose a route at the target area that is least visible to the enemy
Terrain analysis and graphing
An AI-generated “best route” through a target area, based on line-of-sight data, elevation mapping and terrain analysis
A vertical measurement tool, for determining the height of buildings and structures that may be part of an operation
A helicopter landing zone survey, to quickly identify the best and safest spot to land
These combined features provide a team with an advanced awareness of the situation as it actually is on the ground, leading to more successful missions.
Prior to Farsight, military teams in the field were often dependent on overtasked and often separate intelligence organizations, which resulted in slow-moving intelligence analysis that did not match the fast-paced environment on the ground. Farsight helps overcome this issue by blending state-of-the-art computer vision, AI and computing “at the edge” – computing in the field on handheld devices. Because all processing for Farsight is completed at the edge, no network connection is required, which eliminates the need for additional processing capabilities like servers or cloud infrastructure. This not only speeds up the entire process, but allows the creation of detailed, actionable maps from virtually anywhere on the globe. And, especially importantly, computing at the edge does not increase the team’s electronic signature to the enemy, which, as seen in Ukraine, could attract artillery fire, among other responses.
“A primary role of Teal Drones – which is one of only a handful of drone companies approved to provide equipment to the U.S. military – is to provide a superior airframe upon which others build apps that allow the military to better meet their objectives, including warfighter safety mitigation,” said Red Cat CEO Jeff Thompson. “This integration of Reveal’s Farsight software with Teal’s 4-Ship product is one of the most important apps that has been developed for the Golden Eagle so far. We are excited about our partnership with Reveal and look forward to even more groundbreaking developments in the future.”
“What sets Teal and Red Cat apart – and an important reason why we are excited to be working with them – is their demonstrated ability to build and ship product,” added Dixon. “Because Teal has a dedicated manufacturing facility in the U.S., they can make good on their promise to deliver product to the military on-time, which is an enormous advantage in today’s drone industry, and means that our technology is much more likely to get to users on the front lines when they need it.”
(Source: ASD Network)
17 Aug 22. Chinese Silent Hunter directed-energy laser weapon features counter drone capability. Directed-energy weapons manufactured in China, including hand-held laser weapons, can remove a drone from the sky according to a report in Defense News. Among Chinese exhibits at IDEX 2019 in Abu Dhabi, Poly Technologies showed the Silent Hunter laser weapon, capable of generating up to a 30kW beam, targeting small unmanned aerial systems and other airborne threats. When truck-mounted, the laser offers mobile counter drone capability. For more information visit: www.defensenews.com (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
17 Aug 22. GUARDION counter drone system secured G7 summit at Elmau, June 2022. The G& leaders’ summit which took place in the Elmau in the Bavarian Alps in June 2022 was once again secured using the modular drone detection and defense system GUARDION, a drone protection system developed by ESG Elektroniksystem- und Logistik and Rohde & Schwarz.
Different modules of the GUARDION multi-sensor multi-effector system – networked by ESG’s core intelligence ELYSION – were part of the security architecture and successfully protected the protected areas around Elmau from unauthorized drone overflights.
ESG and its partners offer tailor-made solutions for reliable detection and effective defense against drones for customers from the military, authorities and critical infrastructure. For more information visit: www.esg.de (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
17 Aug 22. US Army to add 20KW laser weapon to infantry squad vehicles. The US Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) is to integrate a 20KW laser weapon on its Infantry Squad Vehicles (ISV) according to reports by Defense Daily and Defense News.
The aim of the Army Multi-Purpose High Energy Laser (AMP-HEL) programme is to deliver a counter-drone laser capability to help protect Infantry Brigade Combat Teams, RCCTO Director Lt. Gen. Neil Thurgood is reported to have said at the Space and Missile Defense Symposium in Huntsville, Alabama. The ISV-mounted 20kw laser for AMP-HEL would specifically be focused on the ability to take out Group 1 and 2-sized drones.
Thurgood is also reported to have said the Army expects to take delivery of its first Stryker-mounted 50-kilowatt lasers in the coming weeks destined for a unit at Fort Sill in Oklahoma. This is part of the Directed Energy Manoeuvre-Short Range Air Defense (DE M-SHORAD) programme to develop a mobile counter drone capability. For more information visit: www.defensedaily.com; www.defensenews.com (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
17 Aug 22. Hidden Level’s drone detection solution selected to secure New York public event. US drone detection company Hidden Level has been yet again selected to support the public safety mission for the New York State Fair which opens on 24 August 2022. The New York State Police will again rely on Hidden Level, developers of sensor solutions for low-altitude airspace monitoring, to provide drone tracking services, enabling law enforcement drone mitigation response for any unauthorized unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in public spaces.
According to the company press release, Hidden Level debuted at the New York State Fair in 2021 and completed 18 full days of AMS across 5+ square miles of the Empire Expo Center, also known as the New York State Fairgrounds.
Over the course of the mission, Hidden Level’s CUAS monitor tracked cooperative and non-cooperative drones, including multi-drone scenarios, and provided Fair organizers with statistics and debrief deliverables. Among the findings:
- Identified 211 drone events, excluding known New York State Police and cooperating agency flights.
- Several were multiple events from a single drone operator
- Most drone activity occurs in evening hours, with consistent activity also occurring in early morning
- Identified multiple drones flying above the maximum legal altitude of 400 feet.
Tracking potentially illegal drone flights illustrates the burden on collaborating public safety organizations and security teams. Hidden Level’s technology assists those agencies by easily integrating with common security platforms to protect large coverage areas.
Unlike many other drone monitoring solutions, Hidden Level is completely software-based with no expensive hardware to repurchase and update. Clients like the New York State Police receive quarterly updates from Hidden Level to keep systems equipped with the latest technology.
Following this year’s New York State Fair, Hidden Level is finalizing updated permanent installation sites to provide comprehensive coverage of the surrounding Onondaga Lake area, St Joseph’s Lakeview Amphitheatre, and Fairgrounds for year-round usage during public events and concerts.
Hidden Level provides low-altitude airspace monitoring for both security and air traffic needs. The airspace monitoring service (AMS) is a cloud-based, scalable and cost-effective solution that integrates directly into virtually any video management software, security operations center or situational awareness platform.
“Airspace monitoring in public venues is only increasing in importance as drone technologies become an everyday reality,” said Jeff Cole, chief executive officer and co-founder. “Our partnership with the New York State Fair demonstrates the power of a counter-unmanned aircraft system (CUAS) in enhancing public safety, and its value for any major outdoor event. We’re pleased to be able to assist the Fair again this year.” For more information visit: www.hiddenlevel.com (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
Blighter Surveillance Systems is a world-leading designer and manufacturer of best-in-class electronic-scanning ground-based radars, surveillance solutions and Counter-UAS systems. Blighter’s solid-state micro-Doppler products are deployed in more than 35 countries across the globe, delivering consistent all-weather security protection and wide area surveillance along borders, coastlines, at military bases and across critical infrastructure such as airports, oil and gas facilities and palaces. Blighter radars are also used to protect manoeuvre force missions when deployed on military land vehicles and trailers, and its world-beating multi-mode radar represents a great leap in threat detection technology and affordability for use in a variety of scenarios.
The Blighter range of radar products are used for detecting a variety of threats, from individuals on foot to land vehicles, boats, drones and low-flying aircraft at ranges of up to 32 km. Blighter Surveillance Systems employs 40 people and is located near Cambridge, UK, where it designs, produces and markets its range of unique patented solid-state radars. Blighter prides itself on being an engineer-led business committed to providing cost-effective and flexible solutions across the defence, critical infrastructure and national security markets.