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29 Sep 22. Liberty Defense to Beta Test HEXWAVE System with Top US Airline. Liberty Defense Holdings Ltd. (“Liberty” or the “Company”) (TSXV: SCAN) (OTCQB: LDDFF) (FRANKFURT: LD2A), a leading technology provider of detection solutions for concealed weapons and threats, is pleased to announce that it has signed a collaborative agreement to begin on-site beta testing of HEXWAVE™ early next month with one of the largest US airlines.
Beta testing will take place in the airline’s employee screening area at a major US international airport. The goal for this test deployment is to gather feedback from the airline on HEXWAVE while continuing to train the system’s AI algorithms on a diverse employee base.
HEXWAVE walkthrough screening system can automatically detect hidden weapons and other potential threats, including both metal and non-metal items such as 3D-printed ghost guns and improvised liquid, powder, or plastic explosives. HEXWAVE leverages technologies such as millimeter wave, video-rate 3D imaging, and Artificial Intelligence to detect potential threats, and provides security operators with a real-time, automatic go/no-go decision.
“We are collaborating with a leading US airline that is a very forward-looking company and a trailblazer when it comes to incorporating the latest innovative technologies to continuously improve its customer service, safety, and overall operations,” said Bill Frain, CEO of Liberty Defense. “We are excited to work with this new beta partner, which came as a result of the airline visiting our headquarters in Wilmington where they were able to see the HEXWAVE in action.”
Expanding aviation employee security protocols is a priority for airlines and airports today wanting to mitigate potential insider threats and detect a growing range of weapon and threat types in a seamless screening experience.
Liberty Defense’s beta trial program also includes testing with a Major League Baseball (MLB) stadium, a large state university, one of the largest Hindu temples in North America, and major airports. Beta testing is planned to continue at these various sites until the end of Q4 2022. (Source: PR Newswire)
30 Sep 22. TEKEVER successfully deployed its advanced aerial intelligence technologies during REP(MUS), the annual naval exercise involving NATO and partner countries.
* TEKEVER technology enables close cooperation and interconnectivity between naval forces
* TEKEVER’s AR5 drone coupled with its AI-driven platform ATLAS provided real-time aerial intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data to participating navies including British Royal Navy and Portuguese Navy
* Ensures NATO Alliance readiness for maritime threats and security challenges
* TEKEVER now in advanced discussions with several NATO navies and intelligence organisations to deploy technologies further
29 Sep 22. Hensoldt South Africa launches new Quadome Land radar. Hensoldt South Africa has launched the latest version of its flagship Quadome radar, the Quadome Land, designed for air and surface surveillance and targeting.
The three-dimensional multi-mission radar was officially launched at Air Force Base Waterkloof on 22 September during the Africa Aerospace and Defence exhibition and goes a long way towards Hensoldt South Africa’s goal to become the leading manufacturer and exporter of air-surveillance and defence radars on the African continent.
The Quadome Land ground-based air and surface surveillance radar follows the launch of its naval Quadome counterpart at DSEi in September 2021, and supports the further internationalisation of the Hensoldt Group’s radar business.
Quadome Land is aimed at the global market for tactical ground-based air defence radar systems, deployed in the air defence or coastal surveillance roles. Because of its compact size, relatively low mass and good price-performance ratio, the radar offers 3D air surveillance and air defence capabilities that are highly mobile and easily deployable, Hensoldt South Africa said.
The entire radar system, including two-man operators’ console, can fit inside a standard 20 foot ISO shipping container, making it highly portable. Programme Manager of Hensoldt South Africa’s radar business unit, Jaco Botha, said Quadome Land offers a ‘radar in a box’ capability as it is completely self-contained, and it can be transported in a C-130 Hercules or similar aircraft. It has its own electric and hydraulic power for self-deployment, which takes 15 minutes.
The active electronically scanned array (AESA) C band radar has two main modes of engagement: air surveillance, and air defence for target engagement. Instrumented tracking range is up to 200 km and the radar can track 1 000 targets simultaneously. It features frequency hopping within its band.
World class product
“Quadome is a result of many man-years of engineering effort to develop a world-class product that will revolutionise the radar landscape worldwide,” said Rynier van der Watt, Managing Director of Hensoldt South Africa.
“Quadome is designed to maximise system performance, while minimising acquisition and life-cycle costs,” said Bennie Langenhoven, Chief Executive of the Radar Business Unit. As Quadome is a software-defined radar, it can easily be upgraded in the future as technology develops.
The development of Quadome has been undertaken in South Africa through a close collaboration between Hensoldt South Africa and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), with over 40 engineers collectively working on this product since 2018. It is currently the largest defence radar development programme in South Africa.
“Not only is a Quadome a world-class product that will revolutionise the radar landscape worldwide, it also makes a significant contribution to the technology available to detect and protect our own borders and seas in the South African defence landscape,” said van der Watt. (Source: https://www.defenceweb.co.za/)
29 Sep 22. NCI Agency and Netherlands’ MoD conduct Nato’s C-UAS exercise TIE22. The exercise aimed to assess AI/ML-based C-UAS technologies to enhance security of alliance’s airspace. The Nato Communications and Information (NCI) Agency has conducted Nato’s live-testing counter-uncrewed aircraft systems (C-UAS) exercise Technical Interoperability 2022 (TIE22).
The exercise took place in Vredepeel, the Netherlands.
It was hosted in collaboration with the Netherlands Ministry of Defence (MoD).
Held between 13 and 23 September, the counter-drone exercise included more than 250 participants along with 90 visitors.
According to NCI Agency, the objective of this exercise is to address the airspace security challenges.
TIE22 supports NCI Agency’s efforts to assess and develop machine learning (ML) and AI-based counter-UAS technologies that can detect unauthorised drones to safeguard the airspace of Nato allied and partner nations.
Similar technologies were tested during the latest iteration of the exercise.
The exercise involved more than 30 companies and organisations demonstrating the capability of their C-UAS systems during the live testing scenarios.
The drills undertaken were supported by several agency experts and participants, who worked in close coordination to maintain technical interoperability standards between the commercial C-UAS systems.
Leveraging the experience from TIE21, two drone-detecting prototypes were also deployed to help NCI Agency understand the commercial technology and see if it can support Nato’s evolving requirements.
The prototypes included a modified version of ARTEMIS and a Drone IDentification System (DroIDs).
NCI Agency Joint Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) counter-drone activities lead Dr Cristian Coman said: “DroIDs is the Agency’s prototype and it uses ML technologies to detect and identify drones without extracting features manually.
“Through the new innovations tested at this exercise, the Agency sends the message of TIE22 – that C-UAS’s shall be integrated with existing air defence in order to guarantee Nato’s airspace remains safe.” (Source: airforce-technology.com)
29 Sep 22. MSI-DS creates mobile counter-drone concept. Industry is working to provide mobile counter-uncrewed aerial system offerings, as drone proliferation into the battlefield continues.
As the threat of state and non-state actors utilising uncrewed aerial systems (UAS) as a force multiplier in current and future conflicts increases, industry is turning its own attention to this burgeoning market in a bid to provide a solution.
Platforms from commercially available UAS up to military-specific aircraft are now commonplace among armed forces around the world, providing operators with a range of symmetric and asymmetric tactical options to leverage. Operating as single platforms or as a swarm, drones can overwhelm air defences or render their interception as uneconomical if using high-end, missile-based systems.
According to a recent GlobalData report, the interest in military UAS as a cost-effective platform for military operations, covering roles such as strike and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions, has led to a surge in the global market. Forecasts show that the military UAS market will reach £12bn by 2032, growing at a steady compound annual growth rate of 3.12% over the next decade.
Industry therefore is keen to showcase its solutions to prospective operators, with a number of systems on display at the recent DVD 2022 at UATC Millbrook looking to catch the attention of international and UK delegations attending.
Mature technology and mobility key
One such concept was displayed by UK-based MSI-Defence Systems (MSI-DS), which had integrated its LW30M 30mm naval gun system onto a flat-bed vehicle, which also featured an integrated radar-based drone detection capability, dubbed by the company has the Lightweight 30M 30mm counter-uncrewed aerial system (c-UAS) system.
MSI’s 30mm weapon system is widely operated by forces in the naval domains, including the UK Royal Navy, with the Middle East a strong market for the company for land use in roles such as infrastructure protection. The twin ammunition bins enable different types of ammunition to be fired, depending on the target.
A senior official at MSI-DS told Army Technology that the concept saw the integration of radar, mobility, and fire systems that have a high Technology Readiness Level, effectively an indication of the maturity, brought together to provide a potential c-UAS solution to the global market.
“Why not use what already exists?” commented the official, adding that the c-UAS capability could be used remotely with a 1.5km command-and-control range, and integrate three systems into a wider area defence network.
The official added that the company was looking for a market to develop a full prototype, and envisaged interest from a number of regions.
According to a recent announcement, MSI-DS completed proof of capability trials for the Lightweight 30M 30mm c-UAS system, which is designed to be deployed in a mobile or fixed configuration. In a release the company stated that its electro optical component of the system handles final detection and interception, directing gunnery from the LW30M mounted with 30mm air burst munitions to defeat multiple targets.
The system can integrate with wide area surveillance networks such as radar, optical, and electronics intelligence-based systems, to provide what the company described as a “360-degree layered defence capability”. (Source: army-technology.com)
28 Sep 22. Oklahoma State University Launches National Counter-UAS Center of Excellence. The Oklahoma Aerospace Institute for Research and Education (OAIRE) at Oklahoma State University has launched a Counter-UAS Center of Excellence and a new partnership aimed at strengthening national defense by developing counter-measures to thwart malicious Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS).
The agreement solidifies OSU’s position as the preferred aerospace defense provider for the U.S. Army base at Fort Sill. The agreement includes receiving $15m Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) subcontract from Amentum to help the U.S. Department of Homeland Security develop technology to counter threats from drones and other UAS through the Counter-UAS Center of Excellence (CUAS COE). Amentum is executing this contract under the Department of Defense Information Analysis Center’s (DOD IAC) multiple- award contract vehicle.
“By working together, we are setting the national standard for counter-UAS. The possibilities for the future of aerospace at OSU in Oklahoma and for the United States are far reaching and it’s all built on a bedrock constructed from decades of experience,” OSU President Kayse Shrum said. “This center will change what’s possible with national security. It will advance research and strengthen the Oklahoma economy as we merge civilian and military worlds into a partnership that will exponentially improve the mission of both.”
As a part of OAIRE, the center is a vital component of OSU’s aerospace infrastructure, which extends across the state of Oklahoma, Dr. Shrum said.
“We are working with industry and federal agencies to coordinate and evaluate technology to ensure the U.S. retains the lead in UAS and counter-UAS technology for the foreseeable future,” she said.
The partnership announcement was delivered Friday during the launch event celebrating the opening of the national CUAS COE, which was held at the Hamm Institute for American Energy at OSU in the Oklahoma City Innovation District.
The new center was established in partnership with the DOD via the National Defense Authorization Act. The U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command contracted with OSU to initiate the CUAS COE with $6.5m in appropriated funds across FY2021 and FY2022, with $5m in additional funding pending for FY2023.
As the counter-UAS arm of OSU’s Unmanned Systems Research Institute (USRI), this new center brings together resources and research to place Oklahoma at the forefront of this vital specialty area charged with safeguarding the nation from the weaponization of drones.
This new $15m contract supporting the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) makes OSU’s CUAS COE a multi-agency resource at the federal level, elevating OSU’s national stature and impact.
“What I’ve seen as a soldier from the OSU USRI team — from what’s going to be the Center of Excellence for counter-UAS at OSU — is very encouraging to see the open dialogue, communication, thought and brilliant minds that put a lot of effort and work to solve these problems,”
said Col. Todd Daniels, assistant commandant for the air defense artillery school at Fort Sill.
Formalized in September 2022, the agreement will fund a series of projects at the center for up to $15m over the course of the next 4½ years.
These projects will involve developing, evaluating and improving technologies for DHS to identify, track and mitigate threats posed by drones to infrastructure and other sites that are critical to homeland security. They also will involve the training of existing and potential professionals within DHS to understand and deploy counter-UAS technologies and techniques.
At the event, Dr. Jamey Jacob, the current director of the USRI, was named director of OAIRE.
“The Oklahoma aviation aerospace industry has $44bn of annual economic activity and is the second largest industry in the state behind energy,” Jacob said. “With the advent of the new advanced air mobility industry, Oklahoma has an opportunity to leverage its expertise in aerospace and autonomous systems to lead in the newest and fastest growing field of aviation and secure a global impact throughout the 21st century.” (Source: UAS VISION)
28 Sep 22. ZeroEyes to equip UAVs with AI-based gun detection solution. The solution integrates ML software with IP security cameras to identify the gun before first shot is fired. ZeroEyes has received the Direct-to-Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the US Department of Air Force’s (DAF) innovation arm AFWERX.
Valued at approximately $1.25m, the latest award is the third US Air Force’s (USAF) SBIR grant awarded to the company this year.
Under the award, the company will fit the existing uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) with its artificial intelligence (AI)-based gun detection technology.
“ZeroEyes’ technology not only provides another layer of security; it will also enable us to reduce our investment in security personnel and use our manpower for more mission-critical tasks.”
The gun detection solution integrates machine learning (ML) software with the internet protocol (IP) security cameras to identify the gun before the first shot is fired.
Earlier this year, the company received a $1.2m grant to integrate this gun detection solution at Minot AFB. ZeroEyes also secured a grant to provide drone-robot-enabled active shooter deterrence (DRASD) deployments at Ellsworth AFB. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
27 Sep 22. US DoD’s AEOS telescope at AMOS site receives renovation. The recoating work of primary mirror involved a year of planning and four months of execution. The US Air Force Maui Optical and Supercomputing (AMOS) site has completed the recoating of the advanced electro-optical system’s (AEOS) primary mirror. The 11.9ft AEOS is the US Department of Defense’s (DoD) reflector telescope, located on top of the 10,023ft Haleakala volcano in Maui, Hawaii. It is part of a constellation, known as the Maui Space Surveillance System. The system is used by the US Space Force (USSF) for space domain awareness (SDA) to advance national security. The AMOS site combines research and development (R&D) mission under the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), which supports two services and one operational mission for the USSF’s 15th Space Surveillance Squadron.
AFRL Directed Energy Directorate R&D mission branch chief and 15th Space Surveillance Squadron commander lieutenant colonel Phillip Wagenbach said: “Periodic recoating of AEOS’s primary mirror ensures readiness of telescope to support SDA mission for warfighters.”
The recoating work involved one year of planning and four months of execution.
Work started with the removal of the primary mirror cell from the telescope, followed by its relocation to the mirror recoating facility, where the team took nearly two weeks to remove the mirror substrate from the cell. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
26 Sep 22. Hensoldt Launches its Latest Solutions to Detect and Protect on Land. HENSOLDT offers platform-independent solutions across land, air and sea and launched its latest products for each of these domains at the 2022 edition of the African Aerospace and Defence Expo, underway at Air Force Base Waterkloof, Pretoria, South Africa. Focusing on the land domain on the second day of the show, HENSOLDT launched its new-generation solutions for radar surveillance and radar electronic support, while also highlighting the company’s innovative contribution to wildlife protection.
Quadome ground-based air and surface surveillance radar
Quadome is a three-dimensional multi-mission radar that punches well above its weight-class for air and surface surveillance, as well as target-acquisition. The Quadome Land ground-based air and surface surveillance radar launch follows the introduction of its naval counterpart at DSEi in September 2021.
Quadome Land is aimed at the global market for tactical ground-based air defence radar systems, deployed in the air defence or coastal surveillance roles. Because of its compact size, relatively low mass and excellent price-performance ratio, the radar offers 3D air surveillance and air defence capabilities that are highly mobile and easily deployable.
Quadome features two main operational modes that simplify operator interaction and reduce operator workload – surveillance mode for general surface and air surveillance, while the air defence mode is employed for high-threat situations and target engagement. The radar features the latest active electronically steered antenna (AESA) technology and is software-defined, thus being a future-proof solution with an extended operational lifetime.
The development of Quadome is undertaken in South Africa through a close collaboration between HENSOLDT South Africa and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). It is currently the largest defence radar development programme in South Africa. “Not only is a Quadome a world-class product that will revolutionise the radar landscape worldwide, it also makes a significant contribution to the technology available to detect and protect our own borders and seas in the South African defence landscape,” says van der Watt.
RES9000 radar electronic surveillance solution
HENSOLDT introduced its brand new, innovative and compact radar electronic surveillance solution for superior battlefield situational awareness of the radar domain for land-based applications. The GEW® RES9000 uses the latest technology in sensor-based signal acquisition for the detection, locating and analysis of modern radar emitters.
The RES9000 complements HENSOLDT’s extensive tactical electronic warfare portfolio. Collected information on surface-based and airborne search and targeting radars can now be fused together with intercepted electronic communications information to provide a collated and concise overview of the electronic order-of-battle (EOB) to battlefield commanders for decisive operational command and control.
“Being well known in the spectrum dominance field, GEW has recognised that the boundaries between the communications domain and the radar domain are fusing; and our customers no longer focus on each domain separately. With this trend in mind, we have developed a modern and compact radar electronic support solution that is closely integrated with our tactical EW systems to create a complete electromagnetic intelligence solution, which we believe will offer significant value to our customers in dealing with their electro-magnetic threats”, said Christo Fouché, the Chief Executive Sales and Marking of HENSOLDT GEW.
Celebrating World Rhino Day
Honouring World Rhino Day on 22 September 2022, HENSOLDT South Africa celebrates five years of zero poaching on the world’s largest rhino conservancy, where its state-of-the-art technologies have been keeping a large number of rhinos safe.
The specially developed system combines a number of advanced sensors, including optical and radar sensors, to monitor the rhinos, farm and surrounding areas. Data from these sensors are fused using advanced analytics at a command-and-control centre to provide complete situational awareness and early warning of potential poachers approaching the area.
“We are honoured to be part of important initiatives such as the conservation of our wildlife and we aim to expand our efforts”, says Hennie Venter, Chief Executive of the HENSOLDT South Africa GEW business unit. “Join us in supporting and advocating important initiatives such as the protection of our majestic animals. Responsible companies’ actions flow from its responsible individuals”, adds Venter. The know-how acquired through these projects can be applied for protecting other wildlife and national parks to safe-keep endangered species such as lions, elephants and even abalone.
Through its business units, GEW, Radar and Optronics, HENSOLDT South Africa delivers solutions to clients across the world and significantly contributes to South Africa’s export industry, while it is firmly grounded in its roots as a proudly South African company, operating in South Africa for South Africa. (Source: ASD Network)
26 Sep. 22. French Navy plans to acquire and test electromagnetic and directed energy weapons. The French Navy plans to plans to procure electromagnetic and directed-energy weapons, according to reports by The Defense Post and Defense News. The weapons would be used for various applications includes tactical and counter drone warfare. Rear Adm. Eric Malbruno, the deputy for planning and programs in the office of the Navy Chief of Staff, briefed press at the biennial Groupement des Industries de Construction et Activités Navales (GIGAN) conference held ahead of the Euronaval trade conference scheduled for 18-22 October in Paris.
“We need to go faster to keep up with the threats and to keep up with our competitors. We cannot wait until 2030 for some capabilities,” Rear Adm. Eric Malbruno is reported to have said. He plans to adopt and deploy disruptive technologies, particularly off-the-shelf capabilities, by the end of this decade. These include commercially-available directed-energy weapons for faster purchase and fielding to support a live-fire test of a laser weapon system from a navy vessel during 2023.
French defence company CILAS began testing laser-based counter drone systems on board navy vessels in 2021 in conjunction with the French Navy to test the company’s HELMA-P laser platform. Unmanned Airspace also reported the French Navy examining the powerful LaWS counter drone laser system in 2021. For more information visit: www.thedefensepost.com; www.defensenews.com (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
26 Sep 22. Indra demonstrates Crow counter drone solution at UNVEX drone event in Seville. Spanish technology company Indra demonstrated its Crow counter drone system during the UNVEX drone event held in Seville 14-16 September 2022. The Air and Space Army Air Deployment Support Squadron (EADA) was in charge of conducting the exercise and demonstrating to a large number of experts and clients the intelligent system that is already being used in complex civil and military missions.
On this occasion, the mission was to protect the runways of a small simulated airfield in which, unexpectedly, two drones took flight just one kilometre away, leaving minimal reaction time to neutralize them. The Crow system’s high-precision radar immediately detected the intrusion, and its optoelectronic systems made visual contact to confirm the threat. At the same time, the system’s electronic defence antennas scanned the radio spectrum to determine what type of link these devices were using.
All this information fed Indra’s advanced algorithm solution to select most effective countermeasure based on extensive drone data libraries. As soon as the first of the two aircraft crossed the non-intrusion perimeter, Indra’s jamming system was activated and blocked their communication links and positioning systems, forcing them to land. The drones were prevented from approaching any aircraft arriving or departing the airfield.
Head of Counter-UAS systems at Indra, Juan López Campos said: “The vast majority of incidents that occur are caused by the inappropriate use of commercial drones, which many systems can counteract, which provides a false sense of security. Stopping an intentional attack, in which advanced drones are used with the aim of causing the maximum possible damage and in which the safety of passengers on a flight is at stake, for example, requires the use of a completely reliable and effective system, like the one that Indra offers its clients”.
According to Indra, anti-drone systems are a very complex technology that requires the combined use of different systems that must work together with total precision at enormous speed. In this sense, Indra brings experience as a major radar manufacturer, a leader in electronic defense and command and control systems, and a pioneer company in the development of all types of radiofrequency systems, positioning and communications. At the same time, it is a drone manufacturer with its own family of unmanned vehicles, giving it a deep understanding of the systems it employs and how to neutralise them. Only in this way is it possible to put on the market a critical solution like this, which all the airports in the world.
Crow has already proven its effectiveness in real operations: It protected Spanish soldiers in Mali, and the presidents and heads of state who landed at the Torrejón de Ardoz Air Base to attend the NATO Summit in Madrid in June 2022. For more information visit: www.indracompany.com (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
23 Sep 22. Greece unveils new surveillance drone to keep tabs on its islands. Greece is working to ramp up its domestic drone industry, which has lagged behind other European countries, with the development of the locally made “Archytas” aircraft.
Officials presented the vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) drone for the first time at the Thessaloniki International Exhibition earlier this month. The fixed-wing aircraft is a joint production between the Hellenic Aerospace Industry (EAB) and the Aristotle, Thessaly and Democritus universities. Representatives said the Archytas unveiling was meant to be the first in a line of upcoming products coming out of the partnership.
Billed as a multipurpose drone, Archytas is capable of operating in both rescue and military operations. According to information provided by EAB, it can be used to provide situational awareness of the land and sea borders of Greece, to monitor ground vehicles but also to accompany frigates as it has the ability to immediately detect unmanned marine vehicles moving at high speeds.
Nikos Koklas, director of research and Design at EAB, told Defense News the drone was designed to “perform these missions with minimal modifications, which can occur on-the-spot in the field.” The aircraft’s “excellent surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities manifest a perfect fit for the protection of Greek territory and islands alike,” he added.
The surveillance mission is of particular importance to the Greek.
Locked in a historic rivalry with Turkey, itself a drone powerhouse, the rhetoric between Athens and Ankara has sharpened recently. The two NATO members have been in disagreement for years over airspace and territorial claims in and above the Aegean Sea. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan implied earlier this month that his country could use military action against its neighbor, stating “Turkey could come all of a sudden one night.”
Depending on the selected payload, Koklas says that the Archytas is able to cover up to 300 kilometers at a cruise speed of 120 km/h and can fly for four consecutive hours. While the UAV is designed to operate without armament, it can be modified to carry light weaponry (maximum of 14kg). Its VTOL capability are provided by four electric propellers on the longitudinal beam, which links the wings to the negative-V tail. The system is further integrated with four struts to maximize flight durability by generating minimal drag. This allows the drone to reach very remote locations while also enabling it to land on the decks of large vessels without needing a runway, according to the manufacturer.
After unveiling the demonstrator prototype, an Archytas drone is to perform its first flight in late October 2022. The first pre-production system is expected to be integrated and manufactured by December 2023, with a first flight by March 2024. The first customers of the Archytas will be the Hellenic Armed Forces as well as other Greek civil-protection agencies.
When asked about international interest in Archytas, Koklas stated that “it had already sparked the attention of several other countries besides Greece, formulating an outstanding commercial prospect.” (Source: Defense News)
26 Sep 22. New datalink terminal qualifies for integration on French AWACS aircraft The Multifunctional Information Distribution System-Low Volume Terminal Block Upgrade 2 (MIDS-LVT BU2) has been qualified for use on all four of the French Air and Space Force Boeing E-3F Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft.
Announced by the French Directorate General of Armaments (DGA) on 22 September, the new terminal will enable the operation of the latest-generation Link 16 military tactical data network on its aircraft in September/November 2022.
In 2020 Thales and Air France Industries were selected to integrate the new MIDS-LVT BU2 terminal on the French E-3F AWACS, the announcement said.
The DGA conducted two years of tests to qualify the terminal, in conjunction with the French Air and Space Force and the two industrial partners. Specifically, the DGA Information Control Centre of Expertise and Testing handled security with the information systems, while the DGA Project Engineering Centre examined the authorisation files for flight, temporary employment authorisation, and qualification of the integration of MIDS-LVT BU2 on the AWACS. Several flights were conducted by the DGA Flight Test Centre, which tested the integration and operation of the terminal, the DGA said. (Source: Janes)
23 Sep 22. AAD 2022: Havelsan exhibits indigenously designed autonomous Baha UAV. Turkey’s Havelsan exhibited its latest iteration of indigenously developed fixed-wing vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) swarm-capable autonomous Baha unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) at the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) 2022 expo, held from 21 to 25 September, in South Africa.
The Baha is a small UAV developed to conduct intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions with the ability to perform as an independent platform and in alliance with other manned and unmanned air and ground assets. The latest design of Baha includes a boom-mounted T-tail instead of earlier exercised boom-mounted inverted V-tail. The air vehicle (AV) has also undergone modifications to include anti-jamming systems and integration with combat management system and control station for land and naval operations.
The AV has a wingspan of 3.7 m, fitted with four electrically powered rotors (two on each wing), which enables VTOL operations. The forward flight, which is initially propelled by a gasoline engine, can now be propelled by an electric engine. The endurance achieved by the electric engine is two hours against the six-hour endurance achieved through the gasoline engine. (Source: Janes)
23 Sep 22. AAD 2022: Milkor showcases fully loaded 380 UCAV. South African-based Milkor showcased a fully loaded prototype of its 380 medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) at the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) 2022 expo held in Pretoria from 21 to 25 September.
Ghaazim Rylands, CEO of Milkor Integrated Systems, a division of Milkor for manufacture and integration of the Milkor 380 UCAV, told Janes on 22 September that “the first prototype is undergoing ground testing and integration with various ammunition using five hardpoints, and the second prototype is currently being manufactured”. (Source: Janes)
23 Sep 22. Hensoldt launches new EO system, laser range finders. Hensoldt South Africa launched a new light-weight electro optical system and laser range finders for use on small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) platforms at the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) exhibition.
The Argos-8 is an 8-inch-class electro-optical system weighing less than 6 kg. It offers day and night capabilities for intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR) missions.
The MP10-1 laser range finder can fit into the palm of a hand and can be mounted on light weight UAVs or used with multi-sensor land-based imaging systems.
The Argos-8 airborne surveillance and targeting system was jointly developed with Estonian company Threod Systems, which focuses on UAV systems. Hensoldt and Threod have a development and co-production agreement for the Argos-8.
The MP10-1 laser range finder can be used for targets up to 15 kilometres away, with an accuracy better than a metre. It is a self-contained unit consisting of laser transmitter, laser receiver and power and control electronics needed to operate the laser range finger. Hensoldt plans to begin production in South Africa in the first quarter of next year.
For shorter ranging requirements and mounting in a smaller space, Hensoldt unveiled the NP1 laser range finder on the first day of AAD 2022 (21 September). It can reach a vehicle size target over three kilometres away (maximym range is up to 6 km). Production of the NP1 for international customers began in South Africa a few months ago.
These electro optical systems and laser range finders can be integrated into Hensoldt’s ASTUs unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). ASTUS has an endurance of eight hours and is certified to fly up to 16 000 feet.
The UAV is designed to meet the requirements of African and other countries that lack budgets for high-end solutions. The ASTUS UAV is the result of the capability Hensoldt obtained from the purchase of local defence company, Tellumat.
Hensoldt South Africa is the German defence company’s largest industrial footprint outside its home country. It produces solutions for electronic warfare and optronics, spectrum monitoring and security solutions, including radar, identification friend or foe and datalinks.
Hensoldt South Africa developed a wide range of products over the years. Its location in South Africa means local products are not subject to US and European export regulations. (Source: https://www.defenceweb.co.za/)
23 Sep 22. Aselsan and Denel cooperating on MEROPS gimbal. On the Turkish Pavilion at Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) 2022 Aselsan is showing its ‘MEROPS’ next generation air surveillance and targeting gimbal sight. The MEROPS (Multi-spectral Extended Range Optical Sight) system was displayed for the first time in June at the Eurosatory exhibition in Paris, France.
Aselsan Chairman, President and CEO, Haluk Görgün witnessed the live demonstration at Air Force Base Waterkloof of the MEROPS system designed and developed entirely by the company’s Aselsan South Africa (ASA) branch. It is intended for large-scale series production in Turkey for both the Turkish Armed Forces and export customers around the world.
The South African branch supports the Turkey based company with design and development services. “We aim to establish long-term relationships and local partnerships here,” ASA general manager Sencer Sahin stated. “To date our design facility has provided advanced camera systems to Denel’s OTR test range and other local customers, including the Institute of Maritime Technology, Paramount Technologies, and Reutech Radar Systems.”
This is testimony to the company’s aim to continue its active role in establishing strategic partnerships with local entities for both South Africa’s and third-country requirements in the African region.
The MEROPS system is the latest product in the family of reconnaissance and surveillance systems from Aselsan.
South Africa’s state-owned Denel Group and Aselsan reached an agreement this week at AAD 2022 to work towards integration of the MEROPS system on Denel’s flagship aerospace systems, the Rooivalk attack helicopter and possibly on the Seeker 400 drone. A MEROPS gimbal is being displayed alongside the Rooivalk in the static area.
Aselsan SA is a wholly owned branch of Ankara headquartered Aselsan Elektronik Sanayi ve Ticaret AS, a global defence and advanced electronics company established more than 50 years ago. The local branch, staffed with a pool of highly trained and experienced South African engineers and technicians, serves as a centre of excellence for the mother company in Turkey.
Thanks to its significant investment in ASA since 2011, the branch not only provides design and development, but also acts as the hub for Aselsan’s business development strategy in markets in sub-Saharan Africa and the establishment of long-term relationships.
The MEROPS system was specifically designed for extreme combat situations, particularly in low light and the difficult light encountered at dawn and dusk. Among the roles envisaged for MEROPS are medium to long range observation and reconnaissance, pointing, area illumination and target designation at medium altitude.
The sight incorporates the latest in image processing technologies, including traditional image enhancement, as well as the latest in machine vision and AI based algorithms. Its mission enhancement capabilities include moving target identification, isotherms, false colour identification and threat identification.
The MEROPS is a self-contained single LRU (line-replacement unit) with quick-release connections. Payloads can be exchanged without calibration. Electronic bore-sighting is done before a mission, and it boasts an embedded web server for setup, control, and maintenance. According to Kobus Coetzee, ASA’s Engineering Manager, the MEROPS is easy to maintain.
Its next-generation software functionality includes multi-target auto-tracking with target re-acquisition, artificial intelligence (AI) threat detection classification and background automatic see-spot detection. The MEROPS operates at temperatures from -40°C to 70°C.
Aselsan as a global company operates in a wide range of disciplines, from communication and information technologies (ICT), micro-electronics, guidance and electro-optics to radar, electronic warfare, and defence systems technologies. It is also active in transportation, security, energy, and automation systems.
AAD 2022 is giving the company the opportunity to show a wide range of systems in South Africa. Among the field proven solutions are military and professional radios, the KALKAN mobile medium altitude 3D air defence radar, ALKAR 120 mm mortar weapon system, border security solutions, laser guidance kit, the FOPRAD foliage penetration radar, electro-optic solutions, and anti-drone RF jammer system.
Earlier this year, Aselsan South Africa revealed a range of its life support and medical imaging solutions. Whilst these innovative products were designed primarily for use in healthcare facilities in the commercial and civil environments, they would be equally useful in the military field.
The company’s personnel now total over 7 000 with a high proportion of these being engineers and technicians. It invests substantially in R&D, allocating more than 7% of its annual revenue towards these activities.
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