Sponsored by Blighter Surveillance Systems
12 Oct 22. Teledyne FLIR Defense Displays Mobile Command & Control Platform with Advanced Sensor Technology. Teledyne FLIR Defense, part of Teledyne Technologies Incorporated has collaborated with AM General to display its Lightweight Vehicle Surveillance System (LVSS) on a HUMVEE 2-CT (2-Door Cargo Truck) during the Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) annual conference this week.
The display is a technology demonstrator for future Army mobile command and control (C2) vehicles, integrating newly advanced radar, long-range cameras, and other sensors to detect and defeat threats such as weaponized small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS).
With its cutting-edge air domain awareness technology, LVSS fits in the back of the HUMVEE 2-CT, ready to provide counter-UAS; Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR); and force protection capabilities. The LVSS platform features a 16-ft. fully retractable mast that leverages a combination of 3D radar, electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) camera, plus RF detection and mitigation sensors to provide early warning alerts and recognition.
Ready to meet the requirements of several Army programs, including Command Post Integrated Infrastructure (CPI2) and Ground-Based Operational Surveillance System-Expeditionary (GBOSS-E), the capability concept would aid commanders with multi-domain decision support in a mobile C2 vehicle.
Also on display for the first time at AUSA is StormCaster-DX, a multi-role laser designator payload built especially for use on FLIR’s R80D SkyRaider Group 1 sUAS. StormCaster-DX is uniquely designed to manage target areas using a Laser Spot Tracker while affecting the terminal guidance of laser guided munitions. Until recently, this capability was only possible with larger UAS platforms or ground-based systems. Teledyne FLIR’s white paper published two weeks ago, ‘The Proliferation of Precision Fires,’ explores how troops can benefit from technology that enables them to call and direct fires on the battlefield anytime, in any environment.
Teledyne FLIR Defense also is introducing StormCaster-E, the latest in its StormCaster payload series designed for the company’s sUAS aircraft. The new long-range imaging sensor features a fully integrated EO camera built for demanding missions that require clear and precise imagery across daylight and low light conditions.
“This first-time concept showcasing our LVSS in a HUMVEE truck illustrates how we can reduce the current command post footprint, while at the same time improve mobility and agility,” said Dr. JihFen Lei, executive vice president and general manager of Teledyne FLIR Defense. “LVSS brings a host of sophisticated sensing technologies onto one platform. It provides mobile surveillance that can be quickly redeployed as threats change, a critical need on today’s battlefield as evidenced by events in Eastern Europe.”
“We’re also proud to launch our rugged new StormCaster-E payload, which marks a major leap forward in performance, line of sight stabilization, and range of motion for a low SWaP-C package,”
Lei added. (Source: UAS VISION)
10 Oct 22. US Army includes SmartShooter’s SMASH 2000L fire control system as part of C-sUAS defence. The US Army has included SmartShooter’s SMASH 2000L weapon-mounted fire control system as part of its Counter small Uncrewed Aerial Systems (C-cUAS) defence. SmartShooter was awarded a contract from Atlantic Diving Supply (ADS), and reports further evaluation by the US Marine Corps Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO), with recent live fire tests conducted in early August. SmartShooter is presenting its SMASH 2000L together with other SMASH fire control solutions at the AUSA Annual meeting and exposition in Washington DC.
Also known as SMASH 3000, SMASH 2000L (Light) is SmartShooter’s lightest handheld operated fire control system. Using AI, computer vision, and advanced algorithms, it is designed to support precise target elimination against ground and aerial targets, making it an ideal hard-kill solution against drones and sUAS.
SmartShooter’s rifle-mounted SMASH Fire Control system was initially selected by the Joint – small Counter UAS Program Office (JCO) in June 2020 as the only dismounted kinetic solution to defeat drones. The US Army Integrated Fires Rapid Capabilities Office (IFRCO) took the initiative from the JCO selection to purchase the SMASH 2000L fire control systems under PEO Missiles & Space. For more information visit:
www.smart-shooter.com (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
10 Oct 22. Fortem DroneHunter® Proven Effective against Group 1, 2 and 3 Drone Threats. Fortem Technologies, Inc., a leader in airspace security and defense for detecting and defeating dangerous drones, today announced it has launched upgrades to the DroneHunter® F700 platform. These upgrades allow for improved operational ease and the ability to effectively defeat drones faster and larger threats like the Russian Orlan-10 and Iranian Shahed-136 drones. Key improvements to the DrogueNet chute allow for improved capabilities to capture and drop larger and faster drones in the lower range of the Group 3 classification via the DrogueNet’s tethered chute. The DroneHunter® has already logged many successful captures of Group 3 drones using this method at greater than 85 percent effectiveness. Coupled with the DroneHunter®’s ability to defeat more than one drone per mission and its quick relaunch time of under 3 minutes, can make it an extremely affordable and effective solution.
Additionally, the DroneHunter® platform now has upgraded sensors that provide more situational awareness for the operator. The sensors confirm with the operator that a drone has been captured and detect the weight to validate the captured object is light enough to tow back to the drop zone or it can be configured to auto-release with a parachute. These updates also continue to improve the DroneHunter®’s loiter capability which utilizes radar to sense, adapt and react more quickly while in flight. The DroneHunter® F700 platform now additionally houses a larger safety parachute, allowing the drone interceptor to descend slower in emergency situations.
“At Fortem, we want to provide our customers with the best technology available as it continues to evolve,” said Timothy Bean, President and COO of Fortem Technologies. “We’re always looking for ways to improve our already successful DroneHunter®, and this update is one we’re really proud of. We are always working to defeat dangerous drones of increasing speed, size, and number and these upgrades are a huge step in that direction. We’re thrilled to offer it to our existing and new customers.”
The changes to F700 allow for easier repairs on site as the shell of the DroneHunter® can be removed and replaced without affecting water resistance. Labels have also been added to every switch, making the RC transmitter even more user friendly. All new updates in the technology and sensors resulted in a reduction of weight by 10 percent. (Source: PR Newswire)
11 Oct 22. HENSOLDT mission system for reconnaissance flights put into operation. Sensor solutions provider HENSOLDT has successfully passed acceptance by the customer, aviation specialist QinetiQ GmbH, Mönchengladbach, with the first of two complete systems for electro-optical reconnaissance. The reconnaissance system consisting of the electro-optical system ARGOS-II HD (EO/IR) and the control and evaluation software EuroNAV was successfully put into operation only six months after the order. The reconnaissance system was pre-integrated by HENSOLDT in the company’s own Airborne Systems Integration Lab and scaffolded by QinetiQ into DA62MPP aircraft from Diamond Aircraft Industries, Austria, for reconnaissance services and training of national and international customers.
“The successful milestone in the project has validated our approach to accelerate functional testing of the system as well as certification through in-house pre-integration,” says project manager Theresa Leopold. “This allows us to offer the customer a complete solution that reduces the customer’s project risk and effort and is available in the shortest possible time.”
The mission system, with the product name “MissionGrid”, can be used on fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles. It is used by air and naval forces for reconnaissance and target acquisition missions (ISR/ISTAR), but also for border protection, search and rescue missions, maritime patrols, law enforcement and object protection. The German Federal Police uses it to combat smuggling, illegal trade and for border security.
The reconnaissance system has a range of up to 40 km and can detect ships as well as small inflatable boats or individual swimmers by day and night as well as in bad weather. A thermal imaging camera records the images and transmits video and data in real time to base stations on the ground. The “MissionGrid” mission system can also be easily and modularly supplemented with other HENSOLDT systems, such as the PrecISR reconnaissance radar, the Kalaetron ESM/SIGINT system and the AMPS self-protection system, as well as a number of other sensor types and data links. A virtual training facility will also allow users to be trained “remotely” on the mission system at the facility via a secure internet connection.
11 Oct 22. US Army counter-drone office recommends 3 teams to protect installations. The U.S. Army’s counter-drone office is recommending three specific companies, should the service choose to invest in defense against UAVs as a service, according to a Sept. 16 memo obtained by Defense News.
Anduril, Black Sage Technologies and SAIC are the businesses recommended by the Joint Counter-small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Office following an April demonstration event out at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona.
Counter-UAS as a Service, or CaaS, would be a contractor-owned, government-operated capability at fixed locations.
The office received a total of 25 whitepapers for CaaS and selected five to demonstrate their capabilities because they met specific requirements. Those five were Anduril Industries, Black Sage, CACI, Rafael Systems Global Sustainment and SAIC.
The Army is the military branch tasked to lead the office, which was established in late 2019. The office has now conducted three demonstrations — two last year in the spring and fall, and one this spring. The plan is to continue demonstrations twice a year to fix capability gaps identified by the military in countering small UAVs.
“Vendors developed or integrated end-to-end CaaS architectures by teaming with other vendors, participated first in characterization of the subsystems performance, then executed a demonstration of their CaaS System-of-System capabilities in realistic operational environment,” the memo read.
The systems went up against groups 1, 2 and 3 drone threats — a categorization of unmanned systems by weight.
Anduril’s system used radar and electro optical/infrared technology for detection and tracking. It also had an electronic warfare capability. All of this was controlled through its Lattice command-and-control framework, the memo said.
The company’s solution is mature based on ongoing work for the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Special Operations Command.
“Anduril used a combination of Anvil AUAS and Pulsar EW/[positioning, navigation and timing] effects to successfully mitigate incoming threats,” the memo noted. “They provided a turnkey solution with lessons learned from USMC and SOCOM for rapid operational capability.”
Additionally, Anduril’s solution “demonstrated a low false detection rate,” the document read.
Black Sage’s architecture consists of multiple radars, radio-frequency detection and defeat, PNT jammer, and protocol attack “all controlled through their Defense OS C2,” according to the memo.
The original plan included a high-energy laser, but “availability issues” prevented that, the memo added.
Black Sage’s offering was “very effective,” the memo stated. The system’s Goshawk PNT jammer “is a very powerful broadband jammer that demonstrated the ability to mitigate all autonomous threats, some of which were likely defeated at ranges before some sensors detected them.”
Additionally, the system had a low false detection rate, the memo noted.
Lastly, SAIC “developed and demonstrated a robust SoS architecture, with layered sensors and effectors to cover long range to mobile to last-line-of defense short-range,” the document stated.
The system included the RPS-42 and Spyglass radars cued to electro-optical/infrared camera systems and DroneSentry, EnforceAir and RfOne MkII for radio-frequency detection, the memo added.
“All sensors and effectors were integrated into their Valkryie C2 system,” it noted.
EnforceAir and AeroGuard “demonstrated impressive effectors,” according to the document. EnforceAir was able to “force-land” the Phantom 4 Pro V2 and Opterra Dragonlink. Furthermore, it added, AeroGuard chased down threat aircraft and deployed a net to capture the threat.
The memo contains the disclaimer that — while the Joint Counter-small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Office recommends the service consider the three companies — the document “is not intended to be a requirement to award these vendors.”
SAIC sees its solution as unique because “we didn’t build a thing, we built an integration capability where you can take many things and you can control many things at one time,” Bob Genter, the company’s defense and civilian business president, told Defense News in an interview ahead of the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual conference.
“It depends on what you’re trying to do,” Genter said. “It brings in radar systems and cameras and drones to be able to go out and actually capture other drones [with a net].”
The system also has the ability to neutralize threats using a high-power microwave capability.
Capabilities can be swapped depending on a customer’s needs. SAIC can work with any possible sensors or non-kinetic or kinetic solutions, according to Genter.
“All of those things are controlled by one single pane of glass where you have an operator that can click on whatever tool they need to use.”
(Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
11 Oct 22. Germany awaits France’s signal on new sub-hunting planes.
German defense leaders have vowed to coordinate closely with France on a beefed-up capability for maritime surveillance and anti-submarine warfare, following reports that Berlin’s acquisition of American-made Boeing P-8 Poseidon aircraft would nix the bilateral project.
The vow to continue pursuing the Maritime Airborne Warning System, aimed at flying sometime around 2035, suggests the German Defence Ministry has yet to make up its mind on buying more Poseidon aircraft than the initial five already on order with Boeing.
Reports swirled before the summer break in Germany that buying seven more of the planes was only a matter of time, after lawmakers approved an extra €100 bn (U.S. $97 bn) for defense in light of Russia’s assault on Ukraine.
That massive pot of money is rapidly getting spoken for, however, with ammunition, aircraft, vehicles and additional submarines high on the list of requirements. Inflation has also shaved off some of the purchasing power.
Now, officials in Berlin will await France’s signal next month on how to proceed with an interim capability until the MAWS program produces usable equipment in 19-plus years, according to a ministry missive to lawmakers obtained by Defense News.
The Germany Navy’s P-3C Orion aircraft are getting old and can only be flown for a few more years, services officials have said.
According to the letter, French officials have commissioned a study on possible ways forward in aerial submarine defense, with results expected to be briefed to German counterparts in November. “In parallel, Germany is also examining additional national options,” the letter stated.
After receiving information from France, officials in Berlin expect to make predictions about how to proceed with MAWS and how many additional P-8 planes the Germany Navy might need.
The task of keeping tabs on adversarial submarine traffic near Europe’s waters has taken on new urgency following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February. European officials additionally are worried about protecting undersea energy and data lines after an explosion destroyed the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, an act that NATO has labeled sabotage. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)
07 Oct 22. Advanced Protection Systems supplies counter drone equipment to Ukraine. Polish drone detection company Advanced Protection Systems has supplied its SKYctrl counter drone systems to armed forces in Ukraine, according to the company’s social media and reports in Defence 24. The company’s SKYctrl systems were delivered in September to protect Ukrainian troops, critical infrastructure and borders.
Advanced Protection Systems (APS) specialises in 3D radars for use in the detection, tracking and classification of drones. The company’s FIELDctrl family of radars include Access, Advance, Range and Follow radars, designed to detect, track and classify LSS (Low, Small, Slow) objects, including rotor and airframe drones.
APS radars have so far found recipients in Europe (Norway, Estonia, Finland, the Czech Republic), the Middle East (Saudi Arabia, UAE) and Asia (South Korea, Singapore, India). The recipients are uniformed services, the army and critical infrastructure. For more information visit: www.defence24.pl (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
06 Oct 22. Dronetag releases Drone Scanner App to track nearby drone flights using remote ID data. A mobile App developed by Czech company Dronetag enables users to visualise the current airspace including other participants using Remote Identification (Remote ID) data. The company’s Drone Scanner is designed to turn a phone or tablet into a a drone scanner and track all the nearby flights over direct/broadcast Remote ID standards. Users can browse real-time data about drones on a detailed map highlighting specific flying space zones. The Drone Scanner is available to download for free. User features include:
– Discover more about drones flying nearby in real-time
– Examine detailed information broadcasted by drones via Bluetooth 4, Bluetooth 5, Wi-Fi Beacon, and Wi-Fi NAN
– Browse a detailed map with your location and all nearby aircraft
– Check available data about drones, including real-time height, direction, pilot identification, pilot position, operation description, and location history
– Various flying zones marked and highlighted on the map
– Easy export of collected data
– Continuously updated to reflect the latest EU & US regulations
Direct Remote ID is a feature that transmits live flight data via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to the surrounding area. Drone manufacturers use various technologies to build an identification feature in new drones. Pilots of older drones are using add-on devices, enabling them to become digitally visible. With hardware on your smartphone, Drone Scanner can receive and read broadcasted data. For more information visit: www.dronetag.cz; www.apps.apple.com (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
06 Oct 22. US FBI warns of drone threat to critical infrastructure following suspicious incidents. A report released by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) obtained by CNN warns about the use of drones to spy on US critical infrastructure facilities, according to an article published by Zerohedge. Examples of sightings include multiple drones swarming above a chemical facility in Louisiana in the middle of the night in late July, and an earlier incident in March when a drone taking pictures of a Louisiana pipeline was discovered by law enforcement. According to the article:
“There were no immediate indications of nefarious activity that endangered these facilities, though underlined drones could be used to map out the physical layout ahead of an attack.
“While most drone flights over infrastructure is innocent enough, it creates a real safety, operational, and security concern. Drones are a great tool, but they can also be used as a modern day explosive weapon in the wrong hands. Industry is well aware of the tactics to map, surveil, and drop projectiles into very critical sites and they often deploy onsite situational awareness systems to provide early warning,” Brian Harrell, former assistant secretary for infrastructure protection at the Department of Homeland Security, said.
“CNN said a recent federal law enforcement bulletin specified a drone that crashed near a Pennsylvania power substation in 2020 was likely an attempt to take the facility offline.
“The FBI’s latest report follows the developments of EU countries securing critical energy infrastructure after the Nord Stream pipeline attack, and countless incidents of drones buzzing critical US infrastructure may only suggest it’s just a matter of time before a highly modified unmanned aircraft system is used in an attack,” says Zerohedge. For more information visit: www.zerohedge.com (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
12 Oct 22. Chess Dynamics launches next generation electro-optical surveillance capability.
- System enables more accurate, flexible and integrated surveillance
- Utilises a wide range of advanced sensors, digital architecture, and Vision4ce’s Vision Tracking with an option for AI powered target classification software
- Digital EOSS is mission reconfigurable to support Chess’ Sea Eagle naval and Hawkeye land systems
Chess Dynamics, a surveillance and fire control specialist, has launched its next generation, digital, electro-optical surveillance system (EOSS) to provide long-range surveillance and situational awareness for maritime, coastal and border environments.
The digital EOSS enables greater flexibility by providing operators with the opportunity to integrate the system with a wider range of additional sensors on the host vessel. Its digital architecture is configured for modular sensors which ensures the highest levels of operational availability, while also providing end users with options to reconfigure and customise the system to meet a variety of mission profiles, ultimately offering a greater range of sensing capability.
David Eldridge, Sales Director at Chess Dynamics, said: “The surveillance needs of security providers, be that for land, border, coastal or maritime applications, are continuing to grow more complex. Persistent surveillance requires high quality sensors that provide a sufficient volume of data to help operators effectively detect and identify and, ultimately, nullify threats. With the operational environment ever-changing, customers also need more flexibility and the ability to customise their capability to suit their requirements. The new digital EOSS delivers on all fronts.”
The system’s new and improved sensors provide higher quality and more accurate data to allow operators to better detect and identify threats. The next generation technology has been developed with a completely digital architecture to allow secure network access and enable improved integration with other sensors and systems. This increases the level and quality of data available to operators, to improve situational awareness.
“While technological improvements in security capability will lead to an increase in available data, the next step for operators is to use that data intelligently,” added David Eldridge. “Capabilities like ours are becoming smarter, in order to reduce the cognitive burden on the operator. As specialists, not only do we understand the operational environment, but we are able to work with system integrators to optimise the technology to meet the known security need. By working with partners in this way, we can help them turn data into actionable information to enhance the overall speed of response.”
Chess’ latest surveillance capability has in built video tracking and target classification through Vision4ce’s CHARM modules and AI technology. Greatly reducing the operational burden, the system effectively filters the information and only flags objects that are deemed genuine risks or threats to the operator.
Chess Dynamics will be exhibiting its next generation electro-optical surveillance capability at Euronaval (stand F94) and the Indo Defence Expo & Forum (stand A215) this Autumn. Visit the Chess team or www.chess-dynamics.com for more information.
05 Oct 22. Australia’s Department 13 launches Scout 13 RF drone detection/identification system. Australia ‘s Department 13 has launched a new counter-UAS (C-UAS) product at the 2022 Land Forces International Land Defence Exposition. Scout 13 “can instantly observe, identify and locate unauthorised drones in nearby airspaces….By listening and observing 24/7, Scout 13 detects, identifies, attributes, and locates unauthorised drones within a 5km radius.”
According to a company press release:
“Scout13 uses a combination of radio frequency and protocol comprehension to observe up to 5km of airspace, providing the highest level of intelligence on unauthorised drones invading monitored areas. This innovative technology enhances surveillance and security teams, collecting radio frequency data, transmitting in real-time to the cloud-based central knowledge command centre for interpretation, tracking and intelligent response.
“Data is verified through Department 13’s robust drone fingerprint library to detect, identify, attribute and locate drones within and around nearby airspaces.”
Department 13 CEO Lee Croft said: “The product instantly enables informed strategic decisions regarding potential threats from airspace incursions that could compromise the safety and security of the monitored site.” Department 13 will be hosting a live Scout 13 demonstration on Wednesday 19 October 2022, Session 1 at – 8:30am AEST and Session 2 at – 5:30pm AEST. (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
05 Oct 22. NCI Agency hosts NATO live-testing counter drone exercise in the Netherlands. The NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCI Agency) hosted NATO’s Counter Unmanned Aircraft Systems (C-UAS) Technical Interoperability Exercise 2022 (TIE22) in Vredepeel, Netherlands, together with the Netherlands Ministry of Defence. The exercise took place from 13 to 23 September 2022 and it welcomed over 250 participants and 90 distinguished visitors.
The NCI Agency has been testing and developing counter-drone technologies to protect the Alliance’s airspace from unauthorized drones. Using machine learning and artificial intelligence, the Agency is developing ways to detect unauthorized drones that enter Alliance airspace.
Over 30 companies and organizations deployed systems during the TIE22 live testing exercise which built on lessons learned from TIE21. The aim was to ensure that C-UAS’s from NATO Nations could communicate and work together to protect the Alliance’s airspace from unauthorized drones. Agency experts and participants worked together to ensure technical interoperability standards between the commercial systems used to counter drones, says the NCI press release.
The Agency deployed two drone detecting prototypes, the first being a modification of the well-known ARTEMIS and the other being DroIDs (Drone IDentification System). These are essential tools that help the Agency understand the technology being used in the market and support NATO’s evolving requirements.
“DroIDs is the Agency’s prototype and it uses machine learning technologies to detect and identify drones without extracting features manually,” said Dr Cristian Coman, Lead for counter-drone activities, Joint Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance at the NCI Agency. “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.”
Leveraging machine learning and artificial intelligence is one of the many ways the Agency continues to protect NATO networks and keep its technological edge. NCI Agency experts will be discussing the way forward at NATO Edge: Technology in Focus. The three-day conference will centre on the technology, collaboration and partnerships needed to future-proof NATO and the Alliance. For more information visit: www.ncai.nato.int (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
11 Oct 22. MAG Aerospace and L3Harris Partner to Advance Airborne ISR Mission Needs for US Army Highlights: • Accelerates time-to-field for Army’s Theater Level High-Altitude Expeditionary Next-Gen ISR Radar program • Uses commercial jet aircraft to close an ISR gap for combatant commanders • Leverages decades of combined ISR experience to deliver a responsive solution in a contested domain. MAG Aerospace and L3Harris Technologies (NYSE:LHX) will provide enhanced intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft in support of the Army’s Theater Level High-Altitude Expeditionary Next Airborne ISR Radar (ATHENA-R) program. The ATHENA-R aircraft, converted Bombardier Global Express 6500s with ISR mission capabilities, will support U.S. Army missions in the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command area of responsibility. Designed to close the gap between the Army’s medium- and high-altitude ISR aircraft fleet, the ATHENA-R provides longer range, greater endurance, more capacity for bigger payloads and standoff ranges, and leading-edge sensor technology. “This partnership with L3Harris will deliver break-through C5ISR capability to Army combatant commands,” said Joseph Reale, CEO, MAG Aerospace. “MAG’s proven capabilities and extensive experience managing and executing large and complex turnkey ISR programs in the world’s most challenging operational environments enable the MAG/L3Harris partnership to provide the lowest-risk and best-performing solution for the ATHENA-R program.” The two companies will equip the aircraft with new radar and electronic and communications intelligence capabilities. MAG delivers world-class command, control, computers, communications, cyber and ISR service delivery expertise to bring turnkey disruptive technology to U.S. government and allied customers around the world. L3Harris currently operates a Bombardier Global Series jet as part of its Airborne Reconnaissance and Electronic Warfare System (ARES) supporting Army Pacific Command and expands its extensive Army ISR portfolio as part of L3Harris/MAG ATHENA effort. “We have decades of experience creating, evolving and integrating the type of deep-sensing, missiontailored technologies sought by the Army, while MAG Aerospace is a premier provider of manned and ISR mission operations,” said Luke Savoie, President, ISR sector, L3Harris. “Experience matters as the Army embarks on this multi-year journey to operational excellence, and our team delivers proven high performance on these types of next-gen platforms. Our engineering, integration and mission operations expertise will provide the Army the ability to accelerate time-to-field for the ATHENA-R program.” MAG is the prime contractor for the Army’s Sensor Technology Operations and Readiness Maintenance contract. In addition to ARES, L3Harris is also performing on Phase 2 of the Army’s Multi-Domain Sensing System program to develop, build, integrate and demonstrate prototype electronic and communications intelligence sensors for the Army’s High Accuracy Detection and Exploitation System program. About MAG Aerospace MAG Aerospace, headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia, is a leader in delivering Full-Spectrum Joint Domain Command and Control Services with premier engineering and operational solutions around the world to help its customers make the world smaller and safer. MAG delivers all domain solutions through our technology innovation centers and a team of 1,200+ C5ISR professionals on six continents supporting our mission partners. As a reliable and proven U.S. Government prime contractor, MAG brings operational excellence and technical understanding with program management and systems engineering expertise to manage large, complex DOD systems development and deployment contracts. For more information on MAG Aerospace, please visit www.magaero.com.
11 Oct 22. L3Harris Provides Advanced Sight Systems, Increases Lethality for Next-Gen OMFV.
- L3Harris third-generation sight systems reduce size, weight and power requirements
- Supports future technology integration, upgrades with open-systems approach
- Shrinks crew requirement; delivers powerful processors and collaborative targeting
L3Harris Technologies (NYSE:LHX) battlefield awareness systems will enable faster identification and targeting capabilities, providing increased lethality for American Rheinmetall Vehicles’ Lynx Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV).
Using digitally engineered systems provided by L3Harris, the Lynx OMFV can detect and engage battlefield threats faster and at greater distances while reducing crew members needed from three to two.
“L3Harris capabilities on Lynx OMFV provide mission-critical battlefield awareness for U.S. Army soldiers,” said Ed Zoiss, President, Space and Airborne Systems, L3Harris. “These systems enable greater lethality by increasing detection and reducing time to engagement.”
The American Rheinmetall Vehicles (ARV) Lynx OMFV features L3Harris third-generation sights with reduced size, weight and power requirements, enabling early, enhanced threat identification. Crew members receive information faster as a result of more powerful processors and artificial intelligence capabilities. L3Harris also provides secure, high-capacity communication systems and data links to improve command and control and collaborative targeting.
“Lynx OMFV provides warfighters with leading-edge technology to dominate future battlefields,” said Matt Warnick, Managing Director for American Rheinmetall Vehicles. “A big part of retaining overmatch is modular open systems approaches and digital engineering, which L3Harris is a partner in providing, a strength of the American Rheinmetall Vehicles team and a benefit to the soldiers.”
Digital engineering and modular open systems approaches in Lynx OMFV meet U.S. Army Ground Combat Systems Common Infrastructure Architecture requirements – allowing integration of new technologies and subsystems updates faster while lowering vehicle lifecycle costs.
The OMFV, the U.S. Army’s first ground combat vehicle designed using modern digital engineering tools and techniques, will replace the M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle, in service since 1981. L3Harris is an advanced technology partner designing and building Lynx OMFV with ARV, Raytheon Technologies, Textron Systems, Allison Transmissions and Anduril.
(Source: ASD Network)
10 Oct 22. GhostEye MR Gains Momentum.
- A year since Raytheon Missiles & Defense unveiled its latest addition to the company’s GhostEye family of radars, testing and demonstrations highlight the program’s progress
GhostEye® MR has made a lot of headway since its debut at the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual meeting in October 2021.
“It’s hard to believe that only a year has passed since we introduced the new radar,” said Carl Hartford, the program’s chief engineer and technical director at Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a business of Raytheon Technologies. “From advanced search and tracking of live targets to a weeklong U.S. government demo featuring the sensor’s multi-mission capabilities, the progress is palpable.”
GhostEye MR, an advanced medium-range air and missile defense radar, detects, tracks and identifies a broad range of threats, from cruise missiles and drones to fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft. And the new 360-degree surveillance and fire-control sensor leverages commonality with the Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor, or LTAMDS, that Raytheon Missiles & Defense is making for the U.S. Army.
Testing and integration
Since completing design and development of GhostEye MR’s hardware and software in mid-2021, the program team has built a full system prototype.
“Utilizing our open-air testing facility in New England, we’ve integrated our search/track capabilities with the hardware and have successfully tracked targets of opportunity,” Hartford said.
Through hardware and software simulation and live-tracking results, the team has started to verify the system’s performance and validate its full capability.
“Given the rapid development and integration our team has achieved, we are ready to showcase GhostEye MR to more potential customers and partner with the U.S. government for multi-mission experimentation in 2023,” Hartford added.
In the coming months, the GhostEye MR team will conduct additional hardware and software tests and utilize instrumented targets to verify the accuracy of the system’s fire control.
“It’s crucial that we maintain our momentum,” said Rob Lescanec, Director of Requirements & Capabilities for Land Warfare & Air Defense at RMD. “The United States and its allies are facing increasingly sophisticated threats, such as cruise missiles and advanced aircraft as well as unmanned aerial vehicles, such as drones. This has driven high demand for medium range air defense solutions to defend that space.”
GhostEye MR for next-level NASAMS
NASAMS is produced and supported by Raytheon Missiles & Defense in partnership with Norwegian company Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace. This medium-range air defense system has been operational for 30-plus years and is currently used by the U.S. and 11 allied nations. (Photo: Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace)
The idea to create GhostEye MR originated in early 2020 as an opportunity to enhance the National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System, or NASAMS, to counter a new generation of threats.
That system uses Raytheon Missiles & Defense’s Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile Extended Range variant, or AMRAAM®-ER, and GhostEye MR will enable this effector to extend coverage of its full kinematic envelope, or reachable area. The GhostEye MR program is working toward a live-fire test of the radar integrated with NASAMS.
In addition to GhostEye’s flexible architecture, two of its essential technologies will give NASAMS an advantage: active electronically scanned array, or AESA – which sharpens detection, targeting and tracking – and military-grade gallium nitride, or GaN – which strengthens the radar’s signal, boosting its sensitivity for longer range, higher resolution and increased capacity.
“GhostEye MR improves NASAMS’ decision-making capacity, expands the range and altitude that system can reach and defend,” Lescanec said. “All this leads to heightened accuracy and performance in the battlespace—which is critical as adversarial threats are becoming faster, smarter and more ubiquitous.” (Source: ASD Network)
10 Oct 22. Terma’s SCANTER 6002 augmented with new Drone Detection Capability. The advanced SCANTER 6002 for naval surveillance has been given a midlife update with implementation of the newest technology – including highly demanded drone detection. Combining the already excellent detection capabilities with advanced artificial intelligence classification, the SCANTER 6002 radar is now able to detect, track and classify small remote controlled or autonomous drones.
The development within drone technology has leaped significantly over the past years, making advanced easy-to-fly drones accessible to almost everybody. The drones are typically equipped with high resolution cameras, long-range wireless communication, and capability to fly autonomous also outside visible line of sight. Today, drones pose an increased risk to even the most capable naval ships.
“Small, easy-to-fly drones are without doubt here to stay and will only get more and more advanced with extended capabilities becoming a direct threat to naval security. This includes compromising missions such as surveillance, counterintelligence, and carrying explosives” says Per M. Sørensen, Senior Sales Director Naval Sales at Terma and continues:
“Up until now it has been difficult to separate the drones from other small targets – e.g., birds. To separate the drones and other targets of interest, the radar has been updated with advanced artificial intelligence classification. The AI classifier is able to classify even the smallest drones at impressive distances, hereby assisting the operators to classify targets of interest”.
The preferred naval radar across continents
The SCANTER 6002 radar is the preferred radar for naval vessels globally for surface and air surveillance of own and hostile assets. With the newly added developments the SCANTER 6002 radar provides even more value and situational awareness, still providing all the well-known capabilities including IMO navigation, helicopter control, SAR operations, surface and lower airspace surveillance. The new solution is suitable for all types of naval, coast guards and high value commercial vessels.
With the SCANTER 6002 radar’s low peak power the operation and detection are optimal in open sea and coastal areas. The superior technical performance of the SCANTER 6002 radar with its unique frequency diversity, high sensitivity, and small cell size, provides the capability to detect even very small targets in harsh weather conditions. This makes it the perfect choice to detect small drones. The optimized ET2 tracker tracks all target types including drones, simultaneous with other air and surface targets, leaving no targets to be undiscovered.
Terma will present the updated SCANTER 6002 on this year’s Euronaval exhibition from 18-21 October in Paris Le Bourget. Come meet us and learn more at booth B57.
The Denmark based high-tech Terma Group develops products and systems for defense and non-defense security applications, including command and control systems, radar systems, self-protection systems for aircraft, space technology, and aerostructures for the aircraft industry.
10 Oct 22. Birds, Planes, Drones – KuRFS Radar Can Spot Them All.
- KuRFS: It stands for Ku-band Radio Frequency System. And it stands up against enemy drones, along with artillery and other small, fast threats.
The advanced, adaptable, multi-mission radar made by Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a Raytheon Technologies business, is the U.S. Army’s ‘go-to’ sensor to find all classes of unmanned aircraft systems, or UAS, commonly called drones.
“KuRFS is tailor-made for the counter-UAS mission, and no other radar in the world does this mission as effectively,” said Will Strauss, technology director for short- and medium-range ground-based air defense programs at Raytheon Missiles & Defense.
Developed in partnership with the Army, the radar was originally built to help defeat rocket, artillery and mortar, or RAM, attacks in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. It was fielded in 2013 for a new mission – short-range air defense, or SHORAD, and it has surpassed 1.6 m operational hours.
Today, the Army operates nearly 60 KuRFS radars around the world, providing persistent 360-degree surveillance – detecting, tracking and discriminating airborne objects. Though it’s specifically used for SHORAD missions, KuRFS can see helicopters and planes up to and beyond 100 kilometers (62 miles).
Once KuRFS finds threats, it warns and cues defensive weapons to intercept them using kinetic effectors and non-kinetic engagement such as directed energy. Its ability to detect threats from long distances gives soldiers stand-off distance for safety and ample time to make an engagement decision.
And it keeps getting better. KuRFS continues to evolve to stay ahead of threats. Raytheon Missiles & Defense works closely with the Army to update and sustain the system for reliable performance and readiness in all environments where they operate.
Evolves with threats
Adversarial drones are a proliferating threat – a relatively low-cost tool for conducting intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and attack missions against critical assets and forces around the globe. Because they are readily available, these hostile vehicles’ capabilities and tactics are quickly evolving.
“Adversaries are spending less time making their drones resistant to attack,” Strauss said. “They’re more focused on creating a wide variety of low-cost drones – from very small and slow UASs to larger and slightly faster ones. But KuRFS can detect all of them.”
In fact, it’s specifically designed for a changing threat environment.
“From the ground up, KuRFS is an agile and scalable digital sensor, continually able to adapt to the evolving and most challenging SHORAD threats,” said Don Williams, Requirements and Capabilities director for SHORAD programs at RMD.
While KuRFS started out as a sense-and-warn radar, its precision targeting capabilities and reliable performance have made it highly effective for expanded missions, such as air surveillance, counter-RAM and now, counter-UAS.
Sees through clutter
KuRFS uses active electronically scanned array, or AESA, technology that enables exact steering of its beam toward a threat. The radar owes its precise sensing and fire control to its operation on the Ku-band of the electromagnetic spectrum.
The Ku band’s short wavelengths produce significantly sharper image resolution than other parts of the electromagnetic spectrum, and it enables the KuRFS radar to tell the difference between many small objects at once. It can even see and identify an incoming 9 mm bullet.
That makes it optimal for picking small UAS out of a group of objects or clutter.
“The wave doesn’t get lost or degrade the farther out it searches,” Williams said.
The KuRFS radar is not large, but it’s big on benefits. Mounted on a pallet, the system is almost four feet in diameter. On a vehicle, it’s about three feet. And, in a distributed configuration, each aperture mounted on the four corners of a vehicle are about 20 inches square.
“KuRFS bolsters a layered defense by ensuring efficient and low-cost SHORAD operations. Warfighters can take it wherever they go, with confidence that the radar is up to the mission,” Williams said. “Even as adversaries adapt from a single-threat environment to multiples to highly integrated swarms of drones, KuRFS meets that challenge.”
Meets many missions
KuRFS is integrated with more than 15 weapon systems, including Raytheon Missile & Defense’s land-based Phalanx weapon system, Coyote family of effectors and Phaser high-power microwave, as well as HELWS, a high-energy laser weapon system made by Raytheon Intelligence & Space, also a Raytheon Technologies business. KuRFS is integrated with the Forward Area Air Defense Command and Control system for the Army’s SHORAD system. And the radar also provides the cueing data for 50-caliber guns and 30mm cannons.
For counter-UAS engagements, KuRFS gives the Coyote effector superior sensing capability against a broad set of UAS threats over a long range, detecting even the smallest class of drones out beyond 15 kilometers.
“It provides the operator of any system it’s integrated with flexibility and a clear, accurate vision for quick decision-making to defeat a threat target,” Strauss said.
KuRFS can also be deployed to stand sentry by itself in a “sense-and-warn” mission, “so that if a base is under attack, the radar gives troops enough time to seek cover,” Strauss said.
Weaves a digital thread
Digital technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, play a key role in KuRFS’ capacity to outpace current and future threats. Engineers use digital engineering in every stage of the sensor’s lifecycle, from design to production to sustainment. It not only supports the rapid deployment of new capabilities, like software upgrades, but also helps inform performance assessments through modeling and simulation as well as verification that systems meet customer requirements.
“We’ve always used cutting-edge design techniques for AESA radars, and our digital modeling of each system covers almost all the disciplines – from mechanical, thermal, stress, electrical and RF to sustainment and human factors,” Strauss said.
Digital engineering allows Raytheon Missiles & Defense to collaborate with the Army in real time, moving faster to bring together better ideas, designs and capability.
“Together, we’re continuing the evolution of KuRFS, updating it and adding new capabilities to enhance its performance, increase reliability and cut costs. All this helps keep us ahead of advanced adversarial techniques,” Strauss said. (Source: ASD Network)
10 Oct 22. L3Harris Technologies (NYSE:LHX) has begun delivering its WESCAM MX™-10 and WESCAM MX™-15 electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) and laser designator sensor systems to USSOCOM’s Special Operations aviators.
The deliveries support the USSOCOM’s Improved Rotary-wing Electro-optical/Infra-red Sensor modernization strategy, providing the special operations aviators with proven sensor performance and capabilities for use in special operations aviation platforms.
“Our sensor systems provide warfighters with advanced multi-spectral imaging and designation capabilities,” said Kristin Houston, President, Electro Optical, L3Harris. “Equipping the USSOCOM aviators with this state-of-the-art, operationally proven technology enables them to accomplish the very toughest missions in all environments, anywhere in the world, day or night.”
L3Harris WESCAM MX-Series products have successfully supported USSOCOM aviation programs since 2006 and are active in more than 80 countries. Operating across air, land and maritime domains, these intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting systems support more than 200 different platforms.
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.