Sponsored by Blighter Surveillance Systems
20 Oct 22. Japan starts operations with SeaGuardian drone, receives two Hawkeyes. The Japanese Coast Guard has started operations with a newly delivered MQ-9B SeaGuardian drone, while more airborne early warning aircraft have arrived in the country by ship. The UAV’s manufacturer, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, said in a news release that the Coast Guard commenced flight operations with a SeaGuardian from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Air Station Hachinohe on Oct. 19.
The American company said the high-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aircraft “will primarily perform Maritime Wide Area Search (MWAS) over the Sea of Japan and the Pacific Ocean. Other missions will include search and rescue, disaster response, and maritime law enforcement.”
Photographs from plane-spotters in northern Japan showed the SeaGuardian carrying Japan Coast Guard markings along with the U.S. civilian registration N467SG, which was used for flight testing from General Atomics’ facility in the United States prior to delivery.
“SeaGuardian is the world’s premier asset for performing MWAS,” said Robert Schoeffling, vice president of international strategic development at GA-ASI. “We’re proud to support the Government of Japan’s policy to strengthen its maritime security.”
General Atomics announced in April 2022 that the Coast Guard had selected the SeaGuardian for an unmanned aircraft acquisition program. The selection followed validation trials involving the drone in Japan in 2020.
It’s unclear how many SeaGuardians were ordered.
The SeaGuardian features a multimode maritime surface-search radar with an inverse synthetic-aperture radar imaging mode, and an automatic identification system receiver. It is fully compliant with STANAG-4671, which is NATO’s airworthiness standard for unmanned aircraft, and it features a collision-avoidance radar to enable operations in civil airspace.
Hawkeyes by sea
Meanwhile, a pair of Northrop Grumman-made airborne early warning aircraft destined for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force arrived in the western part of the country following a voyage across the Pacific Ocean by ship.
The E-2D Advanced Hawkeyes, part of an order for 13 by Japan under the United States’ Foreign Military Sales program, arrived at the port next to Marine Combat Air Station Iwakuni onboard the Ocean Gladiator cargo ship Oct. 18.
The Hawkeyes are to be moved by road to the air base, which hosts aircraft of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps. They will then prepare to head to Misawa in northern Japan.
Iwakuni’s port is co-located with the air base and has enabled “the dynamic transportation of various military assets between sea and shore,” according to the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service website, which is run by the U.S. Defense Department.
The deliveries bring the number of E-2Ds sent to Japan to five. The Japan Air Self-Defense Force currently operates 13 older E-2C Hawkeyes and four E-767 airborne early warning aircraft at Misawa and Hamamatsu, respectively.
Four of the E-2Cs are assigned to a detachment based at Naha Air Base on Japan’s southern island of Okinawa, where they have been used to monitor increased Chinese air activity in the East China Sea. (Source: Defense News)
19 Oct 22. GM Defense showed its All-Electric Military Concept Vehicle at AUSA with Black Sage’s SawtoothTM Unmanned Aircraft System. Echodyne’s EchoShield radar, is an example of adding 4x radars for airspace situational awareness (6+km hemispherical coverage on small drones).
The vehicle was equipped with the Black Sage’s proven SawtoothTM Unmanned Aircraft System and the Echodyne radar to demonstrate how GM Defense can potentially kit out the ISV. EchoShield. Designed from the ground-up to set a new price-performance standard for mid-range radars, EchoShield is an advanced software-defined multi-mission radar for a wide variety of commercial, defense, and government use cases.
EchoShield’s development has been informed by hundreds of customers and applications across multiple industries. The radar’s architecture builds upon the field-proven success of Echodyne’s proprietary metamaterials electronically scanned array (MESA®) radars that are in use across a wide range of applications, such as counter-UAS, border and base security, force protection, critical infrastructure security, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, UAV detect and avoid, and autonomous ground vehicles.
A pulse-Doppler cognitive 4D radar, EchoShield combines ultra-precise electronically scanned array (ESA) beamforming and real-time dynamic waveform synthesis to deliver sub-degree tracking accuracy on hundreds of objects across a broad 3D field of view. EchoShield’s cognitive search capabilities integrate onboard or offboard data stores to adapt and direct radar resources when and where required in order to deliver the right data and detail at the right time. Whether using the radar’s significant onboard processing capabilities or ingesting data-rich range-doppler spectrograms into offboard compute, EchoShield’s SDK enables deep integration and multi-sensor fusion.
EchoShield is designed to be software-optimized to mission profiles that align powerful dynamic radar resources with unique customer requirements to deliver superior radar performance. Based on market demand, the initial software release prioritizes a counter-UAS mission and excels at detecting, tracking, and classifying any uncrewed aircraft, including low slow and small drones even in dense urban environments. Further releases will match radar resources with customer demand in dozens of applications and markets.
Sawtooth is a multi-mission short range air defense solution combining high performance sensors and effectors with the latest generation of automated command and control software. The Sawtooth base solution is layered non-kinetic suite ready for short-lead-time deployment for military, internal security and airport customers. It’s open platform design allows it to be easily coordinated with existing air defense and air traffic control systems.
GM Defense’s All-Electric Military Concept Vehicle (eISV) variant leverages the proven and fielded nine passenger Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV) with GM’s commercial battery electric technology to develop a purpose-built, all-electric military concept vehicle.
The concept vehicle includes GM’s commercially-available battery drive system and components, which help provide silent watch operations with low acoustic and thermal signatures. The battery technology also provides abundant stored and exportable power generation for integrated mission packages. The concept vehicle offers similar off-road performance as the ISV, with the advantage of delivering virtually instantaneous high-end torque from a stop position. The eISV is also capable of Level 1 and 2 AC charging, as well as Level 3 DC Fast Charging. With an open architecture, the eISV can be customized to meet customer requirements. Accessories can be easily added to enhance the vehicle’s capabilities, which could include additional lethality, remote weapon systems, fixed pintle or swing-arm mounts for medium and heavy machine guns and grenade launchers. With access to GM’s diverse portfolio of propulsion systems, GM Defense can deliver ICE-powered, all-electric or hybrid-powered solutions to meet our customer’s needs.
MOTOR: eCrate 400V 3-Phase AC Permanent Magnet Motor
BATTERY: High voltage GM BEV2 lithium ion 400V 66kWh
TRANSMISSION: GM Supermatic® 4L70, 4-speed
TRANSFER CASE: GM AutoTrac® 2-speed with 2.62 low range
FRONT AXLE: Colorado ZR2 Dana M190 with electronic locking differential
REAR AXLE: Colorado ZR2 Dana M220 with electronic locking differential
SAFETY: Roll Over Protection System
17 Oct 22. L3Harris Wants To Add Drone Data Streams To Night Vision Goggles. Improving image quality and broadening the amount of data feeds available are priorities for future versions.
The next version of the U.S. Army’s night vision goggles could feature a way for commanders to see what soldiers are seeing. That is, if the Army wants that capability.
The Army selected L3Harris and Elbit Systems of America to develop its Enhanced Night Vision Goggles – Binocular in 2020. The goggles are designed to fit over a soldier’s helmet and give them key information, such as location and map data, thermal imaging, and rapid target acquisition or line of sight connected to a soldier’s weapon for accurate shooting.
But as the Army moves to center data and information throughout its enterprise and operations, L3Harris wants its version of the goggles to include data from more sources, including unmanned systems.
The company’s goggles currently have GPS and a compass, and soldiers have the option to see or hide features. Data comes in wirelessly through their radio, then moves to their end-user device—such as a phone—and through a situational awareness system called Nett Warrior to display a series of icons and other information and develop a clear sense of what’s going on in a given situation in the goggles’ field of view.
The result is a real-time display of what’s physically in front of a soldier plus information on “where other soldiers are, where their enemy locations are, templated potentially with routes and waypoints that you want to go on,” Leith Ames, L3Harris’ director for business development, told Defense One at the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual conference.
Improving image quality for distance and clarity in very low-light conditions is a priority, as well as other features that can improve soldiers’ situational awareness. That means finding what else can plug into the display, called ENVG-B, such as UAV feeds and other sources.
“That’s a really interesting aspect because, potentially, if you’re around the corner, and I’m a leader and I want to see what you’re seeing, I could essentially hit a button and see your camera…this first-person view of what you’re seeing,” Ames said. “That can happen. The infrastructure is there, the technology is actually there, then it’s a matter of getting it implemented if desired.”
Any future development of the goggles would have to be OK’d by the Army, but industry companies are betting on the value of demonstrating what is possible before it becomes a program requirement.
The military service has already received several thousand pairs of night vision goggles, but could get up to 100,000 under the $442 m contract for the program of record. For the latter, about 9,000 goggles have been funded so far. L3Harris plans to ship out more in the beginning of 2023. (Source: Defense One)
18 Oct 22. Safran launches VIGY 4 optronic system for surface ships. Drawing on feedback from users of its many products in remote theaters of operations, Safran Electronics & Defense is launching VIGY 4, a new optronic sight for surface ships, to meet the needs and expectations of naval customers. This sight is the latest addition to the company’s family of naval optronic systems, which also includes the VIGY HD and PASEO XLR.
VIGY 4 features advanced observation and fire control capabilities to meet the requirements of medium-displacement ships such as offshore patrol vessels and corvettes, while VIGY HD is more suited to vessels such as coastal patrol boats and PASEO XLR to first-class vessels rang.
VIGY 4 is a compact gyrostabilized multisensor observation system with a SWIR (shortwave infrared) channel, which can see through mist and fog. The system can be coupled with a sector surveillance module to create a simple and effective surveillance system. It is also designed to control light- and medium-caliber weapons.
Safran Electronics & Defense is a long-standing player in the naval sector, with internationally recognized expertise in optronics, electronic warfare and inertial navigation. The company currently equips more than 1,000 ships — merchant vessels, naval surface ships and submarines — and 50 navies worldwide with sensors, optronic systems and inertial systems designed and manufactured in France. Safran is an international high-technology group operating in the aviation (propulsion, equipment and interiors), defense and space markets. Its core purpose is to contribute to a safer, more sustainable world, where air transport is more environmentally
17 Oct 22. Gulfstream Aerospace weighs G550 replacement for special missions. General Dynamics Corp’s (GD.N) Gulfstream Aerospace is weighing one of its business jets to replace its popular G550 aircraft which is now out of production for special mission purposes, President Mark Burns said on Monday. Governments are eying “special mission” business jets capable of looking or listening at potentially lower running costs than converted passenger or military planes. The rising demand for small jets with systems once reserved for bigger planes has energised a market led by Gulfstream, which faces challenges from rivals Bombardier (BBDb.TO) and France’s Dassault Aviation SA (AM.PA).
“We’ve got multiple customers with multiple desires for how they are going to use the airplane and we’re really just trying to sort through which is the best airplane to use,” Burns told Reuters on the sidelines of the world’s largest business jet show in Orlando, Florida.
In September, Canada’s Bombardier Inc (BBDb.TO) said the company’s defense business involving special mission private jets could grow to a possible $1 bn in annual revenues from a ‘fraction’ of it right now. (Source: Reuters)
17 Oct 22. With the recently acquired certification under European aviation law in accordance with EASA PART-145, the new “Airborne Service Center” (ASC) in Oberkochen is authorised to repair highly complex gimbal-mounted electro-optical monitoring systems of the type ARGOS II HD directly in Germany. By setting up the ASC at the HENSOLDT Optronics site in Oberkochen, customers now have the advantage of massive time savings as well as direct contacts in their own country.
“With the establishment of the Airborne Service Centre, the downtimes of the ARGOS-II-HD-carrying units of German customers, such as the helicopters of the German Federal Police and the Thuringian State Police, will be significantly reduced,” explains Marco Liebscher, Head of ILS/ISS Customer Services Optronics. “By providing spare parts and carrying out all relevant maintenance work, including the necessary documentation and approvals in accordance with EASA Form 1, HENSOLDT is able to work without depending on other maintenance companies.”
With the opening of the ASC at the Oberkochen site, HENSOLDT can repair its gimbals to depot maintenance level in the company’s own service centre. A great advantage for European customers. D-level maintenance usually takes place in highly specialised repair depots and in facilities of the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). At the same time, the company is creating another important pillar of the service business in Oberkochen with the ASC as a basis for future service agreements and negotiations already underway.
In a next step, which requires additional certifications, other in-house self-protection sensors are to be serviced in Oberkochen in addition to the ARGOS II HD.
14 Oct 22. Raytheon aims to finish LTAMDS radar prototypes for Army in January. The Army and defense giant are working to reach a congressionally mandated deadline at the end of 2023.
The Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor, made by Raytheon, is one of the Army’s top 35 modernization priorities. (Courtesy of Raytheon)
AUSA 2022 — Raytheon has finished five of its six future radar prototypes for the US Army, with the sixth radar set to be complete by January, a company executive told Breaking Defense.
Raytheon is responsible for manufacturing the Army’s Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor (LTAMDS), one of the Army’s top 35 modernization priorities and the system set to replace the Patriot radar system.
The first five “are available right now to do integration testing and those types of matter,” said Bob Kelley, Raytheon’s Requirements and Capabilities director for Land Warfare & Air Defense, in an interview during the annual Association of the United States Army conference in Washington, D.C. “We are projecting the sixth one to be complete in January of ’23.”
The LTAMDS radar, an active electronically scanned array radar, will be a crucial component of the Army’s future integrated air and missile defense architecture. The sensor is designed to detect and track cruise and ballistic missiles, aircraft and unmanned aerial systems, and it will integrate with the Integrated Battle Command System, the Army’s air and missile defense network backbone designed to link disparate air and missile defense assets on the battlefield.
Kelley said that the six LTAMDS radars will undergo a “fairly robust testing regimen” shortly after delivery in January, both at White Sands Missile Range, N.M. and Raytheon’s own radar facilities. Both Raytheon and the Army are working toward a congressionally mandated initial operating capability for LTAMDS by December next year.
Raytheon won a $383m contract in 2019 for the delivery of six LTAMDS radars to the Army. While the program did have some schedule slippages noted in the fiscal 2023 Army budget request, the service told Defense News earlier this year that it was adjusting the test schedule to meet “congressional mandate of fielding one LTAMDS Battalion (four sensors) by December 2023.”
In 2023, Kelley said the testing will get “more and more rigorous.” The radar will also have to complete its integration with the Northrop Grumman-made IBCS, a process that he said had made progress on earlier this year.
“The final testing will be done by soldiers. And then, of course, [there will be] some fire tests to demonstrate that this radar can support engagement of … targets,” Kelley said.
Raytheon announced earlier this year that it had shipped its first LTAMDS radar in April to White Sands Missile Range for testing. The radar underwent testing there through September. Raytheon is making software improvements after testing, but Kelley said no hardware adjustments have been necessary.
“We did learn that it can connect to IBCS, and we did learn that it can communicate with the … Patriot interceptors,” Kelley said. That’s “a very important part of what this radar has to do.” (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Breaking Defense.com)
17 Oct 22. Unauthorised drone sightings in Norway disrupt airport operations. Norwegian media reported closure of Stavanger Airport for a short period on 16 October due to sightings of unauthorised drone activity. The event also led to temporary closure of the airspace over nearby airports Karmøy and Sola. Teknomers reported cancellation of several departures as a result. It is forbidden to fly a drone closer than five kilometers from airports in Norway without authorisation.
This is the latest in a series of unauthorised drone sightings according to Norwegian press. These include two cases have registered near the Kårstø plant in Tysvær, followed by the arrest and charge of two Russians. A special provision makes it illegal for Russian citizens to carry out any type of flight activity in this country. The provision came into force after Russia invaded Ukraine earlier this year.
Airport operator registers sightings of more than 50 drones each month around their airports according to report by NRK. The Norwegian police issues fines for illegal drone flying.
From 2024, drone operators in Norway will be subject to new identification requirements when flying drones weighing more than 250kg.
(Stavanger airport. Kristina Kassab Liland) For more information visit: www.teknomers.com (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
14 Oct 22. US Army counter-drone office identifies three candidate teams following demonstration events. According to a report by Defence News, the US Army’s counter drone office has identified three companies as suitable candidates should it choose to invest in counter drone services. 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, says the report. 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, says Defense News. 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. According to Defence News:
“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.”
For more information visit: www.defensenews.com (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
13 Oct 22. Dedrone launches low collateral counter-drone jammer for urban environments. Dedrone has launched its next-generation handheld mitigation system, DedroneDefender. The counter drone system joins Dedrone’s existing end-to-end counter-drone solution to deliver a connected gun for targeted precision Radio Frequency (RF) jamming. Given its small, lightweight form factor and ease of use, DedroneDefender offers counter-drone mitigation solution for civilian, state and local law enforcement in urban environments.
Dedrone’s DroneDefender solution, for military environments, has already sold more than 700 jammers to allied forces worldwide. Both DroneDefender and DedroneDefender break communication links between pilots and unauthorized drones, making them effective against drone swarms as well as singular drones. DedroneDefender can be operated in traditional handheld mode supported by a phone-based app for targeting. By Q1 2023, it will also be available mounted on a pan-tilt-positioner for automated targeting as directed by DedroneTracker software, resulting in an autonomous Pan-Tilt-Jammer (PTJ) solution.
DroneDefender and DedroneDefender can work within the broader Dedrone suite of solutions or with third-party command and control. This includes the DedroneTracker command and control platform, which detects, tracks, identifies (DTI) and continuously prioritizes drone threats through autonomous background interrogation of possible targets, without the need to first locate them with the naked eye hundreds of meters away against the sky or cluttered backgrounds. For more information visit: www.dedrone.com (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
12 Oct 22. L3 Harris Technologies shows VAMPIRE C-UAS on its way to Ukraine. L3Harris Technologies is demonstrating at AUSA 2022 the counter-UAS system (C-UAS) which the US Department of Defense announced would be part of a security assistance package under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) in August 2022. The company’s Vehicle-Agnostic Modular Palletized ISR Rocket Equipment (VAMPIRE) is a portable kit that can be installed on most vehicles with a cargo bed for launching of the advanced precision kill weapons system (APKWS) or other laser-guided munitions.
According to a company statement the VAMPIRE prototype was developed through internal research and development with input from various customers and launched at the 2022 Special Operators Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC) alongside the company’s Sky Warden ISR and Strike aircraft.
“L3Harris’ VAMPIRE provides ground forces the ability to engage ground and air targets beyond the range of weapons normally carried by special operations and light forces. It is modular, portable, can be mounted in-field and provides significant air coverage and defense while allowing an operator to hide, move and fire in quick succession,” said the statement. “The portable kit that can be installed on most vehicles with a cargo bed for launching advanced precision kill weapons systems (APKWS) or other laser-guided munitions.
“The VAMPIRE system can be configured with different sensors and weapons packages depending on mission need. It includes a target designator kit and APKWS launcher to track, laser designate and engage targets. An L3Harris proximity fuze maximizes blast effectiveness of munitions. It is also vehicle-agnostic, meaning it can be mounted on virtually any type of standard pickup truck, commercial or tactical vehicle by two people, in two hours, using common tools for long-range defense against air and ground attacks.” For more information: https://www.l3harris.com/newsroom/editorial/2022/10/vampire-demonstrates-ability-provide-right-capability-right-time (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
11 Oct 22. Leonardo DRS joins industry partners to develop single Stryker C-UAS vehicle. Leonardo DRS joined with seven industry partners to develop a counter unmanned aerial system (C-UAS) based on a single Stryker Double-V Hull Infantry Carrier Vehicle (ICVVA1). Exhibited at the Association of the US Army (AUSA) 2022 conference 10-12 October, press reports say the new single-vehicle capability follows closely the company’s work with the US Army on the Mobile, Low, Slow, Unmanned Aircraft Integrated Defeat System (M-LIDS) programme. This focused on a two-vehicle C-UAS system based on the mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) all-terrain vehicle (M-ATV).
Leonardo DRS is the lead systems integrator on the project, with partners including: General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS), Raytheon Missiles and Defense, Sierra Nevada Corporation, Northrop Grumman, RADA USA, Moog, and Ampex. www.leonardodrs.com (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
11 Oct 22. Leonardo DRS features new SPEAR battlefield directed energy C-UAS. Leonardo DRS is highlighting its recently developed Specialized Portable Electro-magnetic Attack Radiator (SPEAR) C-UAS at AUSA 2022.
According to the company: “SPEAR provides a portable, compact, and deployable High Power Electromagnetic (HPEM) source as a directed energy weapon against individual and swarm drone threats. The innovative system was designed as an intentional, single-pulse to repetition rate, high-power electromagnetic radiator. Due to its portable size, low weight, low power requirements, and effectivity, SPEAR provides Counter small Unmanned Aircraft System (C-sUAS) capabilities to ground vehicles, fixed platforms, and field troops. Ultrawide bandwidth permits engagement of targets without prior knowledge of specific vulnerabilities and the system features an ability to disrupt and destroy targets with both front-and-back-door coupling.”
Other features include:
- Counter heterogeneous sUAS swarms simultaneously without prior knowledge of threat type
- Defeat ranges beyond distances associated with Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) / Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition (RSTA) type UAS swarm attack distances
- System electromagnetically couples with heterogeneous target systems regardless of size
- Independent of threat orientation due to simultaneous horizontal and vertical polarization
- Rapid deployment; instantaneous effectivity
- Easily transportable, set-up/power-up in seconds to minutes
For more information
11 Oct 22. SAIC “developed, tested and delivered” new net-capture C-UAS system. SAIC reports it has developed, tested and delivered a net-captured based counter UAS system capable of detecting, tracking, identifying and defeating UAS threats at home and abroad. At a recent operational test event SAIC successfully demonstrated a 92% total mission effectiveness against multiple targets, said the company.
A video is available here: https://www.facebook.com/SAICinc/videos/1379576799234325/ (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
11 Oct 22. Anduril launches AI-based Mobile Sentry drone detector. At AUSA 2022 Anduril has launched Mobile Sentry, “a ruggedized, mobile platform that uses artificial intelligence for highly accurate, persistent autonomous ground or air awareness, anywhere,” says the company. “Mobile Sentry leverages AI-enabled edge processing, continuous 360 monitoring and a variety of radars and sensors to autonomously identify, detect and track objects of interest in a given environment.
“Mobile Sentry is multi-mission capable and can be customized with a variety of sensors, payloads or communications equipment for autonomous force protection and counter UAS at forward-deployed military bases, borders, oil and gas fields or other critical infrastructure.
“Mobile Sentry can be positioned, set up, calibrated and operational in under 20 minutes by one operator with no specialized MOS, training or Anduril support required. It is infrastructure independent, with integrated power generation and uninterrupted power supply battery solutions
“The vehicle was designed to be easily transportable and can fly to locations via military aircraft (fixed wing C-17, C-130, or internal rotary wing CH-47) and sling load. It can be towed on or off-road by both military and commercial vehicles. Mobile Sentry is powered by Lattice OS. Sensor fusion and object detection are performed at the edge in real-time to present operators with decision points, not noise, even in environments with denied, disconnected, intermittent or limited bandwidth. For more information: https://blog.anduril.com/introducing-mobile-sentry-d1fe847793bb (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
11 Oct 22. Rafael’s Iron Beam HELWS “on track to become first operational laser defence system.”
Israel Defense reports that Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and its US subsidiary have presented the Iron Beam High Energy Laser Weapon System (HELWS) at AUSA 2022.
According to the news outlet:
“The Iron Beam is the first laser system of its kind to have been documented intercepting a range of aerial threats. According to the company, it is on track to become the first operational laser-based defense system that effectively intercepts a wide spectrum of threats – including RAM and UAVs as well as swarms of mini-UAVs – with pinpoint accuracy from a range of a few hundred yards to up to several miles. Iron beam is designed to complement the world-renowned IRON DOME air defense system, bolstering Rafael’s multi-layered defense portfolio.”
Iron Beam is a 100kW class High Energy Laser Weapon System (HELWS) expected to become the first operational system in its class, reports Rafael. “It is designed to intercept a wide range of threats such as RAM and UAVs from a distance of a few hundred meters to up to several kilometers. The system can be integrated on multiple platforms and may be a complementary HEL interceptor to any multilayer defense array.”
For more information: https://www.israeldefense.co.il/en/node/56007; https://www.rafael.co.il/worlds/land/iron-beam/ (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
11 Oct 22. US Army awards Raytheon a USD207m C-UAS contract.
Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a Raytheon Technologies business has been awarded a USD207 m U.S. Army contract for Ku-band Radio Frequency Sensors, or KuRFS, and Coyote® effectors. Under the contract, the systems will equip two U.S. Army divisions. Additional assets will also be provided to support ongoing Army flight tests and operational deployments.
According to a company press release:
“As part of the U.S. Army’s Low, slow, small unmanned aircraft Integrated Defeat System, called LIDS, KuRFS provides advanced 360-degree threat detection, while Coyote low-cost effectors defeat drones…. The KuRFS precision targeting radar and the scaled Ku-720 mobile sensing radar deliver persistent detection, identification and tracking of airborne threats. The Coyote Block 2 kinetic and Block 3 non-kinetic effectors defeat single drones and swarms varying in size and maneuverability, and at higher altitudes and longer ranges than similar class effectors.
“The U.S. Army’s LIDS integrates KuRFS and the Coyote family of effectors with Northrop Grumman’s Forward Area Air Defense Command and Control system, or FAADC2, and Syracuse Research Corporation’s electronic warfare system. Together, these systems create a multi-mission fixed, transportable or mobile deployed system that provides a complete extended-range defense solution.”
“KuRFS and Coyote are recognized as critical capabilities for the effective defense against the proliferating UAS threat,” said Tom Laliberty president of Land Warfare & Air Defense at Raytheon Missiles & Defense. “Together with the U.S. Army, we’ve matured the technologies and developed an integrated solution that can protect and defend assets, infrastructure and personnel against the complex threat of enemy drones.”
For more information: https://www.raytheonmissilesanddefense.com/news/2022/10/06/rmd-awarded-207-m-counter-uas-contract (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
10 Oct 22. Indian armed forces and industry “developing anti-drone swarm defence system.”
The Indian Army is reported to be developing a counter drone warm defence system. In August 2022 the Indian press announced the Indian Army had ordered swarm drones from two Indian startups — Bengaluru-based NewSpace Research and Technology and Noida-based Raphe mPhibr Private Limited. Now, Unmanned Airspace understands, the Indian Army is planning to develop and operate a counter swarm technology based on domestic technology.
India’s Economic Explosives Limited (EEL), also known as the Solar Group, is reported to be developing a micro-missile based C-UAS anti-swarm system with both soft kill and hard kill capability.
According to the company’s website:
“The proposed system under development contains a large number of 2 kg micro-missiles which can effectively engage hostile drones up to a range of 2 km. Designed for rapid operational deployment on a highly mobile system, a micro-missile cassette/pod containing 24 / 36 / 48 missiles achieve a heavy and sustained volume of fire and can be seamlessly integrated with a Radar and a Jammer on a 4×4, 2.5 Ton Vehicle or any other vehicle as deemed appropriate like an All Terrain Vehicle. The Radar based detection system will have a detection range of 4-5 km, which would be subsequently ‘classified’ using an Electro-Optics System at a distance of 2 km. Our Indigenous counter drone system (CDS) solution will also be having a Soft Kill capability to jam Satellite based Navigation Systems and RF Communication Systems of hostile drones supplementing a micro-missiles based Hard Kill system. This is to also ensure that the kinetic kill option may not always be the preferred option in a sensitive area apprehending collateral damage or for fear of fratricide. Use of high speed Killer Drone as an economical hard kill option is also under development which will be additional to Micro-missile.
“A micro-missile based Hard Kill system will have multiple advantages in comparison to a singular laser based system in terms of system portability, capability to handle swarms of drones (simultaneous multiple targeting), larger standoff neutralisation of hostile drones, and ruggedness to survive harsh battlefield realities and environment.Another variant of this system under development will be a shoulder launched missile of weight 1 kg that can be fired by a jawan to inflict a hard kill up to 600 m range. This will be a good tactical solution along our LC, LAC,IB, coastline or even hinterland.”
14 Oct 22. CSIR’s K-Line fire detection camera now UAV-mounted. The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) successfully tested its K-Line fire detection camera on an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The camera was originally launched into space aboard the ZACube-2 micro satellite in December 2018.
K-Line was initially developed by the CSIR, government’s technology development house, to detect fires from space. The CSIR is currently receiving images from the satellite-mounted K-Line, but believes the system can find a wider range of use if fitted on unmanned aerial vehicles.
A drone mounted K-Line unit has the advantage of being able to detect fires when launched – the ZACube-2 satellite is in a low-earth orbit and as it is not over South Africa at all times its ability to detect fires is intermittent.
The CSIR drone-mounted unit uses two cameras – one to take images of background and the other to detect fires. By using the near infrared spectrum and a special filter, the unit is able to detect potassium emitted by fires on the ground. A special filter allows the unit to reduce false alarm incidents from the ground.
With the drone-mounted unit proven, Edwin Magidimisha, CSIR Senior Physicist and K-Line Project Leader, said fire detection from further distances will be tested. The aim is to improve the information stream and payload battery life. The drone-mounted K-Line unit is self-contained and is easily attached to UAV platforms. Magidimisha said a multi-rotor UAV was used to test the K-Line unit with trials on a fixed wing unmanned aircraft in the offing.
The system has a number of environmental and economic uses including early detection of forest or crop fires. Its role in defence and security would potentially focus on its ability to detect artillery fire and gunshots and to locate enemy forces by cooking fires.
The K-Line camera was one of several security innovations showcased by the CSIR at September’s Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) exhibition. Other capabilities highlighted included a C-Band phased array synthetic aperture radar (SAR) payload (SAR-C); a locally developed biometric system for children; a contactless fingerprint recognition device; a cybersecurity early warning software system; Meerkat wide area surveillance system; and an asset and fleet management system providing situational awareness around business operations.
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