Sponsored by Blighter Surveillance Systems
01 Dec 22. US Approves FS-LIDS C-UAV System for Qatar. The US Department of State has approved the sale of counter-unmanned aerial vehicle systems estimated to be worth USD 1bn, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced on 29 November.
The approval covers 10 Fixed Site-Low, Slow, Small UAV Integrated Defeat Systems (FS-LIDS) and 200 Coyote Block 2 interceptors, as well as associated equipment and services.
The FS-LIDS is a ‘system of systems’ developed by SRC Technology for the US Army and uses the company’s AN/TPQ-50 counter-fire radar and electro-optic cameras to detect and track small UAVs. Targets can be engaged using an electronic warfare system or Coyote interceptors.
The Coyote was originally developed by Raytheon as a multi-purpose disposable UAV/loitering munition. The Block 2 has a small jet turbine engine, making it faster than the propellor-driven Block 1, and the original’s fold-out wings were replaced with fixed ones along the side of its fuselage, making the new variant look more like a missile than a UAV.
While Raytheon has not published performance specifications, it has released a video showing Coyote Block 2s destroying several UAVs with proximity explosions during tests at the Yuma Proving Ground in August 2021. The Coyote is used with Raytheon’s Ku-band Radio Frequency System (KuRFS) multifunction radar, which the company says can detect a 9 mm bullet, making it ideal for identifying small aircraft in a cluttered environment. (Source: UAS VISION/Janes
01 Dec 22. RDARS Adds Mesh Mod V1.0 Networking to Eagle Watch Platform.
RDARS Inc. (“RDARS” or the “Company”) (CSE: RDRS) (OTCQB: RDRSF), an autonomous robotics and drone technology company developing advanced systems for alarm system augmentation and surveillance, is pleased to announce that it has finalized development and testing of its unique and patent pending Eagle Watch Mesh Mod V1.0.
This advancement enables remote Eagle Nest stations and Eagle Eye drones to communicate with each other locally and offer a remote Command and Control Centre option for enhanced operations. In deployments where the property footprint is large enough to require more than one Eagle Nest station and Eagle Eye Drone pairing, in order to provide more complete security coverage the Eagle Nests stations and Eagle Eye drones will have the option of communicating directly with each other via intelligent co-ordination. This will help to provide the utmost security surveillance, reporting, and intervention possible. The new functionality of the Mesh Mod Eagle Watch provides the operator the option to have the Eagle Watch Platform automatically decide which Eagle Eye Drone or Eagle Nest Station responds in a given situation, and arranges the timing of take-offs and landings for a more continuous coverage.
Additionally, each Eagle Nest station acts as an uplink for any other Eagle Nest drone in its vicinity, offering redundancy for enhanced command and controlled reliability. Jason Braverman, CTO adds, “What makes this so amazing, is that beyond the intelligence now programmed into the Eagle Eye drones and Eagle Nest stations, in many ways this solution becomes self healing. For example, if one Nest is connected to SpaceX’s Starlink, and the other Nests nearby lose communication uplinks for any reason, they can send their data via the Starlink connected Nest.”
The uniqueness about Eagle Watch’s software platform, is that it is completely developed in-house by RDARS, a tailored rarity not found in other packages available on the market today. Eagle Watch represents all the concepts and features, which the industry has learned over the last decade and adds new technologies not found anywhere else in the UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems). From UAS to UGV (Unmanned Ground Vehicles), Eagle Watch has a critical mission for a fault tolerant platform, ready for global deployment.
RDARS believes that the future stems from the beyond line-of-sight of the UAS systems that requires the necessary tools to integrate these systems safely into the National Airspace.
Charles Zwebner, CEO denotes, “having a localized deployed network on a property with multiple Autonomous-Drones-in-Boxes “swarm” of Eagle Nest Stations and Eagle Eye Drones communicating and coordinating intelligent security monitoring and protocols to the Eagle Watch platform is a dream of the future, and we have achieved it today. This is an innovative design, technological breakthrough, and milestone for the company and we are looking to deploy this as soon as possible in the field.” “We are anticipating 2023 to be a banner year for RDARS” added Charles.
About RDARS Inc.
RDARS possesses a disruptive technology that is advancing the security industry’s approach to protecting commercial, industrial, and residential properties, by introducing protection with autonomous artificial intelligence systems that allows for real time response, situation awareness, verification, intervention, evidence recording, data capture, analysis, and immediate downstream transmissions to public safety agencies. RDARS has the ability, upon a property security breach, in real time to receive, analyze, and downstream the data and inform public safety agencies who the perpetrators potentially are before they even arrive at the property.
Founded in 2019, RDARS is an originator in its innovative equipment manufacturer of its flagship product, the Eagle Watch Platform comprising of Eagle Eye, a drone, Eagle Nest, a drone station, Eagle Rover, an indoor robotic system, and Eagle Watch Command & Control Software. The Company’s autonomous robotic systems provide situational awareness in a cost effective and reliable manner. The Company’s mission is to improve alarm response and situational awareness by obtaining required approvals from federal regulatory agencies for BVLOS operations. RDARS is currently developing its technology for private and enterprise customers in the United States and Canada, where these customers require a more reliable and advanced understanding of their property security. For more information about RDARS, please visit its website at www.rdars.com and its profile page on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. (Source: PR Newswire)
29 Nov 22. Rafael’s Drone Dome Recommended by US DoD. The U.S. Department of Defense’s (DoD) Joint Counter-small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Office (JCO) named and recommended for C-sUAS As A Service (CaaS) the DRONE DOME system, provided via Rafael Systems Global Sustainment (RSGS), earlier this month. This is following a series of demonstrations of the system completed at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, in April of this year.
DRONE DOME successfully demonstrated its C-UAS capabilities, which included accurate detection, identification and soft-kill capabilities against a variety of drone targets and is now eligible and has been recommended to compete for future CaaS contract opportunities.
Throughout the demonstration, DRONE DOME utilized an RPS-42 radar, an EO/IR system, and an RF detection & mitigation system. Several of these components are already integrated into US systems and are globally deployed. Additionally, DRONE DOME has a configurable architecture that can be adapted for different operational demands and to confront a variety of threats.
About DRONE DOME: DRONE DOME is an innovative end-to-end, combat-proven counter-Unmanned Aerial System (C-UAS), providing all-weather, 360-degree rapid defense against hostile drones.
Fully operational and globally deployed, DRONE DOME offers a modular, robust infrastructure comprised of Detection and Classification by electronic sensors, Defeating by kinetic (Laser) and electronic (Jammer) effectors, and unique artificial intelligence algorithms within Multi sensors/Multi effectors, open architecture Command and Control (C2), to effectively secure threatened air space.
DRONE DOME’s artificial intelligence capabilities provide a more precise picture of the incoming threat. This additional information allows the system to both detect and identify specific threat elements more accurately and engage and neutralize the target faster and more efficiently. The system’s flexibility across military and civil applications offers advanced protection for maneuvering forces, sensitive facilities, border protection, as well as increasingly vulnerable civilian targets like airports and other public facilities.
Eric L. Brown, Chief Technology Officer for Rafael Systems Global Sustainment:
“We are proud to see this advanced RAFAEL technology being successfully demonstrated by our American partners on American soil. The decision by the JCO further illustrates the effectiveness and the relevance of the DRONE DOME system in confronting emerging threats in a rapidly changing aerial domain.“ (Source: ASD Network)
29 Nov 22. UK airborne early warning capability gap widens. Delivery of the first E-7 aircraft from Boeing will now not take place until 2024 at the earliest.
Continued delays to the introduction of new airborne early warning (AEW) platforms mean that 2023 will come and go with the UK unable to field an indigenous fixed-wing AEW capability, a further increase of a gap in UK national security capability.
The creation of this critical capability gap resulted from the early retirement of the E-3D Sentry platform from Raf service in 2021, while the replacement E-7 Wedgetail programme will not see first aircraft delivery until 2024, at the earliest. In addition, the initial operating capability (IOC), the point at which the aircraft will be able to begin undertaking security roles within the overall UK military structure, is even further away.
During a UK Defence Committee hearing on 29 November it was also revealed that the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) is still drawing up a new business case for the E-7 programme, following the decision in 2020 to reduce the planned fleet of five aircraft to just three airframes. The aircraft are being provided by US defence giant Boeing, which also supports the type in service with South Korea, Australia, and Turkey.
Providing evidence to the committee, Anna Keeling, managing director of Boeing Defence UK, stated that delivery to the UK of the first E-7 Wedgetail would now take place “later in 2024”, rather than 2023 as originally planned.
Given these figures, and the retirement of the Sentry fleet in September 2021, the UK will have to endure a fixed-wing AEW capability gap that could now extend to more than 36 months before the first replacement platform is even delivered, with an even greater delay in reaching military IOC.
Citing difficulties in global supply chain, primarily as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, Keeling also confirmed that Boeing UK was seeing an average delay of 244 days for in-country sourcing of long lead items and parts.
UK company STS Aviation will convert three secondhand Boeing 737NG aircraft operated in the commercial sector into the E-7 Wedgetail configuration, which will deliver AEW capability to the UK military. The original business case for the fleet of five aircraft was valued at nearly $2bn.
The UK maintains a network of ground-based early warning sites, such as RAF Fylingdales in Yorkshire, to monitor the skies and space around the country for threats. However, fixed sites are vulnerable to first attack, and, theoretically, the destruction of such sites at any point in the next two years would leave the country unable to properly defend itself.
It is possible that this key gap in UK national security is being filled by the joint NATO E-3 capability based in mainland Europe, ironically using the same type of aircraft the UK withdrew from service more than one year ago.
Crowsnest specifications to be changed
It also emerged at the UK Defence Committee session that the Merlin Crowsnest rotary-wing AEW system, which is designed to provide the UK Royal Navy with its own embarked airborne surveillance platform onboard its Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers, will undergo further changes following lessons learned by the operator on recent deployments.
Paul Livingston , UK chief executive at Lockheed Martin , said that since the company went on contract to deliver the Crowsnest capability, the Royal Navy has since changed what specifications the capability should have in the future. This will entail the removal of some functions from the overall system that have been deemed as unnecessary, while embedding new capabilities that were not originally included.
Livingston confirmed to the committee that Lockheed Martin was seeking to change specifications of the Crowsnest based on the needs of the UK MoD. The capability was deployed while on IOC with HMS Queen Elizabeth in 2021, but will remain in service for less than a decade with its expected withdrawal in 2029. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
29 Nov 22. BAE Systems Demonstrates the Effectiveness of APKWS® Against Agile, High-Speed Military Drones.
BAE Systems completed additional ground-to-air test firings to prove the effectiveness of 70mm rockets guided by APKWS® guidance kits against Class-2 unmanned aerial systems (UAS) that weigh roughly 25-50 pounds and can travel at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour.
During the demonstration in Southern Arizona, five APKWS-guided counter-UAS rockets were fired from a containerized weapon system and destroyed all targets, including fast-moving drones. The test results further demonstrate APKWS guidance kits’ ability to enable low-cost, precision strikes against airborne threats.
“Militarized drones are becoming more prevalent in conflicts around the world, and we’re giving our customers an efficient way to counter them without wasting expensive missiles,” said Greg Procopio, director of Precision Guidance and Sensing Solutions at BAE Systems. “Our tests demonstrate that APKWS guidance kits have the flexibility to engage a variety of targets to meet the evolving mission needs of the warfighter.”
The 70mm rockets can destroy Class-2 aerial drones by combining standard motors and warheads with APKWS guidance kits and proven proximity/point-detonation fuzes. The resulting precision munition is a low-cost, supersonic, lock-on-after-launch strike weapon with a large 10-pound warhead that can destroy large drones in a matter of seconds with or without direct contact.
Combat-proven APKWS-guided rockets are highly effective against a variety of soft and armored stationary and moving targets. They can be fired by many different platforms, including jets, helicopters, trucks, boats, and weapon stations, and stowed APKWS guidance kits protect seeker optics from adjacent rocket fire, unlike nose-mounted seeker optics. APKWS guidance kits are the only U.S. government program of record for 70mm laser-guided rockets. The kits are available to all U.S. armed forces, as well as U.S. allies via Foreign Military Sales.
APKWS guidance kits are produced at BAE Systems manufacturing facilities in Hudson, New Hampshire and Austin, Texas. For more information about APKWS guidance kits, visit: www.baesystems.com/apkws. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
29 Nov 22. Digital Global Systems RF Detection Integrated Into Indra CROW Counter-UAS. Indra Sistemas, S.A,, a leading global technology engineering company for the aerospace, defense, and mobility sectors, has integrated leading-edge RF detection from Digital Global Systems (DGS) into its CROW counter-UAS platform. With DGS RF detection, CROW adapts to the specific needs of the environment being protected; integrates and combines use of different sensors and countermeasures; with the possibility of redundant use of sensors in terms of both number and location.
Advancements in wireless and computer processing have enabled devices to become smaller and more capable. Just as innovation has delivered increased capability, Radio Frequency-enabled devices significantly increase vulnerability and risk. Cyber and physical security strategies must now include components that address threats from RF-enabled devices.
DGS CLEARSKY™ provides anomalous signal detection and multiple geolocation techniques for any signal of interest in the 70 MHz to 6 GHz range. Anomalous signals include:
- Unintentional interference
- Intentional signal interruption (jamming)
- Communications devices encroaching on a protected area
- UAVs (aka “drones”)
Fernando Murias, Chairman and CEO of DGS, stated, “We recognize Indra as a global leader in the defense industry. They are rigorous about selecting components for CROW and we are thrilled to be included in this leading-edge solution for drone threat management.”
CLEARSKY™ combines machine learning and a real-time analysis of signal characteristics to rapidly detect drones and other anomalous activity without the reliance on a library of known drone signals. Additionally, CLEARSKY™ is frequency agnostic, meaning a transmissions can be detected and classified outside of frequency bands where drones typically operate. This ensures that drones that have been modified to operate outside the regulated frequencies can be detected.
Founded in 2013 and headquartered in northern Virginia, DGS blends broad experience and deep expertise in the fields of telecommunications, critical infrastructure protection, and defense. DGS has been awarded approximately 100 patents with 25 patents pending for the advancement of spectrum monitoring and RF data management, enabling the capture and analysis of wideband spectrum data at the point of intercept for applications that deliver real-time situational awareness. (Source: PR Newswire)
25 Nov 22. Gurutvaa Systems ramp up Dronaam C-UAS deliveries to IAF. Indian company Gurutvaa Systems has despatched the first bulk production lot of its Dronaam counter-unmanned aerial system (C-UAS) to the Indian Air Force (IAF).
Speaking to Janes on 24 November, Sandeep Dawkhar, vice-president of Gurutvaa Systems, said that the first lot of Dronaam C-UAS was recently despatched. He added that prior to the despatch, a team of officials from the IAF’s Directorate of the Air Staff Requirements approved the C-UAS production lot at the company’s facility in Pune, Maharashtra.
This delivery formed part of an undisclosed number of Dronaam C-UASs ordered by the IAF in August 2021, Dawkhar said. He added that the recent despatch was the first time that deliveries were carried out in bulk quantities. According to the company, Dronaam is an indigenously developed C-UAS, effective at disrupting the global navigation satellite system (GNSS) navigation and jamming radio frequencies of rogue UAVs. (Source: Janes)
29 Nov 22. Vision4ce, a Chess Dynamics brand, has today announced a next generation tracking feature for its CHARM Video Target Trackers product range. Incorporating machine learning and AI into the image processing of target tracking brings improved performance in complex scenarios, including automated acquisition and reacquisition of targets. The software upgrade ensures reliable targeting of small agile targets such as drones/swarms, autonomous surface vessels, and jet skis without the need of intervention by the operator when a target becomes obscured or changes perception angle. This capability extends to vehicles and people in crowded ground scenes as well as aircraft in the presence of cloud clutter.
John Thornton, Director of Image Processing at Vision4ce comments, ‘This is a significant capability enhancement for our customers. The CHARM tracker is now even more resilient, capable of maintaining robust tracks even with challenging targets, and provides enhanced adaptability to rapid changes of the target, augmenting an already impressive range of products.
‘This software upgrade showcases our commitment of the Vision4ce brand to continuously develop capabilities that both lengthen the life and augment the performance of customers’ products. Innovations that ultimately meet ever-evolving requirements,’
Machine Learning and AI for Improved Video Target Tracking
The Vision4ce CHARM product range offers video target tracking capability and meets different form factor requirements.
This new feature, for the CHARM 100 and CHARM 100 NX exploits AI-based methods to maintain tracks in complex scenes. This provides increased probability of reacquisition and reduced frequency of seduction by false targets due to improved bounding of the target.
Automatic target reacquisition removes the requirement for manual reacquisition following loss of a track to reduce the burden on the operator and simplify the target acquisition process.
28 Nov 22. US Army air defense planners take on rising drone threats. A U.S. Army organization created to guide air- and missile-defense modernization is taking on a new mission to focus on countering drone threats, its new leader said in a recent interview.
Service officials have divided up the job of defeating enemy unmanned aircraft among a variety of organizations. For example, the Army is already leading the Pentagon’s Joint Counter-small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Office, or the JCO, which is tasked to evaluate and field new technologies for combatting UAS threats in a variety of ways. The office has requirements in place to support selected systems and hosts technology rodeos twice a year to evaluate new technology for possible future integration.
Then there’s the service’s Rapid Capability and Critical Technologies Office working on solutions for countering drones to include directed energy and high-power microwave systems.
The Army’s Program Executive Office Missiles and Space is there to figure out how to bring ready capability to the force as programs of record, and now Army Futures Command’s Air and Missile Defense Cross-Functional Team will work on requirements to support the development of new and advanced capabilities, Col. Patrick Costello, the AMD CFT lead, told Defense News in an interview last month.
Receiving this newest mission, Costello said, “is a realization that counter-UAS is a team sport and it requires coordination with the PEO, it requires coordination with the RCCTO and a close relationship with the JCO.”
Army leaders have sounded the alarm — based on observations in Ukraine, where Russian military is using drones for targeting, attack, and surveillance — that countering UAS needs to be a high priority and that the service needs a comprehensive toolkit to combat emerging drone threats.
Officials are now trying to balance the urgency of what is needed immediately with the needs of tomorrow, and that is its “biggest challenge,” Costello said.
The team’s other missions include developing the future Integrated Air and Missile Defense system including new sensors and shooters, developing the command-and-control system that ties elements together on the battlefield, and short-range air defense.
The CFT will recommend priorities for research and technology development and science and technology efforts and “kind of make sure that those are binned in the right way,” Costello said.
And the team will also synchronize efforts with the Fires Center of Excellence at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, where the AMD CFT is also situated, on what formations and training will be required. The joint training base for countering UAS is moving from Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, to Fort Sill in the coming years, Costello noted.
Working with relevant Capabilities Development and Integration Directorates like the Maneuver CDID, for example, the CFT is helping to develop what is needed for the operational force at the Brigade Combat Team level and below, Costello said, “because this is not just an air defense problem.”
The hope is to “synchronize all of these disparate efforts and make sure that we have a strategy where we’re not ending up with 152 systems on the battlefield that don’t talk to each other,” he stressed.
All of the organizations involved in coordinating counter-UAS capabilities acknowledge that there’s no silver bullet to getting after the problem, Costello noted, and what is needed for installations in the United States is going to be different from semi-fixed or fixed sites in another theater, according to Costello. “Then in the close fight, the operational force, the dismounted folks, soldiers don’t need the same capabilities that the mounted folks do,” he added.
One focus area for the CFT is technology to help aid decisions in how to counter drone threats. “Especially when it’s a non-air-defense soldier,” Costello said, “what is the best capability against a [small drone]? It’s probably not a Stinger [missile], it sure as heck isn’t a Patriot [missile]. We’ve seen that happen in places and it’s just not necessary.”
Outside of that, the CFT is looking at how best to layer capabilities such as electronic warfare, directed energy and kinetic solutions, Costello said.
Just because the AMD CFT is just now adopting counter-UAS as a focus area doesn’t mean the Army isn’t in a good position, Brig. Gen. Frank Lozano, the Army’s program executive officer for missiles and space, said in the same interview.
“Even though it may be a new assignment to the CFT, it’s something that we’ve been working closely with Fort Sill on for many years,” he said. “The goodness of the cross-functional team is that it helps coalesce the team to work in a more coordinated manner to get to the outcome, the vision, the Army wants us to achieve.” (Source: Defense News)
25 Nov 22. Cranking the Power on Radar Capabilities.
- DARPA looks to build on previous success in radio frequency power output with new transistor-focused THREADS program
Military and civilian uses for radar range broadly, and the possibilities for radar applications expand almost every day. Whether they are being used to navigate, control air traffic, track weather patterns, carry out search-and-rescue missions, map terrain, or countless other functions, radar technologies are constantly advancing.
As radio-frequency (RF) systems, radar capabilities hinge on the ability to sense and communicate across long distances while maintaining signal strength. Powerful RF signal capabilities extend mission-critical communications and situational awareness, but the microelectronic technologies that strengthen RF output – specifically, high power density transistors – must overcome thermal limitations to operate reliably and at significantly higher capacity.
Technologies for Heat Removal in Electronics at the Device Scale (THREADS) aims to overcome the thermal limits inherent to internal circuitry operations in general, and to critical power-amplifying functions specifically. Today, RF systems operate well below the limits of electronic capacity simply because the transistors, the basic building blocks of RF amplifiers, get too hot. With new materials and approaches to diffusing the heat that degrades performance and mission life, THREADS targets thermal management challenges at the transistor level.
Central to this effort will be reducing the thermal resistance involved in dissipating internal heat without degrading performance or increasing the footprint of the transistors key to advancing radar capabilities. To that end, the work under THREADS in overcoming thermal limits can help realize robust, high power density transistors that operate near their fundamental electronic limit – achieving new levels in amplifying RF output power.
“Wide bandgap transistors, such as gallium nitride (GaN), were developed specifically to improve output density in power amplifiers – and GaN does provide a greater than 5x improvement compared to previous-generation transistor technology. We also know that a further order-of-magnitude increase in power output is possible in GaN, but it can’t be realized in sustained operation today due to excessive waste heat,” said Thomas Kazior, the DARPA program manager for THREADS. “If we can relax the heat problem, we can crank up the amplifier and increase the range of radar. If the program is successful, we’re looking at increasing the range of radar by a factor of 2x to 3x.” (Source: ASD Network)
28 Nov 22. Aaronia provides protection against drone threats at G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia. Aaronia reports successful protection of conference hotels against rogue drone threats at the 17th G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia, 15-16 November 2022. The German counter drone company contributed to security infrastructure for 20 world leaders, 10 leaders from participating guest states, as well as members from the delegations of these 30 states.
AARONIA states that drone detection has taken on a more significant role in the G20 Summits’ security apparatus as drone technology continues to develop rapidly, prices of these drones decrease, and they are more accessible than ever before. In addition to these trends in drone development, the operation of commercially available drones requires almost no prior knowledge or experience, resulting in a device with a dangerous potential for espionage and terrorist attacks.
To minimize the threat of these drones, the Indonesian Mobile Brigade Corps (Brimob), a special unit of the National Police dedicated, among other things, to anti-terrorist measures and responsible for the security of the G20 Summit, relied on Aaronia’s AARTOS drone detection system together with its local Indonesian partner J-Forces. The AARTOS DDS was selected to ensure the security of some of the world’s most important leaders, says the Aaronia press release.
AARTOS not only determines the position, speed, and altitude of drones, but also determines the location of their operators in real-time. In addition to these features, the AAROTS system is able to scan the entire drone frequency spectrum, including parallel scans of different frequencies. Allowing for the location of any type of drone, not just commercially available ones on common frequencies. The easy integration process of the system was another reason why Brimob chose AARTOS DDS, as well as the fact that an expert team from AARONIA could be deployed on site to support Brimob with the installation and operation of the system at any time.
Immediately following the installation of the system, all drones used by Indonesian security authorities for surveillance and intelligence were first detected. The drones thus detected were stored in the system as “friendly” so that they could operate undisturbed without triggering an alarm.
“The security and speed of the AARTOS system’s drone detection convinced us, as did its excellent detection range. Another reason why we like AARTOS was the fact that an expert team from AARONIA could deploy onside in terms of operating the system at any time,” said Colonel Irfan, Mobile Brigade Corps. For more information: www.aaronia.com (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
25 Nov 22. US ANG issues fielding recommendation for Leonardo’s BriteCloud 218. The milestone marks the completion of extensive live trial campaigns under OSD’s FCT programme. The US Air National Guard (ANG ) has released a fielding recommendation for BriteCloud 218 active decoy technology, developed by Italian aerospace and defence company Leonardo.
Announced by the company, the issuance of fielding recommendations comes after the successful completion of extensive live trials and evaluation campaigns.
It was conducted by the US Armed Forces, under the Office of Secretary of Defense (OSD ) Foreign Comparative Testing (FCT) programme.
The new capability has been under testing on the US Air Force’s (USAF) F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft since 2019.
As a result of all the assessments, the service concluded that the BriteCloud expendable decoy fulfils all its operational requirements and can successfully provide enhanced platform protection to any fourth-generation fighter jet such as the F-16.
Subsequently, the USAF has identified BriteCloud as an airborne electronic warfare (EW) countermeasure capability. It will be designated as ‘AN/ALQ-260(V)1’ in the US Armed Forces service.
The latest milestone marks one of the final stages of the programme that will further cement the BriteCloud 218 decoy as a proven solution for operational use with the USAF.
Compared to conventional expendable countermeasures, BriteCloud 218 provides upgraded aircraft protection using its latest-generation Digital Radio Frequency Memory jammer that can be launched from any standard countermeasure dispenser.
According to Leonardo , the BriteCloud decoy uses onboard EW technology to deter radar-guided threats, instead of depending on the traditional chaff and flares mechanism.
Introduced in 2017 by Leonardo in the UK, BriteCloud 218 is already in service with the UK Royal Air Force.
This threat protection capability can also be used with smaller uncrewed platforms and has already been tested with the German Armed Forces’ remotely piloted air target systems in 2021. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
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.