Sponsored by Blighter Surveillance Systems
10 Dec 20. Netline unveils its new DroneNet RD Jammer – a tactical rapid deployment anti-drone jammer, that challenges the limitations of small form-factor systems. Compact and lightweight yet powerful and efficient, the MIL-STD solution can be rapidly deployed in the operational arena, protecting temporary compounds and assembly areas.
Netline Communications Technologies Ltd. – a leading developer and manufacturer of high-end electronic warfare and spectrum dominance systems for defense forces and homeland security agencies – is unveiling its new DroneNet RD Jammer – a rapid deployment (RD) tactical drone jamming solution that meets the US Military Standards (MIL-STD) and offers superior performance and fast, easy deployment, while being very compact.
The DroneNet RD Jammer is the latest addition to the DroneNet family of comprehensive solutions designed to prevent unauthorized drones entering protected airspace, such as over deployed military forces, over strategic facilities, or in VIP protection arenas, whether on the move or stationary. Easy to operate, assemble and transport, the DroneNet RD jammer can be quickly deployed, mounted on a tripod mast, by a small tactical operating team.
The DroneNet solution provides a multi-layered response to unauthorized drones. First, the DroneNet DF sensor detects the drone trying to enter protected airspace, identifies its type and the location from which it has arrived on the scene. The new SDR-based RD jammer then effectively jams communication between the drone and its operator on ISM bands, as well as the GPS signal used by the drone.
Providing coverage of all relevant frequency bands used by commercially-available drones, each of its five bands addresses a different communication channel used by the drone for a different purpose:
➢ Disabling the drone’s control & telemetry channel, resulting in loss of control over the drone
➢ Blocking the video downlink transmission
➢ Jamming the GPS signal to disable the drone’s navigation and stabilization capabilities.
Compact and rugged, the new DroneNet RD jammer has completed military standards qualification testing and is now ready to support operations in harsh weather conditions.
“The new capability of the DroneNet RD jammer is based on the same building blocks as our proven jamming systems, which have been operational in many combat zones worldwide for over two decades,” says Yallon Bahat, CEO of Netline. “Developing a tactical drone jammer, with capabilities often available only in larger and heavier systems, is a challenge on its own. I’m very proud that Netline has achieved this, despite the global COVID 19 crisis. The company has proven its resilience and commitment to its customers by staying focused and attentive to their needs, even in these challenging times, giving tactical teams autonomy with a system that can be deployed within minutes, and most importantly keeping them safe.”
The system can be supplied with either directional or omni-directional antennas. If required, more complex arrays can also be provided, such as mounted rotating directional antennas or switched antennas. Such installations can significantly increase energy efficiency and jamming power when combined with a direction-finding capability, either from Netline’s DroneNet system or from an external source via the Application Programming Interface (Source: UAS VISION/API)
04 Dec 20. Low and Slow. New H-160M helicopters equipping the French Air Force and French Navy could receive Thales Airmaster-C radars to assist their detection of air and sea targets. New French Air Force helicopters supporting the air interception of low and slow air targets will have their mission assisted by new radar technology.
The Armée de l’Air (ADLA/French Air Force) flies several Eurocopter/Airbus Helicopter AS-555AN Fennece light utility helicopters for the interception of uncooperative low and slow air targets.
The ADLA’s MASA mission (Mesure Active de Sûreté Aérienne/Active Aviation Security Measures) uses AS-555ANs to intercept targets like light aircraft or paragliders which might inadvertently or deliberately threaten strategic installations, cities or major events.
The French government activated the mission in the wake of the 11th September 2001 attacks on New York and Washington DC. Like other governments around the world, there was a palpable fear that light aircraft could be commandeered and used for suicide attacks. Combat aircraft like the ADLA’s Dassault Rafale and Mirage-2000 series jets were deemed unsuitable for this task; better employed for engaging conventional air threats.
The ADLA hit upon the idea of using the AS-555AN. During a typical mission, a helicopter will carry two air force commandos. They carry large white panels to communicate with the offending aircraft in the event it has suffered a radio failure or is not communicating with air traffic controllers. The helicopter can escort the aircraft away from a potential target. In the worst-case scenario, commandos can use their Heckler and Koch HK-417 7.62mm marksman rifle to shoot down the aircraft or neutralise the pilot.
These helicopters currently lack any air-to-air radar. Instead, they are dependent on controllers vectoring them towards their target. Moreover AS-555ANs in ADLA service will be replaced in the coming five years with new Airbus H-160M Guepard medium-lift utility helicopters.
Some of these aircraft will be earmarked to support the MASA mission. The ADLA should receive up to 40 of the new helicopters by 2028. The Marine Nationale (French Navy) should receive (0 over the same period alongside the Aviation Légère de l’Armée de Terre (ALAT/French Army Light Aviation) which will get 40.
ADS-B and AIS
The ALAT H-160Ms will not be outfitted with Thales’ AirMaster-C X-band (8.5 gigahertz/GHz to 10.68GHz) compact active electronically scanned array airborne surveillance radar, but this radar will adorn the ADLA and Marine Nationale aircraft.
The only difference between the two radar variants is that the AirMaster-Cs equipping the ADLA will have a single panel radar with a 120-degree Field-of-View (FOV) integrating the back end. The navy helicopter will have the same master panel connected to two slave panels providing a 360-degrees FOV.
François Arpagaus, product line director at Thales’ defence mission systems business says that the naval variant of the AirMaster-C has a maximum instrumented range of circa 160 nautical miles (296 kilometres), with the air variant having a range of 50nm (93km).
The design can be outfitted with an integral Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) interrogator/transponder which receives aircraft transponder transmissions across frequencies of 960 megahertz/MHz to 1.164GHz or transmissions from an aircraft’s ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast) system which uses frequencies of 978MHz to 1.090GHz. Both the IFF and ADS-B transmissions will provide the Airmaster-C with details of an aircraft’s identity and flight.
Mr. Arpagaus continues that the Airmaster-C radars could likewise receive an Automatic Identification System (AIS) interrogator/transponder to enrich the radar maritime tactical picture. AIS is mandated by the International Maritime Organisation for all vessels displacing over 300 gross tonnes. AIS transmissions, use frequencies of 161.975MHz to 162.025MHz providing details of a vessel’s identity and voyage.
Design work on the radar has been completed. Mr. Arpagaus says that a prototype could undergo laboratory integration in 2022. Flight trials could begin one year later with the radar’s full qualification expected in 2024. (Source: Armada)
08 Dec 20. ELTA North America Delivers Mobile Counter-sUAS Defense-in-Depth Capability to the U.S. DOD & DHS. ELTA North America announces the delivery of its advanced Counter Drone Solution, the On-The-Move V4 (OTM V4), to address the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense Special Operations / Low-Intensity Conflict (ASD SO/LIC) Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office (CTTSO) Mobile C-sUAS Defense-in-Depth Capability.
The OTM V4 system implements a multi-sensor, multi-layer architecture that protects against various types of rotary and fixed-wing UAS. The solution was designed to be installed on off-road vehicles and operate while on the move. ELTA North America, under contract with CTTSO, has developed and integrated a suite of fixed-site, transportable, and mobile C-UAS solutions, culminating with delivery of the OTM V4 capability. The OTM V4 integrates multiple capabilities to provide: Detection and Tracking through the use of a state-of-the-art fully phased-array, multi-mission 3D radar; Classification from fused sensor data; Identification through a high-performance multi-sensor EO/IR unit capable of tracking and identifying both ground and air targets; Communication through ATAK and a private, secure tactical 4G/LTE network for sharing data across dismounted personnel; Scalable Effects Mitigation to include non-kinetic electronic disruption and deterrence, precision RF drone takeover, a safe route/safe land capture system, and kinetic effects through highly accurate, computer-aided small arms fire.
“ELTA North America’s advanced Mobile C-sUAS Defense-In-Depth capability provides a unique purpose-built Tactical Operator driven integrated solution that will be employed by small tactical teams for dual organic C-sUAS force protection and to enhance situational awareness by identifying and engaging air and ground threats both static and on the move. We look forward to performance feedback of these first systems delivered with training from our supported DoD SOF OCONUS & DHS CONUS Operational Evaluations in 2021,” said Michael J. Trexler, ASD-SO/LIC CTTSO Tactical Operations Government Program Manager.
“We are proud to provide our C-UAS solutions to the U.S. DOD to assist in protecting troops and DHS security agents against the increasing threat of rogue drones,” said ELTA North America CEO William Ostrowski. “The OTM V4 is one of several of our successful C-sUAS products, with hundreds of air defense and C-UAS solutions deployed worldwide. We are confident that this cooperation with CTTSO will provide the military forces with a robust, reliable C-sUAS solution.”
To better understand our ASD SO/LIC CTTSO ELTA North America’s Advanced C-sUAS Development and Training, visit www.cttso.gov/AdvancedC-sUAS.html (Source: PR Newswire)
07 Dec 20. SRC Gets US Army IDIQ C-UAS Technology Contract. The U.S. Army has awarded SRC, Inc., an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract, with a total value of $426m over five years, to develop and deliver counter-sUAS technology. SRC’s radar, electronic warfare and camera technology delivered under this contract will support the Army’s Fixed Site-Low, Slow, Small Unmanned Aircraft System Integrated Defeat System (FS-LIDS) counter-sUAS solution.
SRC’s AN/TPQ-50 air surveillance radar, counter-sUAS EW system and electro-optic/infrared camera are primary components of FS-LIDS. These systems provide accurate detection of low flying and small moving UAS targets, identify and classify those targets, and provide low-cost precision electronic defeat capabilities.
“We are proud to continue supporting the Army with our cutting-edge solutions,” said Kevin Hair, president, and CEO of SRC, Inc. “We look forward to delivering these key counter-sUAS systems to help keep our warfighters safe as they accomplish their missions.”
The Department of Defense (DoD) recently approved the Joint Counter Small Unmanned Aerial Systems Office’s (JCO) selection of the FS-LIDS solution as the interim solution of choice for the fixed or semi-fixed mission.
SRC’s counter-sUAS technology was previously selected by the Army, as part of FS-LIDS and the Air Force, as part of the Medusa program. This IDIQ contract extends that work and will provide avenues for future development of new, advanced counter-UAS capabilities. (Source: UAS VISION)
03 Dec 20. Canadian authorities detect and track drones with SkyTrack. Canadian authorities recently conducted performance testing on the soon to be released SkyTrack system from OpenWorks. This follows the integration testing that was completed in Germany by ESG Elektroniksystem- und Logistik-GmbH, earlier this year.
According to OpenWorks press release, Canadian authorities represent the first end-users to operate the system, as they stay at the forefront of C-UAS technology. Testing SkyTrack as part of their search for the latest generation of optical UAS detection and tracking technology.
Pilots flew Class 1 UAS such as the DJI Inspire and Mavic UAS to evaluate the autonomous detect and classification ranges achievable in both day and night environments. SkyTrack was able to successfully detect and track the DJI Mavic out to 2km, showing world class performance. The DJI Inspire was tracked to 2.5km and the pilots could not out-manoeuvre the ‘lock’ of SkyTrack.
The system was manually cued onto the target during these tests which demonstrated a standalone operational capability. To achieve the greatest performance, SkyTrack is integrated using the proven SkyWall interface, receiving data from drone detection sensors, RF or radar, for a rapid handover to smooth target tracking. This has already been proven with Flir, Qinetiq and Robin Radar systems previously.
Chris Down, Managing Director at OpenWorks, said: “We demonstrated SkyTrack’s capabilities to the Canadian Authorities and were pleased when they asked us to fly the system out for further evaluation. We know this end-user community well and understand they have the highest demands for their security technology and performance. While the focus of this testing was drone threats, we are also excited to show the system performing against other tactical threats during the next stage of testing, making use of the powerful onboard AI”
Test video: https://youtu.be/Poemas0z9z0
For more information visit
02 Dec 20. Dedrone, Vodafone and Amazon Web Services develop 4G/5G counter-UAS system. Dedrone, Vodafone and Amazon Web Services have announced a partnership to provide airspace security for critical infrastructure. Sites of critical importance, including airports, stadiums, correctional facilities, energy facilities, corporate headquarters, government buildings, and military installations, now can seamlessly upgrade their security programmes with Vodafone Business and Dedrone, says the consortium.
“By using Vodafone Business’s Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC) solution, organizations can accelerate the delivery of Dedrone’s counter-drone solution. The technology partnership between Vodafone and Dedrone and AWS Wavelength offers the following:
- Provides real-time instants, which can be instantly actioned to respond to a drone incursion
- Minimizes the need for expensive physical infrastructure for customers to launch their airspace security programs
- Reduces the time it takes to begin assessing drone activity and preventing drone threats
- Allows counter-drone security data to remain secure and uncompromised.”
According to Vodafone Business: “Vodafone is the first company in Europe to enable organisations to create pilot applications using distributed MEC with Amazon Web Services (AWS). This is made possible by embedding AWS Wavelength at the edge of its 4G and 5G networks to bring customers and key applications closer together. In collaboration with AWS, Vodafone Business’ distributed MEC service will be rolled out from the spring of 2021, starting with the first commercial centre in London, UK, and with other locations in the UK and Germany to follow. These will give business customers, application developers and independent software vendors (ISVs) a head start in developing new digital services and access to real-time analytics so they can better respond to events and end-user needs.
A press statement says, “The commercial MEC centre in London will provide an ultra-low latency zone over a wide area and make use of Vodafone’s 5G network in the capital… In addition to areas within and around London, the low latency zone will extend to Cambridge, Oxford, Birmingham, Bristol, and Cardiff, as well as many towns home to tech firms along the M4 motorway corridor and parts of Wales and Cornwall. MEC is a key component to unlock the full potential of 5G as it moves cloud-based IT services to the edge of the network, providing services with almost instantaneous connectivity. Combined, MEC and 5G is the platform on which remote surgery, connected industrial robots and autonomous cars as well as critical Internet of Things (IoT) applications will work by allowing ultra-low latency response times between the user and the application housed within the edge of the network.”
Vodafone reports it recently achieved a low latency time – the total round trip time (RTT) from the base station to the location where the MEC application server is hosted – of less than 10 milliseconds between a test location near Newbury in the south of England and Birmingham in the Midlands. (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
03 Dec 20. Amsterdam Drone Week: NLR develops platform to assess counter-UAS solutions. The Netherlands research agency NLR presented a new visualisation platform to support the development of counter drone measures at Amsterdam Drone Week. Christian Muller said the platform can be used to provide a rapid situation overview, select specific systems, load track data or carry out flight path analysis. It also provides replay capability for training purposes.
The development is part of the Dutch counter drone protection programme, a collaborative research effort by NLR involving government and military agencies. “Counter drone technology is still very immature and expensive,” said Christian Muller. “We focus on layered capabilities to provide detection, training, identification, notification and mitigation without causing collateral damage.”
The programme aims to expand understanding of different drone and counter drone technologies and apply this knowledge to help decision-making. Adding intelligent sensors will also contribute to faster response times between detection and response. Among detection capabilities under review, NLR is reviewing jamming technology, spoofing, kinetic projectiles, nets, and high energy laser systems (recently tested at the Dutch research centre). (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
05 Dec 20. Congress hits fast-forward to field new capability to counter drones. Congress wants to rapidly advance a joint program to develop and field a capability for countering drones, requiring the Pentagon to field a system as early as next fall and adding more than $47m to fuel the effort, according to the fiscal 2021 National Defense Authorization Act.
“The executive agent of the Joint Counter-Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (C-sUAS) Office, as designated by the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, shall prioritize the objective of developing and executing a plan to develop, test, and begin production of a counter unmanned aircraft system that can be fielded as early as fiscal year 2021 to meet immediate operational needs in countering Group 1, 2 and 3 unmanned aircraft systems,” read the NDAA language released Dec. 3.
Lawmakers would also like the capability, if practical, to be able to go after larger UAS.
The defense secretary delegated the Army in November 2019 to lead the effort to take a petting zoo of counter-drone systems, many of which were rooted in urgent needs from Middle Eastern conflicts, and consolidate capability into a select group of interim systems.
Army Maj. Gen. Sean Gainey took command of the Joint C-sUAS Office, and in late September, Pentagon leaders formulated a set of requirements to help counter small drones, laying a path for how industry can develop technology to plug into a single command-and-control system.
The office took more than 40 systems and whittled down the selection to three interim system-of-systems approaches — one from each service — for fixed and semi-fixed sites. The office also settled on the Light-Mobile Air Defense Integrated System from the Marine Corps as a mounted or mobile system; and Bal Chatri, Dronebuster and Smart Shooter for dismounted, hand-held systems. The C2 system is called the Forward Area Air Defense C2 and is sponsored by the Army, but it does include interoperable systems from the Air Force and the Marine Corps.
The office is following the selection of interim systems by developing and fielding an enduring system, and it held an industry day at the end of October to discuss requirements and expectations with interested vendors.
Congress wants the office to “consider the selection of counter unmanned aircraft systems with specific emphasis on systems that have undergone successful realistic operational tests or assessments or have been or are currently deployed,” according to the NDAA. The capability, where reasonable, should build upon “systems that were selected for fielding in fiscal year 2021,” it read.
Furthermore, the system should be something that would allow the office to reduce or accelerate the timeline for initial and full operational capability, the bill added.
The system should also meet operational requirements to counter current threats “including effectiveness against unmanned aircraft systems that are not remotely piloted or are not reliant on a command link,” the language stated.
The use of autonomous and semiautonomous systems or processes is also desired, lawmakers noted, and the capability should be affordable with low operating and sustainment costs.
The chosen capability should also be flexible enough to allow for continuous integration of different sensors based on the unique needs of military installations and deployed forces as well as varying geographies and threats, lawmakers wrote.
Congress is requiring the office to brief the House and Senate defense committees on a selection process for counter-drone capabilities no later than 90 days after the NDAA is signed into law by the president.
The C-sUAS office, beginning early next year, will host the first opportunity for industry to demonstrate counter-drone technology aimed at small systems, which is the next step in a plan to test out new capabilities twice a year at common test ranges. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
07 Dec 20. DroneShield Ltd (ASX:DRO or DRO.AU) (“DroneShield”), a pioneer and global leader in the C-UAS sector, and Squarehead, a Norwegian-based acoustic array technology company, have entered into a partnership in the C-UAS space. Going forward, DroneShield will be offering an integrated system for C-UAS detection and mitigation, with DroneShield’s radiofrequency, radar and camera-based UAS detection and electronic warfare UAS defeat products integrated with Squarehead’s Discovair G2TM direction-finding acoustic system, within DroneSentry-C2TM airspace awareness, command-and-control and reporting software. This product integration of the two companies’ offerings has been completed, and the combined solution is available to customers at present. The combined system is presently undergoing test evaluation schedule with the U.S. Department of Defense.
Squarehead CEO Stig Nyvold said: “We are pleased to enter into the partnership with DroneShield in the rapidly emerging C-UAS space. C-UAS security and airspace awareness is becoming an increasing problem for wide range of military and civilian customers, and we expect our capability to detect any drone in the near field to provide a great added layer in DroneShield’s solution.”
Oleg Vornik, DroneShield’s CEO, added: “This partnership combines DroneShield best-in-class C-UAS sensors and effectors with Squarehead’s expertise in the acoustic domain. The combined system is already being evaluated by the US military, and we look forward to rolling this out globally, with an extensive schedule in front of us over next several months, including Europe and the US.”
07 Dec 20. SOCOM plans new round of advanced ISR technology experiments. Research and development officials at US Special Operations Command are looking to industry to help the command develop a slew of advanced intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR), and exploitation technologies, to get those capabilities into the hands of the US armed forces’ most clandestine units.
The technologies being sought and ultimately selected by command officials, which run the gamut from Android devices to exfil highly sensitive data from austere combat locations to new single man portable unmanned ground systems (UGS) for ISR missions, will be slated for live demonstrations during SOCOM’s upcoming Technical Experiment 21-2.
Set for March 2021 at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center, and Jefferson Proving Ground in Indiana, the advanced ISR technologies on display will “provide participants with the opportunity to gain Special Operations Forces (SOF) insight [and] perspective on . . . emerging technologies, technical applications, and their potential to provide solutions for future SOF capabilities,” the 3 December request for information (RFI) stated.
As part of the slate of ISR technologies SOCOM is seeking input from industry on its development of advanced software defined radios, digital receivers, and antennas for secure data transmission during expeditionary operations, the RFI stated. On the radios and digital receivers, command officials are seeking remotely reprogrammable and reconfigurable systems, capable of secure unattended operations and “full [radio frequency] spectrum capabilities and processing against all known signals of interest,” the solicitation states. The advanced radios must also include data infiltration and exfiltration capabilities to support payload information transport, it added. (Source: Jane’s)
08 Dec 20. US lawmakers cut army’s IVAS pot, question operational viability. The US Army’s new heads-up display, dubbed the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS), is under congressional scrutiny and lawmakers are poised to strip USD230m from the effort.
House and Senate conferees recently released their proposed fiscal year (FY) 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, and both chambers are anticipated to pass the bill before sending it to the White House. Included, is a measure that pares back the authorised IVAS funding level from USD1.12bn down to USD897m, and requires the army to submit a report to Congress by 15 August 2021.
In the report, the service must detail its IVAS acquisition strategy, including the average per unit production cost, and its full-rate production schedule, and identify necessary hardware or software changes. Lawmakers also want to know what soldiers think about the system and a description of its “operational suitability”.
Within 30 days of this report being delivered to Capitol Hill, the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation is tasked with submitting its own IVAS assessment.
IVAS is an effort between the army and Microsoft to militarise the company’s HoloLens 2 augmented reality (AR) system to include One World Terrain and Nett Warrior.
Once completed, troops could use the AR device for a range of activities from simulated training events to mission planning and execution. Potential headset capabilities include the ability to identify and catalogue individuals, translate foreign words, and navigate terrain. It is slated to be paired up with the fire-control system for the service’s Next Generation Squad Weapons. (Source: Jane’s)
Blighter® Surveillance Systems (BSS) is a UK-based electronic-scanning radar and sensor solution provider delivering an integrated multi-sensor package to systems integrators comprising the Blighter electronic-scanning radars, cameras, thermal imagers, trackers and software solutions. Blighter radars combine patented solid-state Passive Electronic Scanning Array (PESA) technology with advanced Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) and Doppler processing to provide a robust and persistent surveillance capability. Blighter Surveillance Systems is a Plextek Group company, a leading British design house and technology innovator, and is based at Great Chesterford on the outskirts of Cambridge, England.
The Blighter electronic-scanning (e-scan) FMCW Doppler ground surveillance radar (GSR) is a unique patented product that provides robust intruder detection capabilities under the most difficult terrain and weather conditions. With no mechanical moving parts and 100% solid-state design, the Blighter radar family of products are extremely reliable and robust and require no routine maintenance for five years. The Blighter radar can operate over land and water rapidly searching for intruders as small a crawling person, kayaks and even low-flying objects. In its long-range modes the Blighter radar can rapidly scan an area in excess of 3,000 km² to ensure that intruders are detected, identified and intercepted before they reach critical areas.