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28 Aug 23. Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) successfully demonstrated its Deep-Sensing and Targeting (DSaT) platform at the Experimental Demonstration Gateway Event (EDGE) ’23, hosted by the U.S. Army.
During a simulated, real-world tactical scenario, the company successfully:
- Gathered and fused multi-domain data for rapid dissemination to the Tactical Operations Center;
- Collected and analyzed data from commercial satellites onboard the aircraft;
- Met 100-percent of the criteria for the experimentation
Pablo Pezzimenti, vice president, integrated national systems, Northrop Grumman: “Northrop Grumman’s groundbreaking technology can help the Army realize its vision of deep-sensing with the ability to identify, monitor, target and strike threats from farther distances and with greater precision. We are supporting the warfighter’s targeting needs with intelligence collection beyond line of site and leveraging aerial assets in providing multi-domain fused data directly to the front lines.”
Details on DSaT:
DSaT is a multi-domain deep-sensing architecture integrated into a civilian aircraft, providing intelligence collection that reaches beyond the visual line of sight of local sensors. While leveraging elements of the TITAN pre-prototype system, its capability fills a gap in data collection by combining space-based geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) imagery with aerial and terrestrial intelligence from commercial and military space systems.
Phase 1 successfully demonstrated the GEOINT capabilities with future phases planned incorporating multiple intelligence platforms.
Northrop Grumman is a leading global aerospace and defense technology company. Our pioneering solutions equip our customers with the capabilities they need to connect and protect the world, and push the boundaries of human exploration across the universe. Driven by a shared purpose to solve our customers’ toughest problems, our 98,000 employees define possible every day.
28 Aug 23. Acquisition of New 3D Radars Is A Priority for the Modernization of the Bulgarian Air Force. The project to acquire new 3D radars is one of the priorities for the modernization of our armed forces. This capability will increase airspace awareness, which is extremely important for making adequate decisions, said Deputy Minister of Defense Stanimir Georgiev in his welcome to the first open meeting of the interdepartmental working group on the “Acquisition of new 3D radars”.
The meeting was held today, August 24, and at it the five bids received from defense companies based on the request for proposal sent by the Bulgarian side were opened.
In the presence of company representatives and commission members from various departments, Deputy Minister Georgiev emphasized that one of the priorities of the Bulgarian government is the modernization of the armed forces, which has been postponed for many years. “On this project, the goal of the Ministry’s leadership is to achieve maximum capabilities at an optimal cost. At the same time, we strive to be as transparent as possible when conducting the procedure,” Deputy Minister Georgiev also pointed out.
The interdepartmental working group includes representatives from the Air Force, from directorates from the Ministries of Defence, Transport, Innovation and Growth and Economy and Industry. The commission sent letters to 8 companies, three of them did not submit proposals. The bids were opened in the order they were received, namely Lockheed Martin (USA), Leonardo (Italy), Elta (Israel), Indra (Spain) and Thales (France).
“This is a major project for the Air Force, after the project to acquire a new type of combat aircraft. Work on it began 4 years ago. We are extremely happy that today we have the opportunity to open the offers of the manufacturing companies”, the chairman of the interdepartmental working group, Colonel Dimitar Georgiev, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, told journalists. The next step is to prepare a comprehensive analysis of the proposals using a special methodology. “The main criteria for the evaluation are: acquisition price and maintenance price, operational capabilities, industrial cooperation, warranty maintenance of the radars,” Colonel Georgiev pointed out.
The scope of the project includes the acquisition of 7 new 3D radars, training of personnel, warranty support of not less than 24 months and subsequent integrated logistics support for 5 years. According to the responses received to the requests for information sent in 2019, the cost of implementing the project amounts to approximately BGN 400 million.
After drawing up the ranking, negotiations will be held with the selected participant to conclude a contract. The period for delivery of the radars is within 2 years from the conclusion of the contract.
(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com) (Source: https://www.defense-aerospace.com/Bulgarian Ministry of Defense;)
28 Aug 23. Czech Army and Industry Cooperate to Protect Against Drones. Soldiers of the 53rd Reconnaissance and Electronic Warfare Regiment tested defense systems against civilian and military drones in Vyškovsk in August. “This topic is very topical in connection with the conflict in Ukraine, and the army must be sure that it is prepared for this threat,” emphasized test manager Major Michal Peterek. According to him, the results will serve for the development of even more advanced and effective systems, in which Czech defense industry companies will also be involved.
Unmanned vehicles are not only related to the army, they are also commonly used by the civilian sphere, and their abuse must also be taken into account when guarding important objects, such as airports, power plants or ammunition depots. That is why representatives of the Police of the Czech Republic, the Prison Service and other state agencies were also invited to the Březina Military District. The army also involved Czech defense industry companies in the Drone Shield 2023 exercise, which presented their systems.
“The goal of the exercise was to verify the capabilities of both military and civilian anti-drone solutions built primarily on the basis of electronic warfare,” explained Peterek. According to him, a high-quality defense against drones must take the form of a complex system that can detect, identify and track a drone at a sufficient distance in space. If an unmanned vehicle enters the protected zone, the system must be able to eliminate it.
“These activities can only be carried out using a combination of radio sights, radars and day and night cameras. All sensors and effectors must then be integrated into a unified system and controlled through software with high automation and intuitive control,” he added.
Unmanned vehicles of various sizes and types, controlled mainly by operators of the 533rd Unmanned Systems Battalion, tested the anti-drone systems, sent them to their home position, or took control of them. The effectiveness of the tested systems was recorded by the soldiers, and according to Michal Peterek, they will serve the army for the development of even more advanced and effective systems.
“The world is changing dynamically, so it is critical that the military and civilian industry collaborate and innovate together to meet new and complex threats. This exercise was the first test with this focus, and after the evaluation, we will prepare the next phases to design an optimal solution for the needs of securing objects and units against the threat posed by drones,” he said.(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)
(Source: https://www.defense-aerospace.com/ Czech Ministry of Defence)
28 Aug 23. USMC Force Design 2030: Acquisition for the Future Battlefield. The 2018 National Defense Strategy warns that U.S. adversaries are actively challenging the long-standing rules-based international order, thus “creating a security environment more complex and volatile than any we have experienced in recent memory.”
Building on the Pentagon’s observations, Gen. David H. Berger, then-commandant of the Marine Corps, released his seminal 2019 Commandant’s Planning Guidance, in which he proposed sweeping changes aimed at transforming the Corps from its established land-focused role in the Middle East into a naval expeditionary force-in-readiness primed for active engagement in contested maritime spaces within the Indo-Pacific region.
This ultimately led to the initiation of Force Design 2030 — a strategic overhaul aimed at transforming the Marine Corps into a more agile, technologically advanced force, prioritizing stand-in forces, littoral operations, modernization, force sizing and composition, training, and international cooperation.
For the acquisition community, the shift to Force Design 2030 opens doors for creativity and innovation, as seen in the development and fielding of cutting-edge gear by Marine Corps Systems Command and Program Executive Officer Land Systems.
“As we prepare to face potential future adversaries, it is becoming increasingly evident that acquisition is the pacing element of Force Design 2030.”
Dr. Todd Calhoun, Marine Corps Systems Command’s Executive Director
As Marine Corps Systems Command’s Executive Director, Dr. Todd Calhoun, recently told Quantico’s acquisition workforce, “As we prepare to face potential future adversaries, it is becoming increasingly evident that acquisition is the pacing element of Force Design 2030.”
Force Design 2030: A Vision for the Future
In reimagining the Corps for future battlefields, Force Design 2030 centers on a leaner, more agile force equipped for naval expeditionary warfare and prepared for an unpredictable future.
“Force Design 2030 is more than a strategy – it’s a vision for the future of the Marine Corps, one that takes into account the evolving challenges of the modern battlefield,” said Brig. Gen. David C. Walsh, commander of MARCORSYSCOM. “As we shift focus towards the Indo-Pacific, it’s imperative we equip our Marines with the cutting-edge tools and technologies that give us an edge in this new operational landscape.”
A significant aspect of this transformation is the realignment and reduction in ground and aviation forces, signaling a transition from traditional ground combat and emphasizing naval expeditionary warfare and its distinct demands.
In parallel, the strategy underlines the deployment of cutting-edge technologies like unmanned aerial and ground systems, advanced air defenses, and anti-ship missiles to enhance the Corps’ ability to sense, strike, and counter targets.
These capabilities are acquired through a process of continuous experimentation and an emphasis on user feedback, particularly from the fleet.
“Our requirements are well-defined, but there’s been an intriguing rediscovery process within the acquisition community,” shared Program Executive Officer Land Systems Stephen Bowdren. “We’ve come to understand that, as important as our requirements are, the unique needs and experiences of each Marine are just as critical. We’re not merely fulfilling a requirement; we’re also taking into account the user experience and focusing on ensuring the success of our warfighters.”
Walsh is confident that MARCORSYSCOM will continue to prepare the warfighter to fight and win in any clime or place.
“While China stands as our primary adversary, our commitment remains unwavering to protect American interests across the globe,” he said. “The strategic rationale behind our approach is clear: equipping our forces with the capabilities to effectively engage in this highly challenging theater ensures that we have the necessary tools to respond to crises, conflicts, and responsibilities wherever they may arise worldwide.”
As Ukraine’s successful use of the American High Mobility Artillery Rocket System has shown in Eastern Europe, American capabilities remain versatile—especially against our stated adversaries.
“Nevertheless, we must acknowledge the magnitude and breadth of the challenges confronting us, in both military and economic terms, that pose the most substantial threat we’ve faced in generations,” Bowdren explained. “That said, I wouldn’t say we were ever unprepared for this challenge. We just never want a fair fight. We want a completely unfair fight if it comes to that. Our part in that effort is to develop, build, deliver, and sustain dominant warfighting capabilities for our Marines.”
Evolving Acquisition for Future Battlefields
While Force Design 2030 reimagines the operational role of the warfighter, it also opens the door for innovative acquisition, putting bleeding-edge gear in the hands of Marines.
“Change and evolution are hardwired into the DNA of the Marine Corps,” said Calhoun. “The shift towards the Indo-Pacific under Force Design 2030 brings new challenges and opportunities in acquisition. Our commitment is to drive innovation and smart procurement strategies that ensure our Marines have the best tools and technologies to adapt, succeed and ultimately dominate in this evolving landscape.”
Three years into Force Design 2030’s ten-year timeline, the modeling and experimentation stage, which permitted the divestment of legacy gear, is complete. That means the focus lies solidly on equipping the warfighter—both at home and in the field.
“One of the big shifts that we did this year from a planning and possibly a programming perspective is that we said divestments are complete. We are no longer looking to figure out what do we need to get rid of in order to modernize,” Brig. Gen. Stephen Lightfoot, director of Marine Corps’ Capabilities Development Directorate told reporters in June.
So far, this has meant a shift towards acquiring state-of-the-art gear allowing Marines to beat their adversaries on the battlefield while operating independently in small, distributed forces—often for extended periods with limited outside support.
This has led to the development of capabilities like the expeditionary fueling systems, multi-wave radio systems, an updated vehicular fleet, and the Corps’ first medium-range air defense capability since HAWK. On the MARCORSYSCOM side, one program that stands out is the Long-Range Unmanned Surface Vessel—or LRUSV.
Lauded as one of the Corps’ first semi-autonomous vessel programs, the LRUSV aligns with the Commandant’s latest Force Design 2030 update, where Berger envisioned a future in which “amphibious warfare ships will offer even more capability, serving as ‘motherships’ for a variety of manned, unmanned, and human-machine teamed systems.”
“Through Middle Tier of Acquisition rapid prototyping authorities, the team was able to assess the market, place vendors on agreement, and quickly deliver LRUSVs, autonomy software, sensors, and C2 equipment,” said Col. Paul Gillikin who, until recently, served as program manager for Fire Support Systems.
“Due to our strong vendor-program office team, we had a boat in the water one year from agreement award despite COVID supply chain impacts. The benefits of the LRUSV prototyping effort allows the Marine Corps to understand the concept, costs, and [Doctrinal, Organizational, Training, Materiel, Leadership and education, Personnel, Facilities and Policy] implications before the Service becomes fully invested,” he continued.
This rapid prototyping process ultimately allowed Gillikin’s team to get LRUSV on the water and in the hands of Marines for testing quickly, allowing for increased Marine feedback throughout the acquisition process.
“Force Design 2030 is not simply a blueprint for the future; it’s a call for dynamic engagement with the Fleet. Their firsthand experiences, tactical insights, and invaluable feedback are integral to our acquisition process and help shape our understanding of what is needed to fight and win on the modern battlefield.”
Col. Craig Clarkson, commanding officer at Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity
Col. Craig Clarkson, commanding officer at Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity, adds perspective to this emphasis on feedback, stating, “Force Design 2030 is not simply a blueprint for the future; it’s a call for dynamic engagement with the Fleet. Their firsthand experiences, tactical insights, and invaluable feedback are integral to our acquisition process and help shape our understanding of what is needed to fight and win on the modern battlefield.”
Similarly, PEO Land Systems has been successful in bringing back the Corps’ air defense capabilities through its Ground-Based Air Defense systems. The Medium-Range Intercept Capability, or MRIC, is one example of this programmatic success.
According to an Aug. 24 contracting notice, the Marines are currently planning to buy “three Batteries of MRIC systems, consisting of 1,840 Tamir missiles, 44 Expeditionary launchers integrated with Iron Dome Missile Firing Unit Launch Control Electronics (LCE), 11 mini-Battle Management and Control (mBMC) systems with uplinks compatible with the LCE and integrated with expeditionary Command and Control (C2) (i.e., the Processing and Display Subsystem (PDS) from the USMC Common Aviation Command and Control System (CAC2S),” The War Zone blog reported Aug. 25. “The Marines are also looking to purchase “80 Tamir missiles to support the initial MRIC Prototype deployment” and associated “logistics and technical support” for all of these systems.”
“A striking example of successful acquisition support to Force Design 2030 execution can be seen in our Ground-Based Air Defense system,” said Bowdren. “Just five years ago, our primary air defense weapon was the Stinger Man-Portable Air-Defense System. Today, we’ve implemented systems like the Marine Air Defense Integrated System, the Light Marine Air Defense Integrated System, MRIC, and we’re seeing the emergence of Installation Counter-small Unmanned Aircraft Systems. In a very short period of time, we’ve established a comprehensive suite of capabilities designed to counter the full range of aerial threats to Marines.”
The transformation undergone by the Marine Corps is manifest in the groundbreaking gear that equips Marines. The past three years have been marked by a radical overhaul, with MARCORSYSCOM and PEO Land Systems leading the acquisition charge towards force modernization.
The journey, though charted with unerring foresight and audacity, continues to evolve. Experimentation, an integral part of this process, has allowed for the rapid adaptation and refinement of systems to best serve Marines’ operational needs. The input and feedback from Marines, those on the ground, have been invaluable in this phase, fine-tuning advancements to the unique demands of the modern battlefield.
Through the vision of Force Design 2030, MARCORSYSCOM and its supported Program Executive Offices have updated the Corps’ equipment and embraced a new generation of warfare—utilizing bleeding-edge gear and cutting-edge tactics that redefine the landscape of conflict. The transformation promised by FD 2030 is underway, and with it, the Marine Corps is poised to ensure America’s continued military superiority, no matter the time or place.
28 Aug 23. Lockheed Martin Australia Selected as Australian Defence Force’s Strategic Partner for AIR6500. Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) welcomed today’s announcement by the Department of Defence on being selected as the strategic partner to steward AIR6500 Phase 1 (AIR6500-1).
AIR6500-1 will provide the Australian Defence Force (ADF) with a Joint Air Battle Management System (JABMS) that will form the ground-breaking architecture at the core of the ADF’s future Integrated Air and Missile Defence (IAMD) capability. This first-of-its-kind system will provide greater situational awareness and defence against increasingly advanced air and missile threats, as well as give the ADF increased levels of interoperability with the United States and allied partners.
“We are honoured to be selected as the trusted strategic partner to lead and deliver this important sovereign capability, in partnership with Australian industry, to the Australian Defence Force,” said Stephanie C. Hill, executive vice president, Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems.
“Australia’s AIR6500-1 program is truly transformational. It will set the blueprint for future military Joint All-Domain Operations across the globe.” She added, “This critical capability will allow the ADF to leverage information from across all domains at greater speeds, with better accuracy and at a greater scale than it is capable of today.”
Since 2015, Lockheed Martin Australia has been highly dedicated to supporting ADF’s vision to transform into a fully integrated and IAMD capable force through AIR6500-1.
“Lockheed Martin is deeply committed to being the ADF’s trusted, long-term sovereign partner for AIR6500-1. To deliver on this key strategic national endeavour, we are leveraging our vast experience delivering battle-proven Integrated Air and Missile Defence systems and harnessing the full might of Australian industry to build a sovereign 21st Century Security capability trusted to defend Australia and its national interests now and in the future,” said Warren McDonald, chief executive, Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand.
“This approach will help address supply chain fragility and ensure Australian small and medium enterprises experts are well positioned in the global supply chain. The sovereign missile defence technologies being created in Australia today will be exported to the world in the future – unlocking a $83B export market for Australia’s defence industry.”
Lockheed Martin Australia has advanced a sovereign AIR6500-1 system solution that has been built from the ground up in Australia by Australians to safeguard Australia’s national security. To-date, Lockheed Martin Australia has:
- Validated more than 130 Australian small to medium enterprises as potential partners.
- Awarded contracts to more than 10 leading-edge companies such as Leidos Australia, Consunet, Consilium, C4I, Silentium, Penten, Lucid Consulting Engineering, and engaged with prime contractors, Raytheon and Boeing, during the risk reduction phase to develop an agile, integrated AIR6500 solution.
- Committed AUD$74m to establish the nation’s future IAMD ecosystem to accelerate collaboration between academia, industry, Defence, and allied partners on IAMD capabilities. The IAMD ecosystem is expected to create more than 400 direct and 1,000 indirect local jobs.
- Invested over AUD$100m into AIR6500.
- Grown its sovereign workforce to over 200 Australian staff now dedicated to AIR6500.
- Invested over AUD$10M to upgrade its Endeavour Centre to engage, explore, test, design and problem solve together with the ADF and industry through innovation, war gaming, exercises and more.
McDonald added, “We recognise a team approach is vital to the success of AIR6500-1 in building a sovereign Australian IAMD capability, therefore moving forward on program execution the majority of the program workshare will be allocated across Australian industry.”
28 Aug 23. Embraer and the Brazilian Army successfully complete first test of M200 Vigilante radar. Embraer and the Brazilian Army have successfully completed the first test of the M200 Vigilante radar, including the deployment of the equipment on the KC-390 aircraft from the Brazilian Air Force (FAB). The radar operation was carried out at Júlio Belém Airport, located in Parintins, during June and July. The Parintins City Hall, Júlio Belém Airport, and Viracopos International Airport also supported the initiative.
The location was chosen due to the Parintins Folkloric Festival, an event that causes a significant increase in air traffic in the region. Thousands of visitors accessed the city this year through Júlio Belém Airport, resulting in more than 800 landings and takeoffs in one week. The M200 Vigilante radar was transported for the first time on a KC-390, on a three-hour journey between Campinas, in São Paulo state, and the city located in the Amazon rainforest. The sensor continuously monitored air traffic within a 200 km range of the airport, working together with CINDACTA IV flight controllers. CINDACTA IV is the Brazilian Air Force agency responsible for flight monitoring in the northern region of the country.
“The Parintins Folkloric Festival allowed us to test M200 Vigilante’s performance in the Amazon rainforest challenging environment. Embraer’s joint operation with the Brazilian Army and the Brazilian Air Force demonstrated the radar’s versatility, agility, precision, and robustness already in its first operation. We are very pleased with the results. This is an important step for the effective and future operational use from the Armed Forces in Brazil and abroad,” says Bosco da Costa Junior, President and CEO of Embraer Defense & Security.
“We are proud to join in and contribute to this important event in the Amazon region. The partnership and joint development between the Brazilian Army and Embraer has built the technological autonomy of digital radars (phased array) for more than 15 years. Carrying out this exercise was another important step in verifying M200 Vigilante’s technical characteristics. This will expand the capabilities of our troops and keep the operation in progress with the support of the Brazilian Defense Industrial Cluster,” says Gen. Achilles Furlan Neto – Chief of the Army Science and Technology Department.
The M200 Vigilante radar is a medium-range sensor aimed at Air Surveillance and Early Warning applications. Using advanced processing techniques, it can identify and track positions and trajectories, as well as classify targets. It has an integrated power generation system, which guarantees operation autonomy for up to 48 hours and ease of transport by land and air platforms.
27 Aug 23. High Point Aerotechnologies demonstrates detection of swarming and ‘stealthy’ UAS. Using its Sawtooth counter-UAS system, High Point Aerotechnologies, in collaboration with the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the CUAS Center of Excellence at Oklahoma State University, has demonstrated an ability to detect swarming and ‘stealthy’ UAS, the company announced in a 14 August press release.
A technology company focused on the provision of autonomous layered defence and robotoc systems offering multi-mission capabilities, High Point Aerotechnologies is the product of acquisitions of Liteye Systems and Black Sace Technologies in late 2022 and early this year, respectively, building on the legacy of both strong C-UAS brands. The demonstration showcased Sawtooth’s ability to detect multiple simultaneous threats at a variety of ranges, altitudes and speeds, and underscored its versatility in meeting the challenges posed by UAS-based threats. Conventional C-UAS solutions often have difficulty in detecting swarms and drones with low RF emissions – sometimes called ‘dark drones’. Sawtooth provides a multi-layered capability that addresses those challenges directly.
“This event was unique in that it created the opportunity for the industry to conduct real-world demonstrations of our ability to rapidly develop and deploy critical UAS defense solutions to our federal and civilian customers,” said High Point CEO, Al White.
Since 2002, systems now in the High Point Aerotechnologies portfolio have been tested, trusted and deployed by civil and military operators in over 15 nations.
For more information: Press Release // High Point Aerotech Demonstrates Against Swarms and Dark UAS for DHS and OSU
25 Aug 23. Government officials in Brazil use DroneShield’s DroneGun Tactical to strengthen prison security. Brazilian officials in the state of Minas Gerais are using DroneShield’s DroneGun Tactical portable counter drone system to reinforce the protection and security of prisons, according to a LinkedIn post by the company. Brazilian media Noticias R7 reported on the equipment deployment in a post detailing the applications, training and uses for the equipment.
For more information visit: www.noticias.r7.com (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
24 Aug 23. SKYLOCK supplies portable counter drone dome system to African customer. Counter drone company SKYLOCK reports successful delivery of its portable drone systems to a customer in Africa to provide aerial defence against unauthorised drones. The SKYLOCK C-UAS Portable Dome System combines an RF Detector and Omni Jammer designed to neutralize unauthorized drones. For more information visit: www.skylock1.com (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
23 Aug 23. “Mexican army records more than 260 drone attacks by drug cartels this year.”
According to CBS reports, the Mexican army says drug cartels have launched more than 260 bomb-dropping drone attacks this year. “However, even that number may be an underestimate: residents in some parts of the western state of Michoacan say that attacks by bomb-dropping drones are a near-daily occurrence,” said the news service.
The number of fatalities as a result of these attacks are not yet in the public domain but the Mexican army reports that 42 soldiers, police and suspects have been wounded by improvised explosive devices (IEDs), many dropped by drone.
Yahoo News recently reported that Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG), one of Mexico’s most violent cartels, has created its own elite unit of drone operators, specialised in converting commercial drones into bomb-carrying UAVs for use against rival cartels and Mexican authorities.
“We began training as a group in 2021, but only this year we started operating,” a Jalisco Cartel New Generation member of the Operadores Droneros (Drone Operators), was quoted as saying.
According to the report: “The group is mostly dedicated to finding and attacking rival cartels like Los Viagras, Knights Templar in Michoacán, and the Sinaloa Cartel in Jalisco, the cartel operator said…The group is allegedly composed of a dozen men and currently operates only in Michoacán and Jalisco states, according to the cartel operator.”
Another area of increased cartel drone activity is in the use of drones to reconnoiter US border guard movements and the transport of drugs.
According to the testimony of Urbino “Benny” Martinez Brooks County Sheriff, Falfurrias Texas, at the Joint Subcommittee on Health and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, earlier this year:
“In the past 31 days of 2023, there have been 1,937 Mexican Cartel drone’s incursions in three South Texas border counties. The Falfurrias Border Patrol was using two Aerostats that flew just south of Falfurrias, and that were providing great situational awareness of foot and vehicle traffic. The funding for the Aerostat program (which included 14 Aerostats) was recently removed against Border Patrols requests.”
For more information
https://news.yahoo.com/wrong-people-just-got-hands-083935506.html?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cubGlua2VkaW4uY29tLw&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAN4cMispYbiN1xZcfWWZRWt379qXGVb-1nt8K4NzKm7f3MYC7EeEVJ_P7byO05N49SOmS02nZtZO2ERBHLEboJM8FtiL05UF8PdoIgPwsEswHZUPiAwoOdM0Wp5pv1SzCqAZF917 (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
23 Aug 23. D-Fend launches more powerful, flexible EnforceAir2 C-UAS system. D-Fend Solutions has announced the launch of its new product, EnforceAir2. The system now comes with even more power, performance, portability, and range, all in a more compact and accessible system, including:
- longer-range detection and mitigation coverage ranges;
- Overcomes limitations of traditional commercial off-the-shelf SDR platforms;
- Multiple receivers and transmitters; powerful real-time processing; advanced RF technology; compliance with radio regulations;
- High-Performance MIMO (Multiple Input, Multiple Output) Antennas for improved radiation patterns and compact footprint form-factor implementation suitable for tactical or fixed applications.
The system’s new backpack deployment provides flexible on-the-move full capability protection for tactical and stealth operations in a compact ultra-mobile solution, including overt use case suitability with concealed antennas and a rugged, slim, lightweight design and long-term power from hot-swap batteries providing long-duration, no downtime continuous operations
According to the company:
“EnforceAir2’s multi-use deployment kit enables tactical teams to overcome deployment challenges and achieve total operational flexibility. This includes:
- Quick set-up, locking, and release mechanisms for rapid conversions between deployments
- Short to medium-term stationary deployment options for tactical teams
- Tactical, Vehicular, Stationary, and Man-Portable (backpack) deployments
- Best-in-Class SWaP (Size, Weight, and Power) delivering unprecedented power and portability, in a compact, lightweight small form factor, with easy transport, and simple handling and set-up.”
“EnforceAir2 reinforces D-Fend’s strategic market position as the pioneer and leader in the groundbreaking technology category of RF-Cyber for counter-drone detection and mitigation, focused on control, safety and continuity,” said Yaniv Benbenisti, President and Chief Product Officer of D-Fend Solutions. “As the threat escalates and proliferates, into more varied environments and scenarios, EnforceAir2 now brings unprecedented power, flexibility, and portability to security officials to confront and overcome the growing risks and challenging dangers.”
For more information
D-Fend Solutions Launches EnforceAir2 Next Generation Counter-UAS with Seamless Operational Flexibility, Higher Performance, and More Power in a Compact Form Factor (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
23 Aug 23. India develops counter drone technology for domestic and overseas markets. India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is focused on developing next-generation anti-drone technology according to an article published by New Indian Express. The organisation’s Drone Detect, Deter and Destroy system (D4S) counter drone system, manufactured by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), is the first indigenously developed anti-drone system to be inducted into the Indian Armed Forces. DRDO plans to export the technology to other countries in the near future, says New Indian Express.
The report states: “Speaking at the Digital Innovation Alliance (DIA) -G20 event in Bengaluru on Saturday, BK Das, distinguished scientist and Director of General Electronics and Communication Systems at DRDO said, “It has the capability to detect rogue drones and instantly jam micro drones called soft kill. D4S can also use a laser to destroy the drone called a hard-kill.” The anti-drone tech can detect and jam micro-drones at a distance of up to 3 km and can lase a target 1-1.25 km. D4S was also displayed at the Aero India 2023 in February.
“Das added that India has massive potential for export and will soon make a consortium of countries to export its products. Calling DRDO “the backbone of armed forces in the country”, he said the organisation is striving to build an ecosystem for indigenously developed systems while also making them ready for exports. Speaking about DRDO’s most exported items, Das said “Radars have become huge objects of desire for several countries and India has exported many of these systems that earlier we imported. We have requests from African countries, some from the far east and even from countries such as Brazil and South America,” he said.
For more information visit: www.newindianexpress.com; www.drdo.gov.in (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
23 Aug 23. Pierce Aerospace, DHS and other security agencies deploy Remote ID NFL Super Bowl services. Pierce Aerospace has announced that it worked with the Department of Homeland Security and other federal, state, and local agencies to deploy Remote ID to support the NFL’s Super Bowl LVII.
This is the first instance of Remote ID utilization in operational support of a National Special Security Event, according to a company statement. “Pierce Aerospace deployed its Bluebird Remote ID Receivers and B1 Remote ID Beacons around State Farm Stadium to support airspace operations for NFL coordinated broadcast flights, a commercial drone swarm, and in support of law enforcement drone flights and operations.
“Pierce Aerospace provided its ASTM F3411-22 compliant B1 Remote ID beacons to pilots for FAA-approved commercial drone flights and law enforcement drone operations. Bluebird Remote ID Receivers were deployed around the stadium and used to successfully detect, track, and identify the equipped drones in the week leading up to the Super Bowl and on game day. Using COPERS, a web-based situational awareness tool developed by KBR, Inc., local broadcast messages collected by the Pierce Aerospace’s Receiver Network and Remote ID data feeds were routed to COPERS for airspace activity monitoring. COPERS, which stands for Command Oversight or Personnel, Equipment, Response and Situation, was made available to federal and local law enforcement end users across security command elements to monitor the Remote ID data feeds both on-site and remotely.”
“We’ve been working with the Department of Defense since 2018 to take local broadcast Remote ID messages and network them to various tiers of end users in DOD experimental events. It was exciting to take the institutional knowledge that we’ve developed over the years and deploy it for the first time in support of real-world national security operations at the Super Bowl,” said Aaron Pierce, CEO of Pierce Aerospace. “This was an operational test of Remote ID before officially rolling it out as an FAA regulatory requirement in September. I’m happy to share that this deployment emphasized ‘operational.’”
“Pierce Aerospace’s Remote ID products and their integration capabilities helped ease the Command and Control of the Super Bowl LVII Temporary Flight Restriction [TFR] when it came to authorized vs unauthorized UAS operations,” said Greg Bean, Special Operations Security for the FAA. “We look forward to the full roll out of the FAA’s Remote ID rule in September 2023.”
“KBR was excited to provide COPERS to Pierce Aerospace as the display provider and common operating picture for their Remote ID capability at the Super Bowl,” said Preston Hoeve, COPERS Principal Investigator for KBR. “COPERS provided multiple layers of distributed government stakeholders with a means to oversee the airspace data streamed from Pierce Aerospace’s sensors at the Super Bowl. KBR looks forward to continuing to work with Pierce Aerospace to provide this capability to local, state, tribal, and federal stakeholders enhancing the safety of their communities.”
Pierce Aerospace engineers extensively tested Remote ID in flight and ground tests leading up to the Super Bowl in and around the State Farm Stadium area, said Pierce Aerospace. Ground testing continued in parallel to flight operations on game day itself. Pierce Aerospace engineers used both Pierce Aerospace and commercially available third-party developed Remote ID Android applications to successfully detect and track the company’s B1 Beacons inside State Farm Stadium during the Super Bowl and during the halftime show.
“To our knowledge, this was the harshest stress test that Remote ID has seen to date,” said Pierce.” Nearly 73,000 fans were inside that stadium. All with cell phones and other WiFi and Bluetooth emitting devices, many of whom were streaming or uploading photos and video during the halftime show. We’re happy to share that our engineers successfully detected and tracked our Remote ID beacons with phones inside the stadium during this high-noise floor event.”
For more information: www.pierceaerospace.net. (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
28 Aug 23. After 2 years, tech is fully integrated into Israel’s newest spy plane, says defence ministry. Israel’s Defense Ministry and the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) announced on Sunday that they completed two years of outfitting an aircraft with advanced intelligence gathering technology, and that test flights have already begun.
The spy plane, known as the ORON, is a Gulfstream G550 Aerospace equipped with state-of-the-art sensors, cameras, artificial intelligence, and advanced Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence (C4I) systems.
Israeli authorities displayed the plane for the first time at the Paris Air Show in June. It operates at an altitude of up to 40,000-50,000 feet with a flight range of 1,000 km.
The ministry said the ORON’s real-time monitoring capabilities will provide larger amounts of intelligence than unmanned aerial vehicles.
Installing the technology on the plane took two years, the ministry said.
The Defense Ministry said test flights have already begun under the joint efforts of the ministry’s Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDRD), the Israel Defense Forces, and IAI.
The ORON will be operated by the Israeli Air Force’s “Nachshon” 122nd squadron out of the Nevatim Air Base near Beer Sheva.
“ORON is a joint multi-domain, multi-sensor solution which will provide the IDF with game-changing capabilities to counter threats far and near,” said the aircraft’s head, Lt Col Yoed.
The system’s ability to accurately track multiple targets over vast distances and challenging conditions will enable a prompt and precise response to threats, he stressed. (ANI/TPS) (Source: Google/https://www.bignewsnetwork.com/ANI)
23 Aug 23. US Army approves Sentinel A4 air defense radar for low-rate production. The U.S. Army approved the Sentinel A4 radar program, critical to the service’s future air defense capability, to move into low-rate initial production, the program executive officer for missiles and space said.
Now that the Lockheed Martin-developed Sentinel A4 has been approved, with a total of 19 systems to be delivered by fiscal 2025, the Army is preparing for initial operational test and evaluation also in 2025, Maj. Gen. Frank Lozano told Defense News in an Aug. 22 interview.
The Sentinel A4 active electronically scanned array is the next-generation radar planned to replace the current phase and frequency scanned array in Sentinel A3 and earlier versions. The air-and-missile defense radar is able to detect cruise missiles, unmanned aircraft systems, rockets, artillery and mortars and can simultaneously identify and track different threat types.
The Army has been working on a cruise missile defense capability for years and procured two Rafael and RTX-developed Iron Dome systems as an interim solution, mandated by Congress, as it develops its enduring Indirect Fire Protection Capability, or IFPC, that will provide fixed and semi-fixed sites with defense against RAM threats as well as drones and cruise missiles.
Sentinel A4 will tie into the Army’s future Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System, or IBCS, as well as the still-in-development IFPC.
“There’s been a lot of discussion over the last five to seven years regarding cruise missile defense and a lot of impetus on making sure we’ve got a good IFPC system,” Lozano said. “Sentinel A4 is a key component of that because I’m not shooting anything down, [from] a cruise missile defense perspective, unless the radar sees it first. So we have a really high-quality radar to make sure that we can get that missile to the right point in time and space at the right time to have a successful intercept.”
In addition to Sentinel tying into IFPC and IBCS, it will also serve as the radar for the defense of the National Capital Region along with the Norwegian Kongsberg Defense-developed National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System, or NASAMS, Chandra Marshall, vice president of Lockheed’s radar and sensor system line of business, said in the same interview. And the radar will be a part of an air-and-missile defense architecture being developed for the defense of Guam.
The Army is embarking on a test campaign for integrating fires capabilities beginning this year and running annually through, at least, 2027, Lozano told Defense News in a separate interview. Sentinel A4 will be tied into the test campaign in FY25.
Once IOT&E is complete, the Army will be able to obtain a materiel release in the fourth quarter of FY25 in order to begin fielding Sentinel A4 to units. Lozano said, as of now, the Army’s acquisition objective for the radar is 240 systems – which would deliver the capability to a minimum of six IFPC battalions.
“Sentinel is funded to support those six battalions, IBCS is funded in its [Program Objective Memorandum] to support those six battalions, IFPC is funded to support those six battalions, and now I just have to deliver the capability and make sure it works,” Lozano said.
The Army built five systems for soldier evaluations conducted over the past several years and is building five more to be delivered this year to support developmental tests leading up to the IOT&E.
The Sentinel A4 program has moved quickly, according to Marshall, because Lockheed has taken advantage of commonality from its other radars like the Q-53 radar that can track unmanned aircraft systems.
That commonality is expected to help the service when it comes to sustainment, she added.
The soldier evaluation process over the past several years has generated “generally” positive feedback, Lozano said. “We have gotten some comments regarding maintenance operations where we could make improvements on the maintenance procedures associated with certain [line replaceable units], components or cables. Those are pretty minor tweaks.”
Soldiers have also provided feedback on how to improve emplacement of the system in operational environments. But, Lozano added, “what we believe is driving some of those comments on operations is associated with the fact those soldiers are familiar with the A3 and therefore some of the employment operations and some of the operator actions associated with the radar functioning in its normal operation environment are just different … the user interface is slightly different.”
The Army plans to resolve the adjustment from A3 to A4 with training, Lozano added.
“We want to make sure our systems are user friendly,” Marshall said. “As we get the feedback from the soldiers… we’ll make the updates and then have the soldiers on the system to see if we’ve addressed, satisfactorily, the ease of operation of the system.”
About Jen Judson
Jen Judson is an award-winning journalist covering land warfare for Defense News. She has also worked for Politico and Inside Defense. She holds a Master of Science degree in journalism from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kenyon College. (Source: Defense News)
22 Aug 23. MAG, L3Harris to supply Army with ATHENA-equipped spy planes. The U.S. Army tapped a pair of companies to deliver jets kitted with spying technologies in advancement of its long-range targeting plans.
MAG Aerospace and L3Harris Technologies on Aug. 22 said they would together outfit Bombardier Global 6500 aircraft with a bloc of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance sensors for the service’s Theater Level High Altitude Expeditionary Next Airborne ISR-Radar venture, or ATHENA-R.
The companies did not disclose the value of the contract, which was awarded by the Program Executive Office for Aviation. An inquiry made to the companies was not immediately answered.
The service is in the midst of an aerial reconnaissance overhaul, moving away from Cold War-era planes and their limitations and toward a future aimed at insights gleaned from deeper distances and higher altitudes. The ATHENA — of which there are planned variants, “R” and “S,” for signals intelligence — is part of the lift.
“Current geopolitical circumstances dictate a need for an adaptable and resolute ISR solution that can adequately address near-peer threats and future contested environments, and we are prepared to execute,” MAG Aerospace CEO Joseph Reale said in a statement. “This award is validation of the relentless work our employees execute everyday alongside our customers.”
MAG Aerospace and L3Harris announced their partnership last year.
L3Harris is the ninth largest contractor in the world when ranked by defense revenue, according to Defense News “Top 100″ analysis. The company is also involved in the Army’s Airborne Reconnaissance and Electronic Warfare System, or ARES, effort in the Indo-Pacific.
The service is expanding its ISR arsenal as the Pentagon prepares for potential conflict with Russia and China. It is paying special attention to what’s known as deep sensing: the capacity to find, monitor, target and kill from farther away and with finer precision.
“We have a great track record of working with the Army,” Jon Rambeau, the L3Harris president for integrated mission systems, said in a statement. “Our team understands the urgency of fielding these long-range, deep-sensing capabilities to support the Army’s mission needs and is positioned to deliver.” (Source: Defense News Early Bird/C4ISR & Networks)
21 Aug 23. US DOD seeks industry partner to integrate military UAS in US National Airspace and beyond. The Washington Headquarters Services, on behalf of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition & Sustainment (OUSD(A&S)), is performing market research to identify qualified sources with the availability, interest, and capability to provide UAS Airspace Operations Support.
According to the US government contracting website www.sam.gov:
“For decades, the DOD has pursued a long-term goal of enabling routine, efficient, safe, and secure airspace access and integration for DOD Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) operations conducted within both civilian and military airspace. To accomplish this goal, OUSD A&S is working across several efforts, both internally and with our federal partners to address the technical, operational, and regulatory challenges associated with normalizing DOD UAS operations in a way that is comparable to the conduct of present-day DOD crewed operations.
“This work includes developing and demonstrating the ability to employ airspace access and integration systems in support of UAS, Air Traffic Control (ATC), and Counter UAS (CUAS) missions. These efforts are intended to address how DOD will utilize the same or similar systems and concepts to support UAS operations in both U.S. National Airspace as well as in an expeditionary environment. To ensure DOD remains on track to meet its long-term UAS goal, the ability t conduct simulated and live UAS operations is critical to the validation of current and the informing of future concept, technology, and policy development.
The acquisition has an estimated dollar value of over USD1,000,000.00.
“OUSD(A&S) is seeking qualified firms to provide planning, resourcing, and execution for simulated and live UAS events to accomplish specific tasks assigned by the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment (OUSD A&S). Winning bidders will conduct research, development, test, and evaluation events that provide data and recommendations that will be formally recognized by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as applicable to the safe, secure, and efficient operations of UAS operating beyond visual line of sight. This is necessary to ensure the test results used to inform the development of DOD concepts and technologies will support the eventual acceptance by the FAA for use in U.S. National Airspace.”
Deadline for responses is August 23, 2023.
For more information: https://sam.gov/opp/200cd53086f64039aa7ca9d4a9983ba3/view
21 Aug 23. UTM industry gives cautious welcome to the FAA’s latest UTM implementation plan. There are two ways of looking at the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)’s UTM Implementation Plan, published earlier in the month.
The first: it is an important step along the way to implementing UAS traffic management (UTM) operations in high-value drone eco-systems and further progress towards the all-important goal of automating beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) flight request authorisations.
The second is not quite so positive. There is still a lack of clarity around key areas such as the approval process for supplemental data service providers (SDSPs) and UAS Service Suppliers (USSs). It seems the FAA does not want to build on the current LAANC programme but almost re-write the UTM architecture requirements on a blank sheet. A further set of extensive trials will be needed to evaluate how well strategic de-confliction works in settings where not all drones are subscribed to a USS, for example.
But overall the UTM received a cautious welcome from the UTM sector, especially as the FAA seems to be aligning its regulatory approach to other regions of the world.
“This response to the 2018 Congress mandate is a timely policy document that gives clear indications on the way to go – and the policy goes in the direction of what we see in other regions, like the EU or in Australia: a clear preference to create a federated model of UTM provision to support BVLOS operations,” said Koen de Vos, Secretary-General of the Global UTM Association. “That gives a real scope for global convergence and competition is the most effective way to create a dynamic drone service ecosystem.”
“The FAA Implementation plan is certainly a step in the right direction for UTM and scalable, BVLOS operations,” said Ryan Pleskach CEO & Co-Founder of USS company ResilienX. “There is a clear indication that the FAA is starting to move things forward and making demonstratable advances in their thinking around strategy and policy. We applaud the approach that is inherently scalable, which we have seen as a roadblock to advancing the industry in other parts of the world. While the implementation plan identifies many challenges and questions which still need to be answered, it appears that the FAA is finally putting their full weight behind the UTM industry, where it had previously felt more like an FAA science experiment, administered by NASA.”
“The UTM implementation plan is a fundamental next step to make UTM a reality. The core pieces missing from this plan are details and most importantly transparency,” said Jon Hegranes Founder & CEO of USS Aloft. “The USS ecosystem has evolved materially from when it began five years ago, but it didn’t begin in an open way. It’s critical that the FAA leverages the open ecosystem of USS capabilities in this next phase of UTM.”
Other industry responses to Unmanned Airspace queries included: “The document sees a central role for third-party services, where the concept of third-party service providers encompasses both USS and SDSP – not the drone operator or the FAA. Drone operators will be able to use a third-party service provider of their choice, or may provide their own set of services…..“
The FIMS plays a limited role as a clearinghouse for data exchange with authorized UTM participants, including airspace constraint data and incident/accident investigation”….“.
The policy document describes a list of potential UTM services. That is a key novelty that is expected to boost a harmonized UTM market. On top of Network Remote ID and Strategic deconfliction that are cornerstones of UTM, the list is quite similar to the EU list of mandatory and optional services mentioned in the U-space regulation. There is scope for convergence between the two regions, and sets a good example for other regions.”….”Another promising area for convergence is automated testing: the FAA has learned from its experience with the UPP trials, and also watching the progress of UTM in other countries, that manual service approval processes are slow, cumbersome and not scalable. Therefore, the FAA expects there will be a need for automated testing and verification mechanisms – as the EU system leaves scope for automated testing”….“The strong focus on cybersecurity aspects may remain a challenge to open the US UTM services market”… and, finally, “SORA is mentioned as a possible tool to define low-risk areas!” So a cautious welcome and a few small surprises. (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
21 Aug 23. Chinese researchers “develop cooling system to allow for indefinite laser weapon firing.” Chinese military researcher have developed a new laser cooling system which will allows laser weapons to be fired indefinitely., say news reports. According to a video posted on the WION news outlet Youtube channel, the National University of Defence Technology in China has developed a cooling mechanism which pumps gas into the system and removes excessive heat, allowing the High Energy Laser system to operate indefinitely. The new technology can also reduce turbulence and vibration in the weapon system for more precision, say the news reports.
For more information: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4zis6tYifU (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
21 Aug 23. Eurocae publishes ED-313 detect and avoid requirements for Unmanned Aircraft Systems.European standards agency Eurocae Council has approved ED-313, developed by Working Group 2015 provides detect and avoid functions required by Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) to ‘Remain Well Clear’ in Class A to G airspaces under IFR. This Operational Services and Environment Description (OSED) is designed to support a performance-based regulation for non-segregated remotely piloted aerial systems (RPAS) operation. It covers required functions which meet the operational description, adding Remain Well Clear (RWC) as a necessary function in all airspace classes. ED-238 and ED-258 will be superseded by this new standard. For more information visit: www.eurocae.net (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
17 Aug 23. Guide to Part 89 Remote ID requirements for drone operators, Rupprecht Law guidance.Drone law company Rupprecht Law has released a guide to Part 89 Remote ID (requirements, waivers, list of modules & drones). The document addresses issues relating to remote ID requirements for drone pilots including:
1 Part 89 Remote Identification Requirements
2 How Do I Know If My Aircraft Is Remote Identification Compliant?
3 List of Broadcast Modules for Aircraft That Don’t Comply
4 Remote Identification Authorizations and Exemptions To Not Comply With Requirements
5 How the Remote Identification Requirements Affect Different Groups:
6 Different Types of Remote Identification
7 What manufacturers need to know about the remote identification rule.
8 FAA Accepted Remote Identification Means of Compliance
9 Contentious Background of How Remote ID Was Developed by FAA
10 Lawsuits Challenging Remote Identification
11 Can You Rely on Remote ID? (RID being disabled and spoofed by people)
12 Remote Identification Timeline of Events
13 Major Changes from Proposed Rule to Final Rule
14 Remote Identification Risk Assessments.
Access the document here: https://jrupprechtlaw.com/remote-identification/
For more information visit: www.jrupprechtlaw (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
19 Aug 23. US business aviation association finds FAA’s rulemaking proposals create “uneven playing field.”
The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) has commented on two initiatives critical to the safe, timely and successful integration of advanced air mobility (AAM) into the US National Airspace System (NAS).
According to the NBAA press release:
The association’s comments – informed by NBAA’s AAM Roundtable and Emerging Technology Committee – provide direction to government agencies on proposals with potential impact for pilots, manufacturers, infrastructure developers and other stakeholders.
First, NBAA provided feedback to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on its Integration of Powered-Lift: Pilot Certification and Operations; Miscellaneous Amendments Related to Rotorcraft and Airplanes Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). This effort aims to provide transition regulations, or Special Federal Aviation Regulations (SFAR), for pilot certification and operating rules, allowing entry into service.
The association, along with the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, the Helicopter Association International, the National Air Transportation Association and the Vertical Flight Society, described several concerns regarding the proposal, and outlined practical recommendations to ensure safe pilot qualification and operations.
The stakeholders explained the proposal is not aligned with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards for airman certification, creating an unnecessary burden for many powered-lift manufacturers and operators, and establishing impossible mandates for powered-lift with a single set of controls. The proposed rule also does not align with ICAO guidance regarding operational rules, inhibiting operators from utilizing the full capabilities of these new aircraft.
“Unfortunately, this NPRM does not empower the development of powered-lift aircraft with the potential described by the Government Accountability Office (GAO),” the associations stated in their comments. “The proposal for airman qualification creates a barrier for most AAM aircraft manufacturers to enter the U.S. market and the proposed operations rules create an uneven playing field for powered-lift aircraft, failing to take advantage of the many benefits provided by vertical takeoff and landing capabilities.
“Close alignment with ICAO standards and guidance will allow U.S.-based manufacturers and operators to achieve anticipated operations launch dates in 2025 and ensure a lively AAM industry in the U.S. far into the future,” they concluded.
View the NBAA’s full comments on the NPRM here: https://nbaa.org/wp-content/uploads/aircraft-operations/emerging-technologies/advanced-air-mobility-aam/20230814-Industry-Comments-FAA%E2%80%932023-1275-Powered-Lift-SFAR.pdf
Second, NBAA provided both short- and long-term recommendations on future AAM operations to the Department of Transportation’s AAM Interagency Working Group (IWG), which was created as a result of the Advanced Air Mobility Coordination and Leadership Act, signed into law by President Biden in October 2022.
“As the IWG knows, the U.S. has been at the forefront of aviation leadership and innovation for decades,” the RFI states. “We have the potential to continue to lead the next phase in the evolution of aviation with AAM, but competition with other nations is fierce and rapidly advancing. Among other considerations, this means the FAA will need to keep pace with its promised regulatory schedule, so that the first AAM commercial operations can occur as soon as 2025.”
NBAA emphasized the importance of safety, while also encouraging entry into service in a timely and thoughtful manner. Looking to the long term, NBAA urged the agency to work closely with stakeholders to facilitate scaled operations. The association also highlighted the need to nurture community acceptance and address apprehensions that may arise from the new, on-demand air mobility entrants into the aviation system.
“The path to realizing the goals of advanced air mobility is a complex and multifaceted endeavor,” the RFI states. “However, by upholding a steadfast commitment to security, adhering to regulatory timelines, harnessing existing infrastructure and fostering community acceptance, we can pave the way for a future where the skies are not just a symbol of boundless potential but a tangible and integrated component of our modern transportation landscape.”
Read the full RFI here: https://nbaa.org/wp-content/uploads/aircraft-operations/emerging-technologies/advanced-air-mobility-aam/20230814-NBAA-RFI-Response-Advanced-Air-Mobility.pdf
NBAA Chief Operating Officer Chris Rocheleau summed up the significance of the unified industry direction for federal AAM planning, noting that, “Taken together, the industry’s input on these two key initiatives will inform the work needed to ensure that the U.S. remains the world’s leader in fostering the development, integration and utilization of promising advanced air mobility technologies.” For more information visit: www.nbaa.org (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
15 Aug 23. FAA publishes UTM Implementation Plan, anticipates BVLOS drone operations. The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has published the UTM Implementation Plan, a year after the agency completed its UTM pilot programme, following requirements laid out in the Reauthorisation Act of 2018 (Pub. L. No. 115-254).
The plan is designed “to allow for the implementation of unmanned aircraft systems traffic management (UTM) services that expand operations beyond visual line of sight, have full operational capability, and ensure the safety and security of all aircraft”. The Plan addresses FAA’s efforts to make UTM a reality, specifically its near-term and long-term plans, and the gaps in policy that must be resolved to have “full operational capability.”
Divided into sections, the Plan addresses key policy decisions in the FAA’s 2020 UTM Concept of Operations (ConOps) Version 2 and highlights lessons learned from research including the UTM Pilot Program (UPP); describes safety standards; defines agency roles and responsibilities; describes the benefits and risks; and concludes with the near-term approval processes needed to enable UTM services.
According to the document, drone operators have found it difficult to operate beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) because the required mitigations to ensure safety of flight are often too technically difficult and expensive for each operator to achieve on their own. UTM services, properly regulated by the FAA, may help BVLOS drone operators ensure safe and scalable operations by mitigating risks and managing large numbers of flights up to 400 feet above ground level (AGL) covering operations where traditional air traffic control (ATC) services are not possible or appropriate.
The Plan serves as a companion document to the 2020 UTM Conops v2, but with additional details and insights about how the FAA is thinking about UTM in the National Airspace System. The Plan does not include the recently announced UTM Key Site activities.
View the plan here: https://www.faa.gov/sites/faa.gov/files/PL_115-254_Sec376_UAS_Traffic_Management.pdf
Further analysis and commentary will follow in due course.
For more information visit:www.faa.gov (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
21 Aug 23. Asylon Robotics flies multiple drones simultaneously in FAA, Anzen BVLOS tests. Asylon Robotics reports completion of a series of multi-drone flight tests supporting the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to help define the next set of standards for safe beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations, says the company press release.
The FAA program is managed by the advanced drone safety engineering and approvals company Anzen Unmanned. As program lead, Anzen developed the safety requirements, test cases, and validation criteria. It also conducting the human factors analysis to evaluate the minimum threshold requirements for safe, complex drone operations like this at scale. The FAA has tasked Anzen with helping define these standards with real-world operational test cases like this as part of their commitment to drone innovation and safety.
During the culminating flight testing event of the contract, a single operator in Asylon’s 24/7 remote operations centre simultaneously controlled six drones – three of their automated DroneSentry drones and three simulated drones. The simultaneous test flights took place in controlled airspace at Griffiss International Airport with the NUAIR Alliance and at Asylon’s headquarters, located in Norristown, PA. Despite being located in geographically disparate locations, the drones were all controlled by a single operator with Asylon’s cloud-based DroneIQ software.
The ability to operate multiple drones simultaneously in controlled airspace follows approval of eight BVLOS waivers for operation at Asylon’s customer sites, says the company. These BVLOS waivers and one-to-many drone operations are keys to unlocking the cost and capability advantages that automated security drones can provide when compared to traditional methods like CCTV camera installation or manned guarding. Asylon’s Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer, Brent McLaughlin said: “This is good news not only for Asylon and our clients, but for the broader industry as we work with Anzen Unmanned and the FAA to bring the requirements and lessons learned to the open source community and aviation standards bodies.” For more information visit: www.asylonrobotics.com (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
21 Aug 23. UAVOS joins Drone Logistics Ecosystem to extend global market opportunities. Drone Logistics Ecosystem (DLE) has welcomed new member UAVOS to its global membership. UAVOS specializes in the design, development and manufacturing of various drones starting from helicopters, fixed-wing, and some unique high-altitude aircraft which are designed to deliver critical missions in the stratosphere. UAVOS’ team produces helicopters with the MTOW from 25 kg to up to 600 kg, designed to be operated in hot and moist environments such as the tropics. These drones are ideal for intercity delivery, operation in remote and hard-to-reach areas. UAVOS’ unmanned platforms have already been tested by their clients in Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.
DLE is a global/virtual network of companies, universities, public/governments, and investors operating in the drone logistics industry. For more information visit: www.uavos.com (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
18 Aug 23. Focus more on the short term: Advanced Air Mobility Institute responds to DOT’s AAM Strategy. The Advanced Air Mobility Institute has submitted a comprehensive response to the Department of Transportation’s request for information (RFI) on the National AAM Strategy.
One of the key recommendations is to focus more on near term challenges.
“The Advanced Air Mobility Institute has observed that AAM stakeholder strategies have often been based on decade-away plans and not focused enough on pending AAM operations in the near-term,” says the Institute. “A comprehensive AAM strategy should address, in detail, how AAM operations will be integrated in the near-term into the airspace, ground-space, and communities, while planning for broader applications and scaling in the longer term. This must include addressing the reality of early AAM operations and use cases, benefitting the few, but a clear roadmap for how the investments made in this technology by the various sectors will benefit larger communities, address environmental concerns, and be a viable mode of transportation.
“We would like to see the energy used for AAM (charging, infrastructure, and more) as part of our national security giving us ample of home-made energy independent of geopolitical influences. AAM will help drive improvements to other modes of transportation. There is a legitimate concern that this technology is exclusively for wealthy elite, but it is paramount to ensure broad accessibility.”
Another area of concern highlighted by the Institute is the provision of UTM services.
“There is not a current plan that will mandate who owns the responsibility for separation in UTM, AAM airspace, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not yet determined how they will provide services. The FAA needs to determine whether they will cede airspace to those that will provide a service in UTM airspace.
“For a UTM, PSU, or USS provider to provide service, they need to know that the agency is going to implement rulemaking that makes all users in that airspace participants by at least having ADSB out so that if they are not participating in the UTM architecture they will at least be able to be seen by USS and PSU’s who will be providing the strategic and tactical separation as part of their service provided.
“The FAA must determine if communication, navaids, and surveillance will be part of an industry-owned or federally-owned and managed system. This determination will become a matter of who owns liability if an off-nominal situation results in a catastrophic event. When legacy aircraft eventually traverse AAM operational airspace, such a determination will be a key factor in which authority controls.”
In terms of focusing on near term AAM operations, the Institute recommends the following missions should be prioritised:
- Emergency Response: search and rescue operations, community monitoring, fire suppression, disaster relief, and overall increased situational awareness for first responders.
- Rapid Transportation: medical transportation aka ‘air ambulance’ to recover people in remote or hard-to-reach areas, such as mountainous regions or areas affected by natural disasters. Organs for transplantation, or even bringing medical teams to inaccessible or congested areas. AAM can transport personnel and equipment to remote areas or transport critically ill patients to hospitals quickly.
- Critical Infrastructure: mapping, environmental monitoring, infrastructure inspections like rail and powerline inspections and other aerial survey applications. AAM may find applications expanding current options in industries such as surveillance and monitoring of remote areas or large-scale facilities, including oil rigs, power plants, and pipelines.
- Cargo Delivery: AAM can be used for rapid delivery of goods, especially high-value, time-sensitive items like medical supplies. This use case is already being tested in several places and might be one of the first to see wider adoption. For more information: https://aaminstitute.org/
15 Aug 23. Global Drone Market Report predicts growth from USD33.7b in 2023 to USD54.6b by 2030. Drone Market Report 2023, prepared by Drone Industry Insights, estimates the global market will generate over USD54.6 bn by 2030 compared with USD33.7bn in 2023, as a result of 7.7% CAGR.
The report divides the global drone market into two main categories: commercial and recreational drone markets. The commercial drone market exceeds the recreational market by far. The commercial market is growing at a CAGR of 7.7%, while the recreation market is expected to stagnate with a CAGR of -0.3% by the recreational market.
The largest commercial market segment is the service market which generates USD 24.6bn in 2023, followed by the commercial hardware segment with USD 4.9bn as of 2023. The smallest segment is the commercial software market is USD 1.2bn in size in 2023, says the report.
Analysis of the global market predicts the Asian drone market will remain in the lead, followed by North America and Europe. The fastest growing regional market will be Middle East & Africa, growing at 15.4% CAGR from 2023 to 2030.
In 2023, China is the biggest market in the drone industry, followed by the US and Japan.
The current near-term challenges to look out for in the drone regulations space involve rules and standards for remote ID, simplification of the SORA process, and the definition of airworthiness requirements.
Request a sample here: https://droneii.com/product/drone-market-report?utm_source=email&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=release-market-report-2023&utm_content=sidebar&utm_term=sidebar-cta&goal=0_8e282c8de0-287aa19939-261934837&mc_cid=287aa19939&mc_eid=56065307ab For more information visit: www.droneii.com (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
15 Aug 23. IN-FLIGHT Data, AirMatrix, BVLOS flight over urban populations achieves SAIL 4 complexity level. Drone operator IN-FLIGHT Data partnered with remote traffic management software leader AirMatrix to repeat an Uncrewed Traffic Management (UTM) project first carried out in 2022 to conduct an urban signals mapping operation. The operation was carried out almost 1,000ft above the ground, beyond the line of sight of the pilot, and over urban neighbourhood populations. The operation represented a successful SAIL 4 mission, referring to the regulator’s combined complexity of a drone mission, from 1 (low) to 6 (high).
Since Phase 1 of the project in 2022, IN-FLIGHT Data and AirMatrix have been testing, training and preparing to conduct a much larger advanced RF survey in Calgary. Completed in partnership with The City’s Smart City Living Labs Program, The City’s aim is to offer access to city assets for companies, researchers and individuals to test and try ideas and products in a real-life environment, helping entrepreneurs bring big ideas to fruition and supporting investment in the local economy.
According to the IN-FLIGHT press release, Phase 2 of the project flew for 660 km entirely inside the City of Calgary, with a population of about 1.4 m people, under approved SFOC. Most times, the aircraft was over 2 km away from the pilot while performing the high aerial survey. Utilizing a highly-trained air crew working with advanced and certified drones and the latest in aerial surveillance technologies, including hardware and software, the purpose of the aerial intelligence gathering was to scale-up the measurement and assessment of the entire communications network fabric above Calgary, including geolocation, cellular, radio and many others.
This understanding of urban radio network performance is required to support future advancements in aviation. For example, the FAA in the USA recently announced the approval of flying taxis by 2028. This project supports the development and growth of these technological advancements in transportation and mobility, including aircraft such as Uber, Archer or Joby.
Telecommunications companies, governments, regulators, airspace navigation service providers, and industry are all needed to understand how high-performance drone aircraft will safely navigate and communicate in the air above population centers. Think of it like when the Canada Railway was built in the 1800’s – someone came before the rail lines to survey the route, level the land for the rail ties and dig tunnels through mountains. That’s what this project achieved at-scale – successfully 3D mapping the urban network fabric to understand and assess how future aircraft and infrastructure can take advantage of these new high-performance networks to deliver future innovation to the cities and their citizens. For more information visit: www.inflightdata.ca
16 Aug 23. Embry-Riddle research recommends extending drone exclusion zone around airports. According to an article published by Avfoil, “new research to count and analyse close calls between aircraft and drones has recommended extending the exclusion zone around “high-risk” runways to 3.5 miles.”
“The current exclusion zone is around one mile,” says the article. “Researchers said that most close calls happen within 1.5 miles of a runway approach or departure zone. Ryan Wallace, associate professor of aeronautical science at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, said: “That modification would provide enhanced protection for piloted aircraft operating at less than 500 feet above ground level during approach or departure. Typically, small uncrewed aircraft don’t fly above 400 feet.”
“Up to this point, information about narrow escapes between drones and aircraft has been based on subjective reports from pilots who are trying to identify and evade drones at the same time. The FAA received 2,596 pilot reports in 2021, which represents over a 100% increase on the 1,210 reports during the first full year of tracking in 2015.
“Now in a study published by the Society of Automotive Engineers in its International Journal of Aerospace there is a new way to track and understand incidents. Researchers from Embry-Riddle and Unmanned Robotic Systems Analysis (URSA) looked at more than 1.8m piloted aircraft operations and nearly 460,000 flights by sUAS around Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. Between August 2018 and July 2021, researchers identified 24 near-midair collisions in which drones came within 500 feet of piloted aircraft.
“To develop a new method of counting and analysing close encounters between aircraft and drones, without solely depending on pilot sightings, researchers analysed sUAS and aircraft telemetry data collected using an UAS detection device connected to an antenna on top of Dallas Fort Worth’s Terminal C concourse. The device captured telemetry, altitude, launch location, and other details, for each sUAS within a 30-mile radius.
“That information was then combined with automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B), as well as Mode S messages transmitted by aircraft and tracked by the OpenSky Network. To visualise the results, all information was fed into URSA’s proprietary data analytics software, Airspace Awareness Platform. Wallace added: “We hope that our findings will help improve aviation safety by reducing the risk of collisions between unmanned aircraft systems and piloted aircraft operating in the National Airspace System.”
“Across all of the near-midair collisions, the average lateral distance between the drone and the airplane was about 215 feet. Commercial air carriers were involved in 11 incidents, while seven incidents involved helicopters and six involved general aviation aircraft. All of the helicopter encounters happened within 1.25 miles of a heliport. Similarly, in 10 of the 11 air carrier encounters, the aircraft was within 1.5 miles of approach or departure and lower than 500 feet above the ground.
Scott Winter, associate professor of graduate studies, associate dean for research and a co-author of the research article, said: “Operations within the vicinity of an airport are critical flight phases for pilots with high workload levels. It is within these areas where aircraft have added susceptibly of a collision with sUAS. The findings from this study provide objective data for operators, government agencies, and airlines to understand sUAS operations better and prevent possible conflicts,” according to Avfoil. For more information visit: www.avfoil.com
16 Aug 23. OneSky explains strategic deconfliction and monitoring as part of Korea’s K-UAM Grand Challenge. OneSky’s description of its Urban Air Traffic Management (UATM) solution in Korea as part of the K-UAM Grand Challenge began by building the airspace information layers to integrating surveillance and utilizing feeds. OneSky then introduced flight authorization and the rules engine built into the OneSky UATM. In this latest update, OneSky focuses on strategic deconfliction and conformance monitoring, as well as how everything works in a federated architecture where the UATM system can manage operations from multiple operators and PSUs.
According to OneSky:
Conformance monitoring moves into the mission’s operations phase. For example, suppose we have a few regional flights going between regional airports in a given geographical area. In that case, we may get information from our surveillance systems that they are coming too close to our operation. That will get detected by the OneSky separation management service. It detects violations of the well-clear and near-mid-air collision boundary in real-time. In addition, it forward propagates the surveillance and own-ship tracks to predict upcoming violations of the WC and NMAC boundaries. The operator is notified of existing or upcoming violations in the UATM alerts panel, as well as through the Server-Sent Event stream.
The operator can choose to change their flight based on the notification. What happens if the operator changes their flight? Well, if you go outside the 4-dimensional volumes assigned to your flight, you become “non-conforming.” Alerts are sent, and a non-conformance volume generated by the UATM.
The non-conformance volume is a dynamic geometry that tracks the non-conforming operation based on the last received position, heading, and speed. This volume is an appended version of your operational intent that was previously deconflicted and shared with other airspace users. Using ASTM standards for USS/PSU operational intent sharing, we discover and share this updated operational intent volume with all affected operators.
If you can get back into your assigned volume in a standard amount of time (ASTM standard or system-level setting), you return to the conforming state. However, if the operation remains non-conforming, it will eventually transition to the “contingent” state. Contingent operations trigger similar workflows to non-conforming operations, i.e., contingent volumes are generated based on the predicted trajectory of the operation and then shared with affected airspace users. However, contingent operations can not return to the conforming state and must be ended as soon as safely possible.
PSU Information exchange services
Now all of this comes down to information exchange. PSU and USS systems need to be able to exchange information, such as flight intents and tracking information, in real time. This is enabled by the UATM information exchange service. OneSky has implemented the ASTM standards for USS-to-USS information exchange, which utilizes the InterUSS Discovery and Synchronization Service (DSS) for discovery of service providers and ASTM standard APIs for peer-to-peer information exchange. We have also implemented the ASTM PSU to PSU peer-to-peer protocols, which have yet to be ratified but have been trialed in projects like NASA NC X4 and FAA UAM Demonstrator. The primary difference between the USS and PSU protocols is how flight intents are described, i.e., 4D Volumes vs 4D Trajectories.
ASTM standards are just one way to exchange information across the ecosystem. We are also pursuing information exchange using SWIM-compliant services and models, such as FIXM Core schemas and FF-ICE message templates. In collaboration with KARI and the KUAM SWIM Working Group, OneSky will adapt the traditional FIXM schemas to include UAM-specific properties such as vertiports, eVTOL properties, equipage, etc. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter the protocol. There have to be standards in place to make sure that data is exchanged in a common way. For more information visit: www.onesky.xyz (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
18 Aug 23. Boeing Delivers Fourth Poseidon Aircraft to Complete New Zealand Fleet. Defence Minister Andrew Little has marked the arrival of the fourth and final P-8A Poseidon aircraft at the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s Base Ohakea today.
“The delivery of all Poseidon P-8As marks a significant milestone in this Government’s historic investment in our defence capability to support the security and stability of our region,” Defence Minister Andrew Little said.
“The aircraft will be used by the RNZAF to conduct a range of tasks including aerial surveillance of New Zealand’s areas of interest such as the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), the South Pacific and the Southern Ocean including the Ross Dependency and Antarctica.
“Tasks and roles would also include resource protection, natural disaster support and search and rescue operations alongside Pacific partners,” Andrew Little said.
“The P-8A Poseidon aircraft replace the P-3K2 Orion aircraft, which served the RNZAF for nearly 60 years.
“The P-8As are faster, more reliable, and will be key to supporting national and international disaster responses as a result of climate change, which we know is a top security concern for the Pacific,” Andrew Little said.
“With the fleet now complete, the defence force can be confident it has more resources to provide a meaningful response when tasked to do what it needs to.” (Source: https://www.defense-aerospace.com/ New Zealand Government;)
18 Aug 23. RAF and Boeing to Explore Sustainable Aviation Opportunities on Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft. A joint framework has been signed at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo by representatives of the Royal Air Force (RAF) and Boeing to explore sustainable aviation opportunities on the Poseidon MRA1 fleet. The joint framework will focus on life cycle assessments, end-of-service aircraft value capture, digital tools to optimise flying activity, and environmentally sustainable maintenance activities.
The initiative follows release of the Defence Aviation Net Zero Strategy which details how military aviation will contribute to His Majesty’s Government Net Zero 50 goal. Boeing was one of the first signatories of the Charter.
The framework will explore opportunities to improve the resilience and operational effectiveness of the RAF’s nine-strong Poseidon fleet, whilst reducing operational costs and environmental impacts.
The Poseidon MRA1 is a multi-role maritime patrol aircraft, equipped with sensors and weapon systems for anti-submarine warfare, as well as surveillance and search and rescue missions. The aircraft is a military derivative of a Boeing 737-800 Next Generation and presents opportunities to improve operational effectiveness.
“Bilateral agreements of this nature with our strategic partners will drive the Service to become more operationally resilient, by reducing supply chain vulnerability and allowing our flying activity to be more efficiently delivered. Boeing is leading the way in their proactive approach to this type of endeavour, and I am excited to see this potentially enhance one of our critical capabilities,” said Air Marshal Richard Maddison, Deputy Chief of the Air Staff.
Steve Burnell, Managing Director of Boeing Defence UK jointly signed the framework and provided the following comment: “Boeing is proud to take this step forward with the RAF as we work together to explore opportunities to make defence aerospace more sustainable and build on our recent commitment to the Defence Aviation Net Zero Strategy and our ongoing investment in Scotland.
“The UK’s P-8A fleet based at RAF Lossiemouth and housed in The Atlantic Building, a £100 m joint investment by Boeing and the Ministry of Defence, provides opportunities to trial and leverage sustainable technologies that will further enhance the fleet’s operational effectiveness and reduce its environmental impact.”
The Defence Aviation Net Zero Strategy outlines the steps necessary to meet the commitment to decarbonise Defence’s aviation capability, whilst also mitigating potential risks to operational effectiveness that are likely to arise because of climate change (Defence’s aviation emissions currently represent approximately 60% of MOD’s operational capability emissions).
Boeing and the RAF co-chair the Defence Supplier Forum Climate Change and Sustainability Aviation Group that provides leadership and strategic direction on defence aviation activity. Initiatives already underway include the RAF working with industry leaders Zero Petroleum Ltd to research and develop synthetic fuel technology, which has the potential to eventually eliminate reliance on fossil fuels. In November 2022, the RAF and industry partners flew a Voyager (A330) using 100% sustainable fuel, a world first for a military aircraft of its size, and the first of any aircraft type in the UK. (Source: https://www.defense-aerospace.com/RAF)
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