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06 Oct 23. Kongsberg rapidly developing C-UAS solution for Ukraine. Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace is now in the test phase for integrating the Cortex Typhon counter-unmanned aircraft systems (C-UASs) and plans to deliver the first platforms to Ukraine in early 2024, the company told Janes on 4 October.
The company announced in August it would send several systems to Ukraine worth GBP56m (USD68m), funded by the International Fund for Ukraine (IFU). The solution will take a technology developed for the Norwegian Army and integrate it for a C-UAS mission, a representative for Kongsberg told Janes ahead of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) 2023 annual conference.
Kongsberg provides the remote weapon station (RWS) and Cortex integrated combat solution for the Typhon while Teledyne FLIR Defense supplies surveillance systems for the technology, according to the announcement.
Instead of one RWS, Kongsberg will integrate “two to three” onto the back of the Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) Dingo 2 all-protected carrier vehicles that Norway is donating, according to a representative from Kongsberg. This should increase the probability of taking out the drone, according to the company.
The concept is to use a 50 calibre machine gun for C-UAS as a cheap, simple alternative to a larger, more complicated short-range air-defence (SHORAD) system, the representative said.
The technology has caught the attention of the US Army, according to the representative. The company is in active discussions with the service but declined to provide details because of their early stage.
05 Oct 23. Raytheon’s LTAMDS Excels During US Army Testing. The Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor, developed by Raytheon, an RTX business, achieved significant technical and performance milestones while completing Contractor Verification Testing at the U.S. Army’s White Sands Missile Range. Meeting defined objectives, the tests demonstrated the effectiveness of the radar’s design and performance against real and simulated threats.
LTAMDS is the next generation air and missile defense radar for the U.S. Army. A 360-degree, Active Electronically Scanned Array radar, powered by Raytheon-manufactured Gallium Nitride, LTAMDS provides dramatically more performance against the range of threats, from manned and unmanned aircraft to cruise missiles, ballistic missiles and hypersonics. (PRNewsfoto/RTX)
“The strong performance of LTAMDS at this stage of testing is a critical milestone on the path to achieving an operational capability level by the end of this year,” said Tom Laliberty, president of Land & Air Defense Systems at Raytheon. “The progress made to date is a testament to our collaborative partnership with the U.S. Army and our shared commitment to getting this exceptional capability to air defense forces around the globe as soon as possible.”
Multiple radars were used at WSMR for a series of tests. Executed in phased increments, the Contractor Verification Tests increase in complexity, stressing the advanced features and capabilities of LTAMDS. Throughout testing, LTAMDS was connected to the Army’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System, IBCS.
The radar successfully completed 11 mission sets across a range of simulated operationally relevant environments. Results included the effective search and track of multiple targets, including drones, fixed wing and rotary aircraft, cruise missile and tactical ballistic missile surrogates. Tracks were maintained throughout the duration of the test flights as were direct communications with a PAC-3 missile, culminating with a simulated engagement against a TBM.
All six radars under the October 2019 contract have completed production and are undergoing simultaneous testing at various government and Raytheon test sites, conducting integration and test activities in parallel. Events will continue throughout 2023, including ongoing user training, and soldier-conducted operational assessment, culminating with an Operational Capability readiness level by year end. In 2024, rigorous testing will continue, including robust environmental and mobility qualification, and expanded system of system testing, leading up to full Operational Capability in the calendar year.
LTAMDS is the next generation air and missile defense radar for the U.S. Army. A 360-degree, Active Electronically Scanned Array radar, powered by Raytheon-manufactured Gallium Nitride, LTAMDS provides dramatically more performance against the range of threats, from manned and unmanned aircraft to cruise missiles, ballistic missiles and hypersonics. (Source: ASD Network)
05 Oct 23. Anduril unveils Anvil-M counter-drone kit that can defeat smaller UAS. Anduril Industries unveiled a detonating variant of its Anvil drone it said is capable of intercepting and obliterating nimble overhead threats.
The company, which specializes in autonomy and unmanned aerial systems, said the new Anvil-M was built using input from “real-world combat operations and customer feedback” and can more reliably seek and destroy incoming drones in the Group 1 and Group 2 categories. The groupings denote the speed, altitude and weight of a drone, with 1 being smaller and simpler and 5 being larger and more sophisticated.
“Anvil-M was designed to defeat the biggest threats from Group 1 and Group 2 unmanned aircraft systems to ensure air deterrence,” Neil Thurgood, an Anduril senior vice president and retired U.S. Army general, said in a statement. “Threats will continue to evolve and so, too, will our capabilities, as Anduril will rapidly iterate to meet those threats.”
Anvil-M is the latest addition to Anduril’s counter-drone line of products and takes cues from existing members. The drone is ground-launched, integrating with the company’s mobile home base known as the Launch Box, and links with the artificial intelligence-empowered Lattice command-and-control software.
Once tasked, Anvil drones zip toward a target on a collision path. Whereas the original Anvil rams its prey, knocking it out of the sky, Anvil-M uses a fire-control module and munitions payload.
The U.S. Department of Defense is increasingly worried about drones — and is quickly seeking means to counter them. The commercially available equipment can be used to spy and target, as is seen in the Russia-Ukraine war, and can be tipped with bombs for deadly one-way attacks, as is happening in the Middle East. Central Command in January blamed Iran for a drone assault on a base in Syria used by U.S. and local forces, and the Defense Intelligence Agency months later revealed Iranian attack drones were recovered in nearby Iraq.
U.S. Special Operations Command in early 2022 picked Anduril to lead its counter-drone integration efforts. The deal was worth $1 bn. The company more recently secured Air Force contracts totaling $8 m to refine autonomy aboard its helicopter-like Ghost line of products.
(Source: C4ISR & Networks)
04 Oct 23. Sentient’s AI-enabled optical sensors, ViDAR, detected targets at high altitudes across land and sea for next generation ISR operations.
- Successful flight trials done for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) across multi-domains prove utility of AI-enabled, persistent, wide area motion imagery for long range surveillance at greater standoff distance.
- Confirmation of high detection accuracy at 30,000 ft for ISR missions announced at AUSA (Association of the United States Army), Annual Meeting and Exposition, Washington, DC, 9-11 Oct.’23.
- Next phase development of deep learning analytic to recognize a wider range of targets for real-time intelligence.
Sentient Vision Systems’ (Sentient) Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled sensor solution, ViDAR (Visual Detection and Ranging), has successfully completed a demonstration of a range of detections at high operating altitudes of 30,000 ft.
The mission objectives set by the ADF focused on technology to provide effective methods to detect, locate and track small objects in complex environments. According to Sentient, ViDAR’s superior deep learning and computer vision solution provides faster processing and more accurate detections, enabling commanders to detect and see critical elements for immediate situational awareness on the battlefield.
1: Wide area reconnaissance: Sentient scanned 2000km2/hr while detecting objects of interest including people, vehicles and vessels. This is 30 times faster than a HD turret.
- Surveillance overwatch: Observe specific locations in a busy environment and report on activity.
This achievement of a modular, AI-enabled payload with 2 modes of observation that provides accurate detections in multi-domain operations is timely as the United States, United Kingdom and Australia deepen ties through the AUKUS trilateral agreement, with Pillar II focusing on the AI workstream. Collaboration with allies provides data diversity which enhances detection and classification accuracies to help operators make better decisions in an information-overloaded environment.
The flight’s data performance will be a key discussion point with the US Army, OEMs, and system integrators at AUSA for Sentient’s executives including US-based Business Development Directors, Brent Bergen, and Damien Tyrell, as well as Australia-based Mich Mak, Product Strategy Director and Callum McGregor, Chief Technology Officer.
Callum McGregor explained: “The capability sets demonstrated not only met, and in many cases exceeded the mission objectives, but also importantly provided a road map for US and allied forces deployment of advanced, low signature sensor solutions with onboard processing. Clearly the modularity and interoperability of Sentient’s technologies for AUKUS Pillar 2 sets the scene for a raft of integration on crewed and uncrewed airborne platforms.”
The benefits to military operators are manifold and include:
- ViDAR is platform agnostic, is interoperable with any mission systems and also comes with an intuitive GUI requiring minimal logistics and training support.
- Improved versatility with scanning and overwatch sensors provide joint forces with both land and maritime capabilities.
- Provide high accuracy data: detect, locate, classify and track at 30,000 feet for ISR.
Brent Bergen added: “Lessons learnt in Ukraine demonstrate the need for real-time intelligence – and that demands AI-enabled surveillance technologies to flag targets of interest before they become threats.”
Sentient is working with a variety of US partners and platforms including the VXE30 Stalker. With close to 4,500 systems deployed, Sentient’s AI-enabled sensor edge solutions for wide area motion imagery is proven for detection and identification in missions worldwide.
03 Oct 23. SMARTSHOOTER, a world-class designer, developer, and manufacturer of innovative fire control systems that significantly increase the accuracy and lethality of individual and Crew Served weapons, announced today that its U.S. subsidiary, SMARTSHOOTER Inc. was awarded a follow-on contract to supply additional SMASH 2000L fire control systems to the U.S. Army, including spares. Systems from the first Army award are now deployed for the purpose of defeating drones. The addition of this contract will outfit more troops for the same critical need.
At this year’s AUSA Annual Meeting and Exposition in Washington DC, SMARTSHOOTER will showcase a new collaboration with Leonardo DRS and HDT Global. Together, they introduce the “SMASH Hunter WOLF”, an innovative unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) designed to support light infantry. This powerful robotic platform, with best-of-breed power offload, is able to integrate DRS’s tactical radar technologies and SMARTSHOOTER’s SMASH Hopper light remotely controlled weapon station, delivering an end-to-end solution for countering drones and shortening the sensor-to-shooter cycle.
HDT Global’s Hunter WOLF is a highly maneuverable hybrid electric UGV with an internal diesel / JP-8 genset, capable of offloading 15kW of power, is purpose-designed to support over 20 modular mission payloads. Equipped with DRS’s RPS-42 radar for long-range detection and tracking, it empowers the SMASH Hopper LRCWS to engage threats from a safe standoff distance. The SMASH Hopper high hit probability promises precise, swift, safe, and simple hard-kill elimination of the threat. Altogether, it provides the operating force with an end-to-end remotely controlled kill chain against drone threats.
SMARTSHOOTER will also display the SMASH IWOO, the company’s latest system under development with the Irregular Warfare Technical Support Directorate (IWTSD). This Fire Control System has an x8 variable zoom with a built-in LRF reaching distances beyond 600 meters.
Michal Mor, SMARTSHOOTER CEO, stated: “Securing this follow-on contract is a testament to the proven effectiveness of our SMASH fire control systems within the U.S. Army. Fielded and operationally deployed by friendly forces worldwide, these systems continue to redefine small arms capabilities. Our collaboration with DRS RADA and HDT Global further exemplifies our commitment to delivering comprehensive, tailored solutions that address the evolving landscape of defense challenges.”
SMASH is a weapon Fire Control System (FCS) equipped with an onboard computer to perform complex targeting solutions. Once the user identifies the target (independently or using the detection system guidance) and locks on it, SMASH tracks its movements and synchronizes the shot release to ensure a fast and precise hit on the target. The SMASH Family of fire control systems uses Artificial Intelligence, computer vision, and advanced algorithms to ensure precise hit capabilities, enhance forces’ situational awareness and lethality, and reduce collateral damage. It enables the platoon to be smart, precise, and connected.
SMARTSHOOTER is a world-class designer, developer, and manufacturer of innovative fire control systems that significantly increase the accuracy and lethality of small arms. With a rich record in designing unique solutions for the warfighter, SMARTSHOOTER technology enhances mission effectiveness through the ability to accurately engage and eliminate ground, aerial, static or moving targets during both day and night operations.
Designed to help military and law enforcement professionals swiftly and accurately neutralize their targets, the company’s combat-proven SMASH Family of Fire Control Systems increase assault rifle lethality while keeping friendly forces safe and reducing collateral damage. With a unique technology that makes it possible for every battlefield element to be connected with every other battlefield element, SMASH creates a micro-tactical network that dramatically enhances real-time situational awareness and ensures that the entire platoon shares a common operational picture.
The company’s experienced team of engineers combine electro-optics, computer vision technologies, real-time embedded software, ergonomics, and system engineering to provide cost-effective and easy-to-use solutions for modern conflicts.
Fielded and operational, SMARTSHOOTER’s SMASH family of solutions provides end-users with a “One Shot – One Hit” capability across multiple mission areas, creating a significant advantage for the infantry soldier and ultimately revolutionizing the world of small arms and optics.
SMARTSHOOTER’s headquarters are based in Yagur, Israel, and its American subsidiary is based in Maryland. The company also has a European subsidiary in Düsseldorf, Germany, and an Australian subsidiary in Canberra. For further information, please visit www.SMART-SHOOTER.com
03 Oct 23. Defense Innovation Unit seeks modular test system to scale drone tech. As the Pentagon prepares to field thousands of autonomous systems in the coming years, its commercial innovation hub is seeking a modular test platform that it could use to validate payloads, sensors and other technology. The Defense Innovation Unit wants a system that could be ready for its first flight test within seven months, reach a range of 500 nautical miles (926 kilometers), and deliver a kinetic payload, it said in a Sept. 28 notice.
“The objective is to demonstrate an aerial platform that prioritizes affordability and distributed mass production,” it said. “Multiple vehicle types may be selected for prototyping and multiple variants may be developed following a successful initial flight test. Designs that enable geographically distributed, scalable manufacturing with minimal reliance on specialized tooling and test equipment are preferred.”
The notice comes as the Pentagon embarks on an ambitious plan to change the way it buys high-need capabilities to counter China’s military advantage. Through the first instantiation of the effort, dubbed Replicator, the department wants to significantly scale up production of autonomous systems to deliver thousands of small, attritable platforms across multiple domains over the next 18 to 24 months.
Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks announced the effort in late August, saying the plan is to leverage existing programs and, at least initially, existing funding streams.
While not explicitly tied to Replicator, DIU’s solicitation emphasizes the Pentagon’s need for an open-architecture platform that can test, integrate and qualify a range of subsystems and materials without the “exquisite components” and “labor-intensive manufacturing” that slow down existing production processes.
“The Department of Defense replenishment rates for unmanned aerial delivery vehicles are neither capable of meeting surge demand nor achieving affordable mass,” the notice states. “Narrow supply chains, proprietary data and locked designs result in a lengthy timeline to transition new technology into usable capability and limit production and replenishment rates.”
A DIU spokesman did not immediately respond to questions about the effort’s links to Replicator.
Details on how the Pentagon will execute the program have, so far, been slim. The Deputy’s Innovation Steering Group, established in 2021 and co-chaired by Hicks and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Christopher Grady, will oversee Replicator with support from DIU Director Doug Beck.
DISG held a quarterly meeting Sept. 28, and according to Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon, Replicator was on the agenda.
“The purpose of the inaugural meeting was to ensure familiarization with the initiative across the Pentagon and military services, make clear the tasks and directions for execution, offer an opportunity to ask questions and provide input to support the future direction for Replicator,” Pahon told C4ISRNET in an Oct. 2 statement. (Source: glstrade.com/ C4ISR & Networks)
04 Oct 23. New sovereign radar centre opens at Adelaide University. The University of Adelaide, Department of Defence, and BAE Systems Australia have announced the establishment of the JORN Open Innovation Network Centre for Advanced Defence Research in HF Technologies.
Located at the University of Adelaide’s North Terrace Campus, the centre is designed to develop Australia’s future HF and over-the-horizon radar workforce as part of the Jindalee Operational Radar Network (JORN).
The partners hope that the new centre will improve radar performance through enhanced research and facilitate innovation in over-the-horizon radar technology.
Research will focus on HF systems, ionospheric physics, while upskilling experts in these fields.
A University of Adelaide spokesperson confirmed that the centre hopes to achieve these goals by sourcing an expert leadership team.
This is set to include a BAE-funded chair in HF systems at the School of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering and a Defence funded chair in space and ionospheric physics at the School of Physics, Chemistry and Earth Sciences.
They hope to attract post-doctoral fellows and address challenges in the HF field.
JORN delivers area surveillance of Australia’s northern approaches, providing essential intelligence for ADF air and maritime operations, border protection, as well as disaster relief and rescue operations.
The network relies on locally developed HF technologies.
“The JOIN Centre for Advanced Defence Research in HF Technologies will be a focus for some of the university’s best minds who will work on cutting-edge science and technology,” said Professor Peter Høj AC, University of Adelaide vice-chancellor and president.
“The new centre will sustain a skilled workforce for a sovereign capability and promote innovation to support JORN and other defence projects involving high-frequency technology.”
Air Commodore Regina Gorton, Director General Air and Space Surveillance and Control at CASG, applauded Australia’s heritage in HF technology.
“Australia has a proud heritage in research and development of HF sensing technology that has produced and enhanced the over-the-horizon radar technology and the Jindalee Operational Radar Network. JORN provides critical surveillance for the Integrated Force, enabling Australia’s National Defence objectives,” AIRCDRE Gorton added.
“This collaboration is important for nurturing and advancing the HF sensing technologies that will help to ensure JORN remains the world’s leading over-the-horizon radar system into the future. Defence appreciates this partnership that will also foster the development of science and technology skills and provide opportunity for emerging talent.”
The Centre represents a shared commitment between industry, academia, and government, Ben Hudson, chief executive officer at BAE Systems Australia, said.
“Advancing Australian industry is a core value for BAE Systems Australia and is a shared goal with the Commonwealth of Australia and the University of Adelaide.
“The JOIN Centre represents a new era of collaboration and will create opportunities, expedite research, and lead to breakthrough advancements in high-frequency systems.
“It will continue Australia’s reputation as being a world leader in the development and export of high-frequency technology.” (Source: Defence Connect)
02 Oct 23. USAF JSTARS flies last intel mission after 3 decades in service. The stalwart E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System plane flew its last operational mission Sept. 21, capping a three-decade career as a military “eye in the sky” in conflicts from Operation Desert Storm to the war in Ukraine.
The sortie is a stepping stone on the airframe’s journey into retirement, as the Air Force reshapes its inventory for the demands of modern combat.
“It’s bittersweet,” 116th Air Control Wing boss Col. Christopher Dunlap said in a release Monday. “I’ve been flying this mission on this aircraft since the spring of 2003. There’s been a lot of changes over the years.”
JSTARS is a modified Boeing 707 that uses a long sensor on the belly of the jet to track the movement of ground forces around a region and share that information with other aircraft and troops below. Combat units rely on the fleet to highlight potential targets and stop friendly forces from veering into harm’s way.
Its final mission departed from Ramstein Air Base in Germany, a hub for U.S. military operations across Europe and points farther south. The Air Force declined to answer where the sortie took place or what it entailed.
“The aircraft’s sensors provided invaluable intelligence, guiding strategic decisions on the ground and enhancing operational effectiveness,” the service said in the release.
The fleet’s exit from military operations signals the end of an era in battlefield intelligence.
E-8Cs have flown in military operations from Desert Storm in 1991 to Iraq and Afghanistan a decade later, to the surveillance of Russian troops amassed at Ukraine’s border. They have also assisted in noncombat missions like transnational drug busts.
The fleet withdrew from U.S. Central Command in 2019 after an 18-year deployment supporting counterterror operations.
“The E-8C JSTARS has played a vital role in countless operations, supporting troops and safeguarding nations,” the Air Force said on Facebook.
The fleet, which initially included 16 jets, has been managed by two Air Force units: the active duty 461st Air Control Wing and the Georgia Air National Guard’s 116th ACW, both at Robins Air Force Base.
Together, they have flown more than 14,000 sorties since 2002, when they merged as the service’s first “blended” wing, the service said. The 461st ACW logged its last operational sortie in June.
mission at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Sept. 18. (Master Sgt. Jeff Rice/Air National Guard)
Plans to sunset the JSTARS fleet have gradually come to fruition over the past several years.
The Air Force briefly launched an effort to solicit another aircraft to replace JSTARS but abandoned that program in fiscal 2019. After sparring with Congress over the fate of the fleet, the service began retiring E-8Cs in February 2022.
Instead of maintaining a vast inventory of jets that are purpose-built for highly specialized missions, the Air Force now wants to use a network of satellites, aircraft sensors and ground radars to collect the same targeting and tracking data.
The service hopes that approach will make it more resilient against potential attacks on its command-and-control enterprise, save money on aircraft maintenance and use its airmen more effectively.
Two of the original 16 aircraft remain at Robins, according to the Air Force release. The last JSTARS is slated to depart for the Air Force’s graveyard of retired aircraft at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona, during the first week of November.
Airmen may still use the jet for flight proficiency training until it is formally retired, Air Force spokesperson Capt. Dustin Cole said.
As its centerpiece fleet dwindles, Robins has started taking on new missions that the Air Force views as more relevant in future wars.
Nine E-11A airborne communications relay planes will be based at the central Georgia installation, as well as a command-and-control squadron, a group focused on electromagnetic spectrum warfare, and an office to handle the Air Force’s acquisition of future communications technologies known as the Advanced Battle Management System.
Some airmen are already working to open those units, while others are in training to staff them.
“You can’t expect a wing who has a long history of excellence to sit around and do nothing when there is plenty of work left to do,” Dunlap said in an emailed statement. “It is not in our DNA.” (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Airforce Times)
02 Oct 23. UK surveillance specialist Chess Dynamics has been selected by the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency (NDMA) to provide a Category 1 Target Location Error (TLE) vehicle-mounted surveillance system for its Observation Targeting and Surveillance Systems (OTAS) project.
The project is a mast-mounted observation and surveillance system deployed from the Norwegian CV90 reconnaissance vehicle providing extremely accurate battlefield data to the end user including:
- Timely and accurate targeting data
- Persistent surveillance
- Wide-area situational awareness
- Radar detection and tracking
To meet these requirements, Chess developed the Hawkeye Modular Mission Pod (MMP) which consists of a thermal imaging camera, a high-powered daylight camera, a laser range finder (LRF) with a 30km+ range and a laser pointer. Combined with Chess’ advanced geo data algorithms, the system achieves Category 1 TLE rating, the highest standard of accuracy enabling it to observe, target and understand the battlespace out to ranges of 20km+.
The system is integrated into a wide area Battlefield Information System (BIS) or, in the absence of a BIS, into a local Combat Management System (CMS) developed by Chess. Combined with Chess’ cutting-edge AI target classification and tracking tools, the system provides the end user with unparalleled situational awareness.
Rupert Grinling, Land Sales Manager at Chess, comments: “As battlefields become more complex and adversaries take advantage of ever more advanced technologies, persistent surveillance is becoming increasingly important. Our Hawkeye MMP delivers the highest fidelity surveillance and targeting accuracy levels with the added flexibility of operating from a vehicle.”
Mounted on combat vehicles operating in the harshest climates and traversing the most arduous terrain, the MMP has been electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) verified and environmentally tested to withstand a temperature range of -30 to +40 degrees Celsius.
Additionally, the system can be fitted to a Chess Modular Integrated Pod System (MIPS) for use with a variety of vehicles equipped with a flatbed allowing both mounted operation and, via a fast dismount capability, dismounted remote operation.
The Hawkeye MMP is part of a modular product family designed to operate independently or as an integrated system. Other modular components include a ‘target designation pod’ and a jammer pod providing counter-unmanned aerial system (C-UAS) capability.
29 Sep 23. Frontex announces finalists in its low-flying-object-detection competition. Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, has announced the finalists of its inaugural Prize Award Contest, focusing on the detection, tracking, and identification of low flying objects like drones, paragliders, and small planes attempting to infiltrate EU borders. “This call to innovation aims to inspire industry leaders to develop inventive, cost-effective, and scalable tech solutions that can integrate seamlessly into operational capabilities and support the validation of a cutting-edge surveillance model,” according to the organisation.
“The total prize pool for the competition is EUR 950 000. It has attracted 21 proposals. At the current phase, three finalists are competing in the operational trial phase in Estonia. The remaining competitors are: DAT CON d. o. o. (Slovenia), FLIR Systems AB (Teledyne FLIR) (Sweden) and Marduk Technologies (Estonia).
“Chosen for its strong track record of collaboration between its national agencies and Frontex, Estonia is hosting the grand finale of this initiative, concluding on 6 October. The competition is organised in collaboration with the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences (EASS) and the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA).
“The finalists are currently showcasing their technology in dynamic, real-life mimicking environments, tested by an independent team simulating various threats. This landmark event marks the first of its kind, executed in genuine situational conditions, aiming to assess the efficacy, resilience, and reliability of the proposed solutions in real-world settings.
“The trial phase taking place at the Ridali airfield in southern Estonia brings together the brightest minds from the private sector to governmental agency representatives, all unified towards the common goal of safeguarding the EU’s borders. On Wednesday, 27 September, representatives of EU Member States and EU agencies had a first-hand opportunity to observe the live trials.
For more information: https://frontex.europa.eu/innovation/prize-contest/ (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
28 Sep 23. High Lander and Sentrycs partnership provides airspace management and threat mitigation. Drone services company High Lander has partnered with Sentrycs, a provider of counter-drone technology, to offer authorities U-space management with protection of no-fly zones.
The Sentrycs solution detects drone activity, extracts user-level identification from drones, and neutralizes unapproved drones by disconnecting them from their remote controls and assuming direct control in order to land them safely. The mechanism does not rely of line of sight, making it ideal for operation in urban areas where drone activity will be most concentrated.
Through this partnership, Sentrycs’ technology is incorporated into High Lander’s uncrewed traffic management solution, Vega UTM – a drone-agnostic, automated software solution that monitors in real-time all airborne activity over territories of any size. It autonomously approves, denies, and suggests alternative flight plans as needed, and provides operators with up to the minute notifications on all relevant airspace data.
By combining their solutions, Sentrycs and High Lander offer all of these capabilities in one complete package. The integrated solution autonomously monitors airspace activity in real time, coordinates flight plans at scale, detects unapproved flights and the location of their pilots, and forces unauthorized drones to land safely with no collateral damage. The new, combined solution features drone monitoring, detection and threat management to support security in the sky. For more information visit: www.highlander.io (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
28 Sep 23. Sentrycs participates in DHS anti-swarm testing. In Oklahoma last month, Sentrycs participated in rigorous testing organised by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), aimed at demonstrating and evaluating capabilities for simultaneous drone detect and track at differing ranges, altitudes and speeds.
Among the test scenarios successfully completed were:
- Individual and multiple drones to 2.5km distant and 500m high;
- Safe drone mitigation, distinguishing authorised from unauthorised drones, tracking DJI, Autel and Parrot drones simultaneously, tracking and mitigating the only 4G-enabled commercial drone;
- Detection and tracking of drones outside the test zone, at ranges of 12-25km.
Sentrycs’ solution is based on Protocol Analytics, which enables safe and dependable detection, tracking, and identification of a wide range of drones, ensuring zero false alarms and no disruption to other communication signals. Additionally, it can facilitate secure takeover of unauthorised drones, safely guiding them to a controlled landing or directing them back to their point of origin, leaving authorized drones unaffected. As a result of this testing, the system is demonstrably not sensitive to the proximity of drones to each other, the altitude they are flying at, or their speed.
Yoav Zaltzman, CEO of Sentrycs highlighted that, “Sentrycs’ showcase at the recent DHS testing scenario in Oklahoma is a testament to the technological breakthroughs we keep pushing for and our relentless drive for excellence,” said Sentrycs CEO, Yoav Zaltzman. “The consistent and reliable results our system delivered underscore the transformative potential of our technology in the face of drone threats in general, and drone swarms in particular”. For more information: https://sentrycs.com (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
27 Sep 23. Canada announces C-UAS Sandbox 2024 to assess innovative, agile solutions. C-UAS was identified as a top priority in Canada’s 2017 defence policy “Strong, Secure, Engaged,” emphasising the imperative need to develop appropriate capabilities to counter the continually-evolving threat from UAS. Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC) leads national efforts in this regard, collaborating closely with all three armed services, Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). A CUAS Sandbox event has now been announced for 2024, aimed at assessing innovative, agile solutions for this challenge in a fully staffed test environment at CFB Suffield, Alberta, in May and June 2024.
The event focus will be on fostering proactive, one-on-one engagements and a collaborative environment, in which innovators will be encouraged to support each other. This will NOT, therefore, be a competitive event, but a collaborative, productive environment. The potential benefits accruing to selected participants will include:
- Prototype refinement
- Influence on future development and procurement decisions
- Networking and exposure
Worth noting also are the Canadian Armed Forces projects that have a direct interest in CUAS systems and the progress of the event
- Canadian Forces Land Electronic Warfare Modernization (CFLEWM) – CUAS is out of scope but there is interest nevertheless in how the disciplines could be integrated into EW sensor networks
- Land Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Modernization (Land ISR Mod)
- Counter Uncrewed Aerial Systems (CUAS) – currently unfunded
Canadian and foreign businesses, individuals and pertinent organisations are eligible to apply, bearing in mind that the extent of potential Canadian content will be a criterion during the evaluation process. Note that applications are due by 14:00 EST on 5 October 2023.
For more information: Counter Uncrewed Aerial Systems Sandbox 2024 – Canada.ca (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
27 Sep 23. Epirus and Oklahoma University to develop “breakthrough” phased-array applications. The US Office of Naval Research (ONR) has made a USD8.16m grant to Epirus and the University of Oklahoma Advanced Radar Research Center (ARRC – the largest academic radar origramme in the USA) to stage a joint effort to maximise the output power of phased array radars, the company announced on 25 September.
Aimed at enhancing operational range by exploiting AI and digital twin best practices, the three-year programme could dramatically enhance output power for all solid-state digital arrays. ARRC researchers, led by Dr Mark Yeary, will seek to find methods of overcoming range limitations to counter the growing UAS threat, which will in turn enhance the development of directed energy solutions for US DoD C-UAS efforts.
The grant exploits an existing relationship between Epirus and ARRC and underscores their joint commitment to creating a worldwide centre of excellence in RF technologies. “Our shared approach to innovative AI modelling and optimisation of RF systems will drive development of novel technology solutions for DoD and other customer sets,” said Epirus CTO Dan Kultran. It will also “[…] lead to measurement systems located on OU’s campus that will greatly enhance the state’s capabilities to innovate and quickly respond to opportunities to advance military readiness and warfighting capabilities,” according to Robert Palmer, ARRC Executive Director.
The comprehensive scope of the project includes measuring and characterising high-power amplifiers tailored for both radar and microwave applications, aimed at achieving higher output power to extend the operational ranges of these crucial systems.
For more information: www.epirusinc.com and www.arrc.ou.edu (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
26 Sep 23. Blighter A800 “detects micro-UAS at over 2,000 metres.” The Blighter Surveillance A800 3D multi-mode drone detection radar detects micro ‘hobby’ UAS at ranges in excess of two kilometres, the company claims in a recent social media release. Designed for target detection and tracking across a variety of applications, the radar’s advanced signal processing algorithms and digital beamforming technology make it especially suitable for the C-UAS role, delivering high levels of situational awareness and accuracy even in challenging environments. Precisely locating airborne targets in 3D space, the A800 can act as the primary detection sensor for layered C-UAS solutions. For more information: www.blighter.com/a800/ (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
29 Sep 23. IEE Exhibiting Lineup of Rugged Displays at AUSA Annual Meeting and Expo 2023. Industrial Electronic Engineers, IEE, manufacturer of field-proven military displays will be exhibiting their product line at the 2023 AUSA Annual Meeting and Exposition in Washington, D.C., October 9th-11th. IEE is answering the need for high-resolution displays that can serve as a key component in a Counter-UAS security strategy of detection, identification, tracking, and defeat. Advanced sensors, radars and other detection technologies enable the early warning and accurate identification of potential drone threats.
“High-resolution displays in conjunction with AI algorithms can be used to analyze data from sensors, cameras and other sources to accurately differentiate between an actual threat and other flying objects,” commented Steve Motter, V.P. of Business Development for IEE. “This allows the operator to quickly and more accurately detect the presence of an actual threat and act accordingly.”
IEE features a selection of operator console displays with resolutions of Full-HD, Ultra-HD and 4K that match the latest high-resolution sensors and cameras, while still being able to operate in harsh outdoor fielded environments. These include the 13.3-inch FHD, the 10.1-inch MFD and a soon to be released 11.6-inch MFD.
13.3-inch FHD Operator Display Panel
Developed for use in both airborne and military ground vehicle operations, this 13.3-inch monitor features full-HD resolution that is able to directly render the latest camera and sensor data. Its narrow bezel is optimized for side-by-side mounting of multiple displays, creating a panoramic operator workstation. Touch screen options available.
- Enhanced, High-Bright 13.3” LCD Display
- Full-HD (1920×1080) LCD bonded with high-strength cover glass including EMI shield, heater and anti-reflective/glare treatments
- LED backlight with high-bright day (sunlight readable) and night (NVIS compatible) modes
- 8 backlit soft key bezel layout
- 2x Composite NTSC/PAL; 1x 3G-SDI
- Serial communication bus
10.1-inch WUXGA Multi-Function Display (MFD)
The 10.1″ MFD utilizes a high performance, heavy-duty, full color, very high-bright WUXGA AMLCD. Designed for fixed and rotary wing airborne applications, this very wide viewing angle display features a selectable dual-mode LED backlight for sunlight readable daytime operation and NVIS-compatible operation for night. A programmable 8-way joystick and encoder knobs complement the bezel keys to provide a full-featured operator interface supporting the control of a wide range of applications.
- 10.1″ WUXGA, (1920×1200) color TFT LCD display
- Brightness: 1,100 cd/m2 typical
- Contrast Ratio: 800:1
- Video Interface: 2 x DVI-D, 2 x HD-SDI (loop-through)
- Communication Interface: RS-422
- 13 programmable bezel push-buttons, with tactile feedback and NVIS filtered backlight
- Replaceable Bezel
- On-screen display (OSD) functions controlled using Bezel Keys
- 3-way rotary switch for OFF/NIGHT/DAY, one brightness encoder, two programmable dual-concentric encoders and one 8-way joystick
IEE is exhibiting in booth #1167 at the AUSA Annual Meeting and Exposition, October 9th-11th. Stop by or make an appointment with Steve Motter by calling 1-800-422-0867, ext. 327, or email: .
For over 75 years, IEE has been a trusted provider of enhanced displays for military and industrial applications. From rapid prototyping of custom designs to full-scale production runs, IEE’s factory in Van Nuys, CA produces innovative displays with advanced features like low-latency video processing, high-bright and NVIS backlighting, and lightweight, ruggedized enclosures. IEE’s direct control of critical process steps reduces costs, decreases production lead times and improves lifecycle management. IEE display products are distributed worldwide. IEE is ISO 9001:2015 and AS9100D certified. For more information: visit ieeinc.com
29 Sep 23. Chinese defense firms show off counter-drone tech at Serbia arms show. Chinese defense companies are tapping into Serbia’s market potential, striving to further expand their activities within the country and the wider Balkan region, manufacturers say.
The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace referred to Serbia as China’s “open-door” to the Balkan region in a 2019 report. Four years later, their relationship is strengthening, as demonstrated at a Serbian government-sponsored Partner 23 defense exhibition held in Belgrade this week.
Thus far, Chinese military exports have not enjoyed the same level of success in other parts of the region, although many Balkan countries have opened themselves to Chinese firms in infrastructure sectors.
Ahead of the Partner 23 fair, Serbia was the guest country of honor at the 23rd Chinese International Fair for Investment and Trade on Sept. 9. One of the objectives of the conference is to promote Serbian investment policies and environment, according to a statement published on the social media of the organizers.
In the context of the Belgrade defense event taking place here, three of four Chinese defense companies present reported that this was their first time attending.
“There is an obvious interest in the Serbian market, as for most Chinese companies here, it is our first time at the fair, showing part of our products for the first time as well in Europe, so there has been an expansion in our [China-based exhibitors] presence,” a representative of China National Precision Machinery Import & Export Corp. said.
CNPMIEC promoted itself as China’s largest missile weapons systems supplier. It displayed laser weapon systems, including the LW-30, which uses high energy beams to strike incoming targets, including low-altitude and low-speed drones. It is suited for forces looking to gain airspace control and air defenses, as it is able to implement hard and soft kill of threats within three kilometers (1.87 miles).
Another newcomer was ELINC China, which produces electronic warfare and counter-drone systems. Among its best-sellers, also displayed at the fair but not labeled, is the CHL-906 multifunction radar jamming and electronic intelligence station, that can be sold in different configurations.
“As first time exhibitors, we are interested in expanding into Serbia and the Balkan region markets. We are open and ready to cooperate with Serbian industry,” Sun Xuming, assistant general manager at ELINC’s Eurasian Department said.
This sentiment was also echoed by a representative of Norinco Group, a Chinese state-owned defense firm that attended an earlier edition of the Belgrade fair. The company placed at the forefront of its booth mock-ups of anti-tank missiles and armored vehicles, including the VN22 6×6 infantry fighting vehicle.
Surprisingly, almost no drones were displayed by Chinese firms. One of the only visible ones was the Wing Loong II, showcased on the stand of CATIC, also exhibiting for the first time.
No company officials were available to comment on whether they intended to push a possible sale of the Wing Loong II to the Serbian military. Belgrade currently lacks a MALE category drone comparable to the MQ-9 Reaper.
Peter Voinovich, editor-in-chief of Serbian aviation news portal TangoSix, said he is doubtful the country has any interest in it.
“Serbia, at least publicly, has not expresesed an interest in getting the Wing Loong II, as a medium-altitude long-endurance capability,” he said. “The MoD strategy has been to gradually introduce foreign drones for the purpose of fulfilling urgent needs, which manifested in acquiring the Chinese CH-92A and follow-on CH-95 systems.” (Source: Defense News)
29 Sep 23. NATO Deploys AWACS Surveillance Jets to Lithuania. NATO will temporarily deploy Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) surveillance planes to Šiauliai, Lithuania. The first of two aircraft will arrive on Thursday (28 September 2023) and will fly missions to monitor Russian military activity near the Alliance’s borders.
“Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine has increased our focus on the security environment in the Baltic Sea region,” said acting NATO Spokesperson Dylan White. “Our AWACS can detect aircraft and missiles hundreds of kilometres away, making them a key early warning capability for NATO. I thank Lithuania for hosting the aircraft. This is an important contribution to our shared security.”
In response to Russia’s war in Ukraine, NATO has boosted its air presence in the eastern part of the Alliance using fighter jets, surveillance planes and tankers. In the wake of Russian drone strikes near NATO territory, the United States last week deployed four additional F-16 fighter aircraft to Romania to enhance NATO’s air policing mission. Since February 2022, NATO AWACS have conducted hundreds of flights over Eastern Europe to monitor Russian warplanes.
The AWACS will start their reconnaissance flights over Alliance territory in the coming days. The mission is scheduled to last several weeks. The aircraft belong to a fleet of 14 NATO-owned surveillance aircraft based in Geilenkirchen, Germany. Around 150 military personnel will deploy to Šiauliai in support of the aircraft. (Source: ASD Network)
29 Sep 23. Philippine Air Force expands Cessna-208B ISR aircraft fleet. The Philippine Air Force (PAF) has taken possession of a third Cessna-208B (C-208B) Grand Caravan EX intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft following an acceptance ceremony witnessed by Secretary of National Defense Gilberto Teodoro Jr at Clark Air Base on 19 September, the service announced the next day.
The latest C-208B aircraft was handed over by Chief of Joint US Military Assistance Group (JUSMAG)-Philippines, US Army Colonel Edward Evans.
The PAF stated that the aircraft type is known for its rugged utility and flexibility, and is capable of operating over distances of up to 912 nautical miles and remain airborne for over five hours,
The new aircraft will be operated by the PAF’s 300th Air Intelligence and Security Wing (AISW), and will be used to support of internal security operations, territorial defence, and humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR) operations. It will also assist with counterterrorism and law enforcement missions.
It was provisioned for under a US$19.8 m Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract awarded to US company MAG Aerospace by the US Department of Defense (DoD) in January 2022, which called for the company to to integrate ISR equipment on a C-208 aircraft, with an option for an additional, fully integrated C-208 ISR aircraft.
The first two aircraft were delivered and handed over in August 2017 using grants from the US Government. The first of this initial aircraft batch was part of a US$33 m package funded via the US Building Partner Capacity Program to improve the ability of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to undertake counterinsurgency and counter-terrorism operations.
The Philippine Army’s Aviation Regiment has also indicated its interest to acquire comparable ISR aircraft.
The AFP is rapidly modernising to cope with mounting challenges in its expansive territorial waters and maritime resources, and has sought to boost its long-range airborne ISR capabilities in recent years with new medium altitude-long endurance unmanned aerial aircraft as well as purpose-built maritime patrol aircraft. (Source: AMR)
29 Sep 23. Saab has presented the first Saab 340 Airborne Early Warning (AEW) aircraft to Poland during a ceremony in Linköping. Saab has presented the first Saab 340 Airborne Early Warning (AEW) aircraft to the customer during a ceremony in Linköping. The event took place in Linköping on 29 September, just two months after Poland placed an order for two AEW aircraft.
Guests from Sweden and Poland attended the event, which marked a milestone towards the rapidly proceeding delivery to Poland of the Saab 340 AEW equipped with the Erieye radar. The solution will provide Poland’s Armed Forces with a national asset to reinforce territorial integrity and national security.
The fast pace is a result of the efficient collaboration between Saab and the Polish Armed Forces and the fact that Saab has an ongoing production line for airborne early warning solutions. This includes dedicated personnel and in-house expertise to perform all kinds of tests and evaluations for the necessary approval of the systems.
“We are honoured to provide this important capability to Poland and proud to be quickly progressing towards the delivery of this airborne early warning system to the Polish Armed Forces,” says Carl-Johan Bergholm, head of Saab’s business area Surveillance.
Saab 340 AEW, together with associated ground equipment, provides a detailed situational picture that can be used for military and civilian tasks including air surveillance and rescue operations. Different configurations of Saab’s Erieye AEW / AEW&C system have been sold to nine countries, making it one of the most widely used airborne surveillance systems in the world. (Source: joint-forces.com)
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