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22 Dec 20. Kongsberg Geospatial Announces New Tactical UAS Sensor Data Management Solution. Kongsberg Geospatial, creators of the TerraLens geospatial map-engine Software Development Kit (SDK), announced the release of the Modular ISR Data Analysis and Storage (MIDAS) solution. MIDAS was developed to provide a rapid capability for the exploitation and further distribution of drone sensor data.
Kongsberg Geospatial’s MIDAS addresses the “lack of standards” problem that the vast majority of Tactical UAVs encounter – no standards-compliant PED capability for their organic sensor data. MIDAS provides a fully standards-compliant system that allows intelligence analysts to exploit sensor data in near real-time, from where the drone is being operated – without having to wait for post mission analysis from headquarters.
Kongsberg MIDAS is derived from leading-edge technologies delivered for the NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) project which required the storage and retrieval of vast amounts of intelligence data for Intelligence Analysts. MIDAS has packaged these strategic capabilities into a tactical and portable form factor that enables those same strategic PED capabilities to be deployed and given to the front-line warfighter to increase his/her situational awareness.
MIDAS enables the monitoring of the current mission sensor feeds and permits comparative analysis against legacy sensor feeds from the same search area. Providing this capability at the tactical level will reduce the current connectivity reliance and wait times associated with higher-level headquarters decisions. This ability will dramatically shorten the sensor-to-shooter decision-action cycle.
Tactical UAV operators in the field create vast quantities of sensor data that require analysis but typically suffer from bandwidth limitations to share this data with “enterprise” resources needed to create intelligence products. Additionally, due to lack of standards and tools for sensor analysis, a large percentage of tactical Full-Motion Video (FMV) and other sensor data is unexploited and unrecorded.
“Tactical UAVs don’t fly for the sake of flying, they are tasked to collect sensor data and we’re proud to be part of the critical role of rapid intelligence creation using that data,” said Ranald McGillis, President, Kongsberg Geospatial. “Our MIDAS system draws on our technical legacy with NATO projects to create a world leading capability to exploit drone sensor data.” (Source: UAS VISION)
18 Dec 20. Fortem Technologies launches DroneHanger support hub for its C-UAS systems. Drone detection and mitigation company Fortem Technologies has launched a support hub for its DroneHunter counter unmanned aircraft systems (C-UAS) system. The DroneHangar technology hub eliminates the need for manual delivery, setup, and launch by personnel that is required of most counter-drone mitigation solutions, such as hand-held jamming and net guns, says Fortem Technologies.
According to a Fortem press release, DroneHangar is designed to be a force multiplier that makes engagement and mitigation of threatening drones at a safe distance possible. Drone Hangar is tightly integrated with SkyDome Manager software, enabling the launch of DroneHunter in under six seconds. This autonomous, rapid deployment also reduces the need for operators or technicians to manually monitor and manage the DroneHunter before or after a sortie is completed.
DroneHangar is an environmentally controlled hub that protects the DroneHunter from extreme temperature and weather conditions, keeping it charged and ready for flight. It eliminates any pre-launch tuning by personnel, and automatically feeds health monitoring such as battery life, temperature, and ready status into SkyDome Manager. Designed to be portable, DroneHangar can be trailer-mounted for easy maneuvering and can be installed at any location that has power and ethernet.
“DroneHangar is an essential part of the SkyDome System, enabling DroneHunter to be functional and ready for flight at a moment’s notice. A key requirement for an effective, end-to-end counter drone system is that it must operate without the need for human intervention,” said Spencer Prows, VP of Engineering at Fortem Technologies. “It’s a modern day ‘BatCave’ for the DroneHunter—providing both protection and intelligence while serving as a remote command center where it’s needed.” For more information visit: www.fortemtech.com (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
15 Dec 20. CS Group presents ALLADIN counter drone research results ahead of February 2021 final project review. For three years, CS GROUP has been coordinating the European Horizon 2020 project Advanced hoListic Adverse Drone Detection, Identification Neutralization (ALLADIN). CS GROUP provides a core element, its command & control (C2) component exploiting Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality technologies for greater performance in threat detection and identification.
In November, CS GROUP had the opportunity to present the results of this work to various European organisations in charge of citizen protection:
- ILEANET, a network of European security forces designed to research and promote innovative solutions. ALADDIN therefore has its full place in this network and was the subject of a remote demonstration in front of 80 attendees.
- At the Commission’s Directorate General for Migration and Home Affairs (DG HOME), which organized a community of users workshop dedicated to the UAV threat. In addition to a cross presentation of solutions to the issue, this workshop included a phase of exchanges on topics related to citizen security in cities with a large number of UAVs. Participants included members of the European Commission, law enforcement agencies, industry and academia.
- Finally, CS GROUP led the third project workshop, bringing together some 50 people from European security forces, to present the results of the project.
CS Group press release says this exchange with users is essential to gather operational requirements and present solutions. The company reports broad support for the research and relevance of the solutions.
The final review of the project is scheduled for February 2021.
The ALADDIN consortium consists of 17 European partners, comprising both technical partners (industrial companies, small-medium enterprises, research centers and academic institutes) and end-user representatives of Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) and critical infrastructure operators.
The consortium is supported by external and internal boards.
The current participants come from 9 European nations:
- France (CS GROUP, MC2, HGH, MIF with its linked third-party CIVIPOL),
- Spain (FADA CATEC, Acciona, Madrid Police),
- Italy (IDS, MIPS),
- Greece (CERTH, KEMEA),
- Poland (PIAP, SIRC),
- Germany (Fraunhofer IDMT),
- Belgium (VUB),
- Portugal (PJ)
- UK (Home Office / DSTL).
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15 Dec 20. US Air Force deploys Easy Aerial airborne detection system at Travis Air Force Base. The US Air Force (USAF) has declared initial operational capability of Easy Aerial’s autonomous aerial drone-in-a-box monitoring solution following nine months test and evaluation at Travis Air Force Base. The deployment is part of the US Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II research and development activity. The Smart Air Force Monitoring System (SAFMS) and tethered version (SAFMS-T) were the result of a joint development collaboration between Easy Aerial and USAF, developed in response to Air Force base perimeter security and situational awareness operational requirements.
Easy Aerial’s Smart Aerial Monitoring System (SAMS) is designed to provide constant and on-demand monitoring of multi-purpose drones without the need of human intervention. The solution comprises three elements:
Falcon Drone: lightweight, durable drone with various payloads and 45 minutes flight time
Easy Guard: Mobile ground stations that charges the Falcon drone and provides weather protection
East RMS: Proprietary fleet manager and communication software to support scheduled and on-demand missions, live HD and thermal video and monitoring data.
MSgt Joshua Hicks, Travis AFB 60th SFS sUAS instructor said. “This jointly developed technology will provide unparalleled security and safety for our airmen and critical assets. They will potentially save lives and will save time, effort, and resources as we continue to expand our training and operations across the base.
“Upon receiving a security trigger such as a fence alarm, fire alarm, or other distress calls, the SAFMS can be programmed to deploy from its base station automatically and autonomously navigates to the trigger site location providing complete unparalleled situational awareness. Upon completing the mission, the drone autonomously returns to and lands inside the protective base station, where it will recharge and wait for the next scheduled patrol or security triggered mission. “
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14 Dec 20. Aveillant’s staring radar provides full digital picture of the sky at Birmingham University, UK. UK manufacturer Aveillant has installed its holographic radar on top of an engineering building at the University of Birmingham as part of a demonstration intended to test and prove the precision of quantum-enabled radar detection capabilities. The project aims to test and show how the precision of quantum timing devices can impact networked radar detection capabilities as part of a project undertaken by academics at the UK Quantum Technology Hub Sensors and Timing.
The Quantum Technology Hub is led by the University of Birmingham, partnered with the Universities of Glasgow, Strathclyde, Sussex, Imperial, Nottingham, Southampton as well as the National Physics Laboratory and the British Geological Survey. Aveillant radar technology is designed to provide a full digital picture of the sky.
The radar depends on the Hub’s compact atomic clock oscillators which provide the high precision and low signal noise required for the radar to detect small, slow moving objects, such as drones, at longer distances, and even in cluttered environments. High precision radar such as this will ensure autonomous vehicles can detect hazards well ahead of time. The technology has many potential applications including counter drone surveillance and maintaining real-time situational awareness in highly congested and cluttered environments.
Hub academics are also developing next generation distributed radar systems, which will transform surveillance by providing much greater coverage and maintaining real-time situational awareness in highly congested and cluttered environments.
The EPRSC-funded project Mapping and Enabling Future Airspace (MEFA), based at the University of Birmingham, will also benefit from the radar installation. MEFA is a three-year interdisciplinary project bringing together radar experts from across the University to study the use of urban airspace. The project will investigate how radar can be used to study the effects of urban developments on migrating birds, and also to differentiate between flying birds and small drones.
Aveillant has also installed two holographic radars at Cranfield Airport to support Cranfield University’s NBEC (National Beyond Visual Line Of Sight Experimental Corridor) initiative based at the Digital Aviation Research and Technology Centre. Aveillant has supplied its Gamekeeper radar designed specifically for small drone detection to ranges of 7.5km, and the experimental Quadrant radar which can track small aircraft out to beyond 50 nautical miles. The two radars will be used to explore the use of radar sensors in UAV traffic management (UTM). Ultimately, UTM systems aim to allow drone flights in all kinds of airspace, supporting the use of drones in package delivery, building inspection, emergency response and a host of other applications.
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21 Dec 20. Netline has completed the testing & evaluation phase of the C-Guard RJ vehicular counter-IED system, on 12 types of Spanish MOD vehicle. Following the successful testing process, the Spanish Army has accepted delivery of over 50 systems as the first serial batch of a total order for over 320 kits. Netline Communications Technologies Ltd. – a leading developer and manufacturer of high-end electronic warfare and spectrum dominance systems for defense forces and homeland security agencies – has completed the acceptance procedure of 51 improvised explosive device (IED) jammers by the Spanish Ministry of Defense. The project is part of a €65m framework contract awarded to the company in August 2019, under which Netline is scheduled to deliver C-Guard RJ vehicular jamming systems for the different branches of the Spanish armed forces.
Designed to be mounted on vehicles, Netline’s C-Guard RJ is a highly flexible and resilient radio controlled (RC) counter-IED reactive jamming system. Providing reactive coverage to counter an extensive range of threats, the system constantly scans the spectrum and responds to any detected transmissions by focusing the jamming signal and power to defeat the threat.
The system has been designed to provide military forces engaged in operational activity with easy and efficient system operation and simple replacement of new modules, which can be carried out by the operating teams (O-level) with nearly zero downtime.
“Despite its complexity, we have carried out the process of testing and evaluating the 12 prototype installations and achieved acceptance of the first serial production batch, in accordance with the agreed schedule,” says Yallon Bahat, CEO of Netline. “This is thanks to the close and successful cooperation with the Spanish MOD and our local partner, Aicox Soluciones, which has continued in spite of the challenging period we are currently in, with its various limitations on travel and meetings.
“Our selection by the Spanish MOD followed a process that included both technical laboratory testing and field trials, in which our C-Guard RJ C-IED competed against systems offered by significant players in the field. Our success in this stringent selection process is definitely a vote of confidence in Netline and our advanced jamming capabilities, and we anticipate that NATO and other countries that are fighting in different areas of conflict around the world will follow in Spain’s footsteps and also test our systems with a view to procurement.”
18 Dec 20. RADA Announces a Record $102m in New Orders for 2020. Received $23m in new orders during November and December 2020. RADA Electronic Industries Ltd. (NASDAQ: RADA) today announced the receipt of $23m in accumulated new orders for the months of November and December 2020, to-date. The aggregate total of new orders received during 2020 is at a record level of $102m, showing year-over-year growth of 70%, when compared with the $60m received over the full year 2019.
The vast majority of these recent $23m in new orders, is for RADA’s software-defined tactical radars.
The new orders incorporate the initial serial production orders for two of RADA’s major future-growth programs:
- The IM-SHORAD Stryker for the US Army, performed in cooperation with Leonardo DRS. General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS), the Stryker vehicle manufacturer which received a $1.2bn contract from the US Army in October 2020, recently awarded DRS with an initial order for 28 mission equipment packages for this program, out of a potential of 144 systems in total. RADA’s current order from DRS is for the production of over 110 MHR radars. Further production orders under this program are expected to be received during 2021.
- Elbit/IMI “Iron Fist” active protection system (APS), where RADA is the supplier of the CHR search-and-track radar. The initial order is for 200 radars, while further and larger orders are expected in 2021 and mainly in 2022. Future programs targeted to be equipped with Iron Fist, among others include the Bradley AFV with the potential of over 150 vehicles (implying over 600 radars).
While majority of orders for RADA’s tactical radars in recent years were for urgent-need programs, these new initial serial production orders are starting to build backlogs for RADA for 2021 and onwards.
Dov Sella, RADA’s CEO, commented, “The very strong 70% increase in our new orders reflects the growth of this new emerging market of tactical radars for the maneuver force, where we play a leading role. It ensures that accelerated growth for RADA will continue into 2021 and for the foreseeable future.” (Source: PR Newswire)
18 Dec 20. The Hungarian armed forces have ordered advanced radar systems from Rheinmetall. A contract to this effect was signed on 11 December 2020. Together with its partner Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), Rheinmetall will be supplying radar systems designed for various missions. Shipment of the systems will begin at the end of 2022 and run through to the end of 2027.
In its capacity as general contractor, Rheinmetall Canada will be supplying the advanced active 3D radar systems, which are made by Rheinmetall’s partner ELTA, a subsidiary of IAI.
Hungary is Rheinmetall Canada’s most important export customer in the field of radar system integration. In its home market, Rheinmetall Canada has already cooperated successfully with IAI/ELTA in MRR projects previously completed for the Canadian armed forces and intends to leverage its expertise acquired in Canada for its new NATO customer.
“Together with our partner IAI/ELTA, we are proud to have been picked to modernize the Hungarian military’s radar capabilities”, declares Stéphane Oehrli, President and CEO of Rheinmetall Canada. “In terms of technology transfer, our Hungarian partners also stand to benefit from this project. We’re very happy to be involved in this international project and to be able to help grow the Hungarian defence industry.”
Yoav Tourgeman, IAI Vice President and CEO of ELTA said, “IAI/ELTA Systems congratulate Rheinmetall for the 3D Air Defence and Artillery radar program for the Hungarians Defence Forces. The joint program between Rheinmetall and IAI/ELTA Systems for the localization and delivery of Multi Mission Radar systems is continuing the cooperation initiated in the Canadian MRR program. IAI/ELTA is proud that its world leading 3D Multi Mission Radar system was selected by the Hungarian forces for protection of the Hungarian nation and supporting air defence and artillery NATO missions.”
This latest sales success underscores once again Rheinmetall’s readiness to take part in major defence modernization projects in close cooperation with the armed forces and local industry of its partner nations.
18 Dec 20. US Air Force seeks radar solutions for Saudi air defence. The US Air Force directorate tasked with overseeing Foreign Military Sales (FMS) is soliciting industry solutions for long-range, elevated air defence radar systems, which will be tapped for future foreign sale to Saudi Arabia.
The request for information (RFI) issued on 11 December by the digital directorate of the FMS division of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center will evaluate potential elevated radar capabilities for use by Saudi Arabian armed forces, or other regional allies and partner nations – focusing on platform capability, exportability, cyber-security capabilities, and estimated cost and delivery schedules. In the end, service officials anticipate that information derived from the RFI will lead to an FMS-driven acquisition strategy for delivery and technical support for 13 advanced elevated radar systems.
“These solutions provide partner nations with secure mission capability, able to interoperate both within sovereign space and with U.S. and Allied military forces,” service officials said in the RFI. The eventual radar solution selected for the Saudi armed forces will provide “day [and] night persistent detection, tracking and monitoring capability against diverse air-breathing threats, including the difficult low radar-cross-section unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), cruise missiles and low flying inbound aircraft within its area of coverage”, the RFI added. (Source: Jane’s)
17 Dec 20. Capella Space unveils new high-resolution synthetic aperture radar imagery. Capella Space has revealed images from its new synthetic aperture radar satellite with 50 cm by 50 cm resolution, making it the highest resolution imagery available on the market using that phenomenology.
“This is the best resolution that currently exists in the commercial domain when it comes to SAR,” said CEO Payam Banazadeh in an interview with C4ISRNET.
Previously, the best resolution available was 1 m by 25 cm.
As opposed to the electro-optical sensors used by most imagery satellites, Capella Space’s satellite uses SAR. Since SAR doesn’t rely on light, the phenomenology has some advantages over traditional satellite imagery, such as the ability to create images regardless of cloud cover or daylight. SAR can also collect different types of data, such as moisture content, precise movements and elevation.
The company launched its first operational satellite in August, just shipped two more off to Cape Canaveral for launch, and has five more in various stages of production. Capella Space had hoped to expand the constellation in 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the company’s efforts by about six months, said Banazadeh. The company is targeting mid-2021 to have the first batch of the constellation on orbit.
With the military and intelligence community expressing increased interest in the potential of SAR for both strategic and tactical uses, Capella Space has grabbed up a number of study contracts and research agreements with the government. The National Reconnaissance Office awarded the company a commercial study contract to better understand SAR imagery in December 2019. The U.S. Air Force, Navy and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency are all working with the Capella Space and learning how to integrate SAR into their own operations.
Banazadeh said one of the things its government customers wanted to see with SAR is higher resolution images.
“Of course people want to see if there is a thing there or not, but more than that they want to know what that thing is,” said Banazadeh. “And so we’ve found that the resolution coupled with quality is a huge factor, especially for SAR because it is already difficult.”
With this latest announcement, Capella Space is already pushing the boundaries of what can be done with SAR. According to Banazadeh, 50 cm by 50 cm is the highest resolution currently allowed for SAR on the market by U.S. regulators.
Latency is another huge factor for government customers, said Banazadeh, especially as the military moves toward using satellite imagery more tactically.
“Typically you’re going to try to task a SAR asset to look over an area because either you couldn’t wait for the clouds to go away, or you’re doing something at night, or a combination of both,” said Banazadeh. “If it takes you six to eight to nine to 12 hours to get the task or be able to get that imagery back, then the value of that data has exponentially gone down.”
Capella Space addresses the latency issue on both ends by partnering with Amazon Web Services Ground Station and Inmarsat. Inmarsat gives Capella Space the ability to task its satellites in real time all over the globe through a series of intersatellite data relays. On the other end of things, Capella Space can downlink its satellite data to any of the growing number of AWS ground stations around the world, where the data can be automatically uploaded into the cloud.
Banazadeh added that future generations of the company’s satellites could feature intersatellite relays that could get the data off the satellite even faster.
Future generations of the company’s satellites will cut down on latency even further, partly in response to government customers who want to be able to better integrate satellite imagery capabilities with in-theater operations.
“There are a number of features that we’re going to be adding to our next generation to make sure that we’re integrated better,” said Banazadeh. “The intersatellite relay is an important part of that. The ability to downlink in theater to other ground stations that might not be part of our ground stations is another important feature.”
“We’re building this commercial constellation which Capella has built and owns and operates, but then there are certain customers who not only want to be plugged into commercial constellations, but they want to be owning or operating their own set of satellites. We can operate in both of those domains, so we’re having conversations … to be able to cater to those customers the way they want to be catered to,” he added. “It’s all about executing well, understanding what customers want and evolving your products to be more aligned with what customers want. And I think over the past few years, we’ve done just that.” (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
17 Dec 20. Travis AFB, Easy Aerial Partner for Autonomous Drone-Based Security Operations. The 60th Air Mobility Wing, 60th Security Forces Squadron, in conjunction with Easy Aerial, a commercial provider of autonomous drone-based monitoring solutions, has developed and deployed the first automated drone-based monitoring and perimeter security system for a United States Air Force (USAF) installation.
The Smart Air Force Monitoring System (SAFMS) free-flight drone-in-a-box solution, along with a tethered (SAFMS-T) version, was developed by Easy Aerial and the USAF in a span of just two years. The work was done under a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II program and conforms to the Air Force Base Perimeter Security and Situational Awareness operational requirements.
“Easy Aerial’s unmanned aerial systems are a game-changer,” said MSgt Joshua Hicks, Travis AFB 60th SFS small unmanned aircraft system (sUAS) instructor. “This jointly developed technology will provide unparalleled security and safety for our airmen and critical assets. They will potentially save lives and will save time, effort, and resources as we continue to expand our training and operations across the base.”
SAFMS and SAFMS-T have been configured to ensure Travis AFB has options for an immediate eye-in-the-sky that can be deployed in a matter of seconds. Upon receiving a security trigger such as a fence alarm, fire alarm or other distress calls, the SAFMS can deploy from its base station automatically and autonomously navigating to the trigger site location.
The SAFMS autonomously returns to protective base station upon mission completion, where it recharges and waits for the next scheduled patrol or security-triggered mission.
SAFMS and SAFMS-T systems consist of three main components:
Easy Guard: A mobile, durable, and weatherproof self-sustaining base station that fully charges the SAFMS drone in as little as 35 minutes using an internal battery. Any power source, including solar, can charge the battery. SAFMS-T features a smart tether-line that maintains tension and supplies constant power and two-way communication to the drone, and is capable of unlimited flight time. To ensure precise, reliable, and sustained operations, the base station features GPS; the option of cellular, radio, or satellite communications; wind and temperature sensors; and internal and external cameras. Each SAFMS drone can take off and land at different base stations, thus facilitating constant monitoring while recharging at multiple locations.
Falcon: An autonomous high-performance drone with a modular payload system. A durable and lightweight carbon fiber airframe enables it to carry various gimbaled payloads, including optical and IR cameras, floodlights, or speakers, for extended flight times of up to 45 minutes. Falcon’s all-weather capability enables it to fly in fog, rain, snow, and high winds without compromising its mission.
ERMS: Easy Remote Monitoring System – A secure communications and fleet operations platform enabling automated missions from a command center anywhere in the world. ERMS features advanced mission planning with manual control override, flight telemetry, smart geofencing, camera controls, and real-time video feeds for persistent, 360-degree situational awareness.
“The opportunity to partner with the USAF and UAS working group at Travis AFB has been a tremendous honour and privilege,” said Ivan Stamatovski, CTO, Easy Aerial. “I was humbled by the collective expertise, insight, and vision of this highly dedicated team without whom none of this could have been possible.”
“This was a joint effort as we worked closely together from start to finish resulting in a customized solution for the USAF that meets all of their operational desires and requirements, all while providing operational safety to the airmen and assets. Their attention to detail and identification of the operational capabilities that needed to be modified and introduced was astounding,” said Stamatovski.
Having already realized measurable benefits from deploying SAFMS and SAFMS-T for base security at Travis AFB, multiple Air Mobility Command units and the Air Force Security Forces Center are exploring additional applications, including critical infrastructure and aircraft inspection, firefighting, asset protection, event monitoring, and surveillance. (Source: UAS VISION)
17 Dec 20. Counter-drone startup Epirus raises $70m, plans to hire 100 people. Epirus, a venture-backed startup offering a counter-drone capability, announced Thursday it raised $70m to speed its technology to market.
The round was led by San Francisco, California-based Bedrock Capital, and brings the 2-year-old company’s total capital raised to roughly $80m.
The news comes six months after Epirus inked a strategic supplier agreement with Northrop Grumman to provide exclusive access to Epirus’ software-defined electromagnetic pulse system Leonidas. Since then, the firm has doubled in size and plans to add 100 jobs in 2021.
“We’re aggressively hiring and expanding our footprint on the East and West coasts,” Epirus CEO Leigh Madden told Defense News. He added that the firm is shifting its headquarters from the Hawthorne, California, office to its newer offices in Tysons Corner, Virginia.
Alongside Bedrock and several other investment firms, L3Harris Technologies is investing in Epirus. Epirus developed a SmartPower power-management technology that underpins its counter-unmanned aircraft system, and the company plans to partner with L3Harris to create greater power efficiencies within some of its existing systems.
The technology, which allows the system to deliver a high-power output with a relatively low-power input, has a range of applications across other radio frequency systems, Madden said. (The company’s systems involve a combination of high-power microwave technology and, for enhanced targeting, artificial intelligence.)
The new funding, “enables us to rapidly build out our counter-UAS system,” Madden said. “We’ll be bringing the Leonidas system to market as well as advancing the capabilities of our SmartPower technology ― and working with government customers and partners to expand the application of that technology.”
Beyond Bedrock and L3Harris, the new Series B funding came from Piedmont Capital Investments, 8VC, Fathom VC and Greenspring Associates. In 2019, Epirus closed $17m in Series A funding, which was led by 8VC. (Series A is meant to help a company progress to the development stage, and Series B is meant to help a company market or expand its existing market footprint.)
Geoff Lewis of Bedrock Capital said in a statement that investors are “confident Epirus has the capacity to integrate its technology into top tier counter-UAS systems and lead the way in developing new and compelling directed energy applications.”
“Epirus counters the weak assumption baked into standard VC models that the economic and cultural gaps of defense-focused investments are too wide to overcome,” Lewis said. (Source: Defense News)
17 Dec 20. Russia is developing a helicopter drone to destroy other drones. Russia is developing a helicopter drone to assist anti-aircraft weapon systems in their counter-UAV mission. The project, accelerated shortly after the recent conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan began in mid-2020, will fill a gap in Russia’s military capabilities.
The new drone will “track down small and low-speed enemy drones at low and extremely low altitudes,” a source in the military-defense complex told the Russian government news agency RIA Novosti this month.
The source said the helicopter drone has been under development since November, adding that research and development efforts were accelerated in response to the “increasing role of attack drones during the last local conflicts.”
He didn’t provide specifics, but various types of Turkish-made drones were used during the Azeri-Armenian conflict and helped Azeri forces break Armenia’s defense.
According to the source, the new model will be developed using existing technology to speed up manufacturing. But senior military analyst Mikhail Khodaryonok, a former colonel from the Soviet air defense force, is skeptical about the use of helicopter drones in the air defense mission.
“It has to carry a lot of equipment and it will be costly. It is better to use classic land-based radars, which can be more accurate,” he told Defense News.
Defense News reached out to the Russian government for more information but did not receive additional details.
This is not Russia’s only helicopter drone currently under development. Rossiyskaya Gazeta, a government publication, reported the country is also developing a new attack helicopter drone. The publication, citing a report by the Russian Air Force’s Central Scientific Institute research center, which is involved in the project, said the drone weighs 2.5 to 3 tons and has a range of 20-30 kilometers.
If either helicopter drone is fielded, it would be a first for the armed forces there. The country currently has a number of intelligence-gathering drones.
The idea to use helicopter drones was long considered by the Navy. In 2012, the service wanted to test the Horizon Air S-100 drones licensed by a local manufacture through the Austrian company Schiebel. However, the project was reportedly never realized.
The medium-altitude, long-endurance drone Orion, originally made to gather intelligence, was presented as a multiuse aircraft during the Army-2020 defense expo help in Moscow in August. The first three Orion drones, designed by the St. Petersburg-based firm Kronstadt, were ordered by the Russian Defence Ministry in August.
However, the biggest problem for Russian drone development is the absence of a quality, locally made engine. “We are very far behind other countries,” Khodaryonok said. (Source: Defense News)
16 Dec 20. USAF in Europe Seeks Defense Against Chinese Drones and Russian Cruise Missiles. The U.S. Air Force wants help defending military bases in Europe from hypothetical attacks by Chinese drones and Russian cruise missiles, and it’s willing to pay close to $1bn to get it. The service recently put out a $925m contract notice that calls for bidders to come up with an “Air Base Air Defense” plan for U.S. Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa.
“The USAF is adapting its power-projection and defense concepts to operate under a greater threat of attack,” the service said in its notice.
Specifically, the Air Force wants help from the defense industry to maintain Ramstein Air Base’s defense system, and to develop and deploy air base defense systems for other locations in Europe. Prospective contractors must factor in a scenario in which a U.S. base in Germany has received multiple intelligence reports of imminent airborne attack threats, the contract notice stated. Within the first hour of the hypothetical attack, the base experiences 15 separate drone intrusions from the Chinese-made “Da-Jiang Innovations variant” that “have the potential to threaten the base from any direction.” Then within the second hour, the base must prepare for an attack by five Russian-made AS-23A cruise missiles.
“There will be a minimum of 30 seconds between each cruise missile arrival. The cruise missiles will strike various sections of the base,” the Air Force scenario stated. (Source: defense-aerospace.com/Stars and Stripes)
16 Dec 20. India Plans Major Indigenous Project for Six AWACS Aircraft. India plans to launch a major Rs 10,500 crore project to indigenously develop six airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft, which act as powerful “eyes in the sky” to look deep into enemy territory in modern-day warfare. Defence sources on Wednesday said the project, which entails mounting indigenous 360-degree coverage AESA (active electronically scanned array) radars on six aircraft acquired from Air India, is set to soon get the initial approval or “acceptance of necessity” by the Rajnath Singh-led Defence Acquisitions Council. The new project, which will involve cost-sharing between the IAF and DRDO, is actually a recast of an earlier plan to mount the indigenous AESA radar on two new Airbus A-330 wide-body jets, which was hanging fire for the last five years. Under the new project, DRDO will acquire six smaller A-320 variants from the existing Air India fleet, get the airframes modified, and then mount the radars on them.
“This project for six AWACS or advanced AEW&C (airborne early-warning and control) aircraft will be much more cost-effective than the earlier one of acquiring two new A-330s from the European multi-national company. DRDO has promised to deliver the six AWACS in a four-to-seven year timeframe,” said a source. (Source: defense-aerospace.com/Times of India)
16 Dec 20. IAI and Hensoldt to produce radar systems for ballistic missile defence. Israel Aerospace Industries’ (IAI) subsidiary ELTA Systems and German defence firm Hensoldt have signed an agreement to jointly produce radar systems for ballistic missile defence.
Israel Aerospace Industries’ (IAI) subsidiary ELTA Systems and German defence firm Hensoldt have signed an agreement to jointly produce radar systems for ballistic missile defence.
Under a joint strategic cooperation agreement, the two companies will also partner on projects covering air and space surveillance.
As part of this, Hensoldt and ELTA have first offered the German Navy a long-range radar for use on its F124 Sachsen-Class frigates.
IAI vice-president and ELTA CEO Yoav Turgeman said: “IAI sees the collaboration with Hensoldt as a significant step forward in advancing its radar operations in Europe and leveraging its technological expertise accumulated over decades in air defence and space missions.
“The proven capabilities of radar systems for ballistic missile defence in Israel and worldwide will help Germany to achieve its operational goals. We have identified a growing need for advanced early warning radar systems that provide a detailed real-time aerial image to facilitate the selection of appropriate defence measures.”
The cooperation agreement will see IAI provide its technical expertise in the defence systems development and manufacturing against ‘long-range ballistic missiles’.
Further, Hensoldt will be responsible for producing the core components and the entire assembly of the radar systems.
Hensoldt CEO Thomas Müller said: “As the German champion for military sensor solutions, we will contribute our extensive technical know-how in the field of radar systems in our cooperation with IAI and are pleased to make an important contribution to the Bundeswehr’s capability expansion. (Source: naval-technology.com)
16 Dec 20. US approves G550 special mission equipment for Italy. The US government has approved the sale to Italy of special mission kits for Gulfstream G550 aircraft, valued at an estimated USD500m. Announced on 15 December, the State Department approval covers the procurement and integration of two Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance, and Electronic Warfare (AISREW) mission systems onto a pair of G550 aircraft to be provided by the Italian Ministry of Defence (MoD).
“The proposed sale supports and complements the ongoing efforts of Italy to modernise its airborne intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and electronic warfare capability and increases interoperability between the US Air Force and the Italian Air Force,” the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said.
As noted in the DSCA’s approval notification, the two AISREW systems will comprise four Multifunctional Information Distribution Systems – Joint Tactical Radio System (MIDS JTRS) (two installed, two spares); three embedded/GPS/INS (EGI) with GPS security devices, airborne (two installed, one spare); and four RIO communications intelligence systems (two installed, two spares).
Also included are missile warning sensors, AN/ALE-47 countermeasure dispenser sets (CMDS), MX-20HD electro-optical /infrared systems, Osprey 50 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars, AISREW intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) equipment, secure communications equipment, identification friend or foe systems, aircraft modification and integration, ground systems for data processing and crew training, ground support equipment, publications and technical data, US Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services, flight test and certification, and other related elements of logistical and programme support. (Source: Jane’s)
15 Dec 20. Amentum Awarded $88m Contract for Development and Sustainment of Maritime Electro-Optic Infrared Systems. Amentum has been awarded an $88m contract to conduct Research, Development, Test and Evaluation (RDT&E), and other research and development-related analytical services supporting the Electro-Optic Technology Division (JXQ) at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division. Amentum, a leading contractor to U.S. federal and allied governments, was awarded this contract under the Department of Defense Information Analysis Center’s (DoD IAC) multiple-award contract (MAC) vehicle. These DoD IAC MAC task orders (TOs) are awarded by the U.S. Air Force’s 774th Enterprise Sourcing Squadron to develop and create new knowledge for the enhancement of the DTIC repository and the R&D and S&T community.
“Amentum has a long legacy of support for our Navy customers at Crane and we’re looking forward to helping JXQ develop and field state-of-the-art EO/IR technologies,” said Jill Bruning, president of Amentum’ s Intelligence, Systems Engineering, Security, Services and Solutions (IS4) strategic business unit. “Amentum will provide a world-class team of subject matter experts to address technology gaps and develop capability enhancements for leading-edge Maritime EO/IR technology while simultaneously improving system supportability.”
Under the five-year, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract, Amentum will support JXQ by developing solutions to support Maritime Electro-Optic Infrared (EO/IR) Scientific and Technical projects; provide RDT&E of the next generation of Maritime EO/IR solutions for systems, such as lasers, visual augmentation systems, multi-sensor EO/IR targeting systems, weapon sights, beacons, sensors, displays, and peripherals for various shipboard gun weapon systems, and situational awareness platforms; insert state-of-the-art technology and capabilities; and extend component lifecycle. Amentum will leverage its new Model-Based Systems Engineering laboratory and collaboration center, located in the Westgate Technology Park in Crane, Ind., as well as its integration facility located in Linton, Indiana. Work will support the full spectrum of lifecycle services for Maritime EO/IR and related technologies to the Department of Defense and other government agencies.
ABOUT THE DOD IAC PROGRAM
The DoD IAC, sponsored by the Defense Technical Information Center, provides technical data management and research support for DoD and federal government users. Established in 1946, the IAC program serves the DoD science & technology (S&T) and acquisition communities to drive innovation and technological developments by enhancing collaboration through integrated scientific and technical information development and dissemination for the DoD and broader S&T community. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
15 Dec 20. DroneShield Releases US DoD Compliant DroneSentry-C2. DroneShield Ltd (ASX:DRO) (“DroneShield”, or “Company”), has released a US DoD MIL-STD-2525 compliant version of its DroneSentry-C2TM command-and-control system, as part of its continued work with the US Department of Defense.
MIL-STD-2525 refers to a standard structured set of symbology for the display of information in command and control systems and applications, by use by the US Department of Defense, and non-DOD entities such as other Federal agencies and NATO partners. DroneSentry-C2 TM now provides users with industry leading enterprise features and MIL-STD-2525 compliance.
DroneSentry-C2 TM is a common operating picture for the Counter-UxS mission. DroneSentry-C2 TM enables its users to visualize their operational space, integrate with existing perimeter security and C2 systems, and leverage multi-sensor fusion capabilities unique to DroneSentry-C2TM. As a sensor agnostic, open architecture platform, DroneSentry-C2 TM brings advanced interoperability and flexibility to users.
Oleg Vornik, DroneShield’s CEO, commented, “DroneShield has continued to rapidly scale our US efforts. In support of that, we work closely with our customers and partners to incorporate real-world feedback into the continuous development of our solutions. The specific shaping and standardizing of our offerings to meet the requirements of the US Department of Defense and MIL-STD-2525 is an important part of this work and a testament of our commitment to our customer and their mission.”
15 Dec 20. DroneShield Ltd (ASX:DRO) (“DroneShield” or the “Company”) announced deployment of its multi-sensor C-UAS DroneSentry™ system at the Altenrhein Airport in Switzerland, as well as provide an update on record Purchase Orders and customer cash receipts for the quarter to date. The deployment consists of the following DroneShield solutions:
- multiple RfOne™ units, able to detect, ID and track single or swarms of UAS in real time, at the world leading 8km range, as well as indicate the location of the UAS pilot
- DroneOpt™ optical verification systems, with DroneShield proprietary DroneOptID™ AI-based engine, with ability to ID and track the UAS and its payload
- DroneSentry-C2™ command-and-control (“C2”) user interface, an intuitive, low cognitive burden C2 with ability to alert and track the incoming UAS in real time, as well as provide extensive reporting functionality, creating a high degree of UAS flight awareness around the airport precinct.
The system is entirely passive (no emissions) with no interference to other equipment, making it well suited for the airport environment.
Oleg Vornik, DroneShield’s CEO, has commented,
“Airports have experienced a substantial degree of disruption due to UAS flights at their facilities. Small UAS present multiple well-documented dangers to the airliners, including critical engine damage risk in the event the UAS and its lithium batteries come into contact with it, or creating windshield cracks on impact.”
Timo Nielsen, the Altenrhein Airport Safety & Compliance Manager, has commented,
“We are pleased to partner with DroneShield, as the global leader in the C-UAS space, for the deployment at our airport, enabling us to receive actionable awareness of the UAS activity in our air space. Importantly, as a forward leaning airport, we welcome visits from other airports in Europe and elsewhere globally, to contact us or DroneShield, to learn more about the deployed system, and see it at a working airport facility.”
14 Dec 20. South Korea launches indigenous mine detection AUV development. South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced on 9 December that it will commence indigenous development of an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) optimised for mine detection. DAPA said it awarded a KRW12bn (USD 11m) contract with local defence prime LIG Nex1 to develop highly autonomous underwater robots that can perform precise navigation and collision avoidance to boost the Republic of Korea Navy’s (RoKN’s) mine countermeasure (MCM) capabilities.
The RoKN presently maintains a fleet of Swallow- and Yang Yang-class MCM vessels (MCMVs) to detect and defeat sea mines, according to Janes Fighting Ships.
The agency said the new mine detection AUV will be developed by 2023 and is expected to enable the RoKN to conduct MCM operations without risking its personnel.
DAPA said the AUV will also be able to monitor underwater infiltration, support rescue operations in marine accidents, or collect topographical information on the seabed.
It is understood that initial studies and development of the AUV was performed by Hanwha Systems, although further work will now be undertaken by LIG Nex1.
RoKN officials told Janes that the AUV will be deployed by the service’s future Mine Sweeper Hunter-2 (MSH-2) MCMVs to be built from 2024.
Besides LIG Nex1, Hanwha Systems is also developing a new unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) that aimed at anti-submarine warfare (ASW) operations. The unmanned platform, named ASWUUV, was revealed at the MADEX 2019 exhibition in Busan. The ASWUUV has been under development by DAPA since 2017. Janes earlier reported that trials are scheduled in 2021, with development expected to be completed by 2022. (Source: Jane’s)
11 Dec 20. Netline adds compact tactical rapid deployment anti-drone jammer to DroneNet RD family. Electronic warfare company Netline Communications Technologies has launched a new DroneNet RD Jammer, a compact rapid deployment (RD) tactical drone jamming solution designed for easy deployment that meets the US Military Standards (MIL-STD), according to a Netline press release.
The DroneNet RD Jammer is the latest addition to the DroneNet family of solutions designed to prevent unauthorized drones entering protected airspace, such as over deployed military forces, over strategic facilities, or in VIP protection arenas, whether on the move or stationary. The DroneNet RD jammer can be quickly deployed, mounted on a tripod mast, by a small tactical operating team.
The DroneNet solution provides a multi-layered response to unauthorized drones. First, the DroneNet DF sensor detects the drone trying to enter protected airspace, identifies its type and the location from which it has arrived on the scene. The new SDR-based RD jammer then jams communication between the drone and its operator on ISM bands, as well as the GPS signal used by the drone.
Providing coverage of all relevant frequency bands used by commercially-available drones, each of its five bands addresses a different communication channel used by the drone for a different purpose:
- Disabling the drone’s control & telemetry channel, resulting in loss of control over the drone
- Blocking the video downlink transmission
- Jamming the GPS signal to disable the drone’s navigation and stabilization capabilities.
Compact and rugged, the new DroneNet RD jammer has completed military standards qualification testing and is now ready to support operations in harsh weather conditions.
The system can be supplied with either directional or omni-directional antennas. If required, more complex arrays can also be provided, such as mounted rotating directional antennas or switched antennas. Such installations can significantly increase energy efficiency and jamming power when combined with a direction-finding capability, either from Netline’s DroneNet system or from an external source via the Application Programming Interface (API).
For more information visit:
www.netlinetech.com (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
10 Dec 20. Pierce Aerospace demonstrates integrated remote ID with US Army. Pierce Aerospace reports successful integration of its Flight Portal ID, an ASTM F3411-19 compliant Remote ID/Combat ID technology suite, into multiple US Army Command and Control systems for Counter UAS (C-UAS) operations. The demonstration included initial integration steps with the US Army’s Forward Area Air Defense (FAAD C2) during the US Army’s Defense in Depth Experiment (DiDEX), held in New Orleans, LA in November.
FAAD C2 was selected by the US Army Joint Counter Small-Unmanned Aircraft Systems Office (JCO) as the C2 of choice for C-UAS work in July 2020.
The Technical Support and Operational Analysis (TSOA) DiDEX 20 event is designed to accelerate the development of technologies that will enable the Warfighter to be more effective, efficient, and lethal when countering small unmanned aerial system (sUAS) threats.
DiDEX 20 improves operational security, force protection, and survivability. The TSOA team identifies potential vulnerabilities in emerging technologies, including performance degradation in contested environments, interoperability, adaptability, and training/ease of use through live experiment venues. The TSOA DiDEX 20 focused on challenges presented by (1) detecting, tracking, and defeating sUAS in an actual urban environment and (2) integrating counter-UAS (c-UAS) systems into a single common operating picture (COP).
“We are appreciative of the DiDEX Team in enabling us to have the opportunity to integrate Flight Portal ID into FAAD C2. We provided detection, tracking, and positive-identification of Remote ID equipped UAS in various scenarios throughout the week in the dense low-level airspace in downtown New Orleans. This integration enabled us to pass positive-ID to multiple users across various systems and devices at DiDEX. That integration provided situational awareness across a common operating picture from aircraft equipped with Flight Portal ID,” said Aaron Pierce, CEO Pierce Aerospace.
“Our mission is to provide Flight Portal ID to identify civil UAS for commercial use cases and identify blue UAS for defense use cases. The direct user feedback from the complex scenarios in a challenging environment during the DiDEX experiments are invaluable to our development in preparing this critical airspace technology for integration in complementary commercial and defense technologies, like UTM and C-UAS systems.”
TSOA events provide an opportunity for technology developers to interact with operational personnel and determine how their efforts might support military capability gaps and high priority mission deficiencies. The environment facilitates a collaborative working relationship between academia, government, and industry. It supports the identification, assessment, and dissemination of emerging and mature technology information and the acceleration of delivering those capabilities to the Warfighters and those they support.
For more information visit:
09 Dec 20. Belgrade Airport selects Rohde & Schwarz R&D ARDRONIS counter drone system. Belgrade Nikola Tesla airport has purchased and put into operation an R&S ARDRONIS counter drone system from Rohde & Schwarz. Early warnings about drones are key to countering threats, and R&S ARDRONIS is designed to detect drones even before they take off.
According to a Rohde & Schwarz press release, R&S ARDRONIS reports when a drone’s remote control has been switched on and classifies the device type. The sensor system captures the uplink, so it can track down the drone pilot while their aerial device is still on the ground. With this information, security personnel can find the drone pilot and/or initiate electronic countermeasures. The uplink signal can also be disrupted, causing the operator to lose control of the drone. It will then switch to failsafe mode, try to land or fly back to where it came from. Depending on the type and number of drones, a smart follower jamming mode or a smart wideband sweep jamming mode is used to neutralize the threat in an optimal way.
“Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport is well equipped to combat unauthorized drone activity thanks to our new drone detection and countering solution from Rohde & Schwarz,” explains Zoran Skoko, Security Director of Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport. “We are confident that we are taking sufficient precautions and can prevent drones from disrupting our air traffic.”
For more information visit:
09 Dec 20. Dedrone demonstrates integration of counter drone technology with US Army command and control systems. Dedrone participated as a member of US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) C5ISR Unique Mission Cell (UMC) Defense In-Depth Experiment (DiDEX), and reports successful demonstration of Dedrone technology initial integration into the US Army’s Forward Area Air Defense Command and Control (FAAD C2) software. The Joint Counter-Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Office (JCO) identified FAAD C2 as the Command & Control architecture for counter-small unmanned aerial systems (C-sUAS) within the Department of Defense (DoD). Dedrone successfully validated its ability to begin to fulfil this JCO requirement for interoperability with FAAD C2 at DiDEX by passing air track data to FAAD C2, enhancing the DoD’s capabilities with a proven integration of Dedrone’s complete small unmanned aerial system (sUAS) detection platform, says Dedrone press release.
The CCDC C5ISR centre and UMC facilitates the integration of command, control, and communication systems for the US Army, including C-sUAS solutions. At an invitation-only DiDEX testing event in November 2020, Dedrone participated at a field experiment and a member of the C-sUAS community of practice to develop innovative airspace security solutions, test the integration of Dedrone technology into existing and emerging command and control systems, and advise on counter-drone response strategy to protect soldiers, civilians and critical infrastructure.
At the UMC event, Dedrone’s complete airspace security platform successfully completed initial steps to integrate into the US Army’s FAAD C2, providing a complete view of force operation airspace sUAS activity, including early detection and warning of approaching sUAS. Dedrone airspace security technology accelerates and closes the counter-drone kill chain by fusing drone detection sensor data in an AI-based software. Dedrone’s open systems architecture integrates best of class radio frequency, radar, acoustic and optical sensors for complete airspace situational awareness, providing flexible, scalable options for US Army users in all environments and all missions.
For more information visit:
08 Dec 20. Newcastle Airport latest UK airport to install Dedrone drone detection technology. Newcastle Airport now has the visibility to detect drones and therefore build a comprehensive set of response protocols to safeguard its passengers from this emerging threat, according to a case study by drone detection company Dedrone. The airport is the latest UK airport to install Dedrone’s CPNI-approved detection technology to safeguard its passengers and operations against unwanted drones. The equipment informs the airport about drone activity surrounding its airfield including the average flight time, frequent times of the day when drones appear, and information to locate drones.
The airport now has a standard response protocol in the event there is a drone incursion. With this situational awareness, Newcastle Airport can prepare for and rehearse their drone intervention response and prevent disruption should a drone approach the critical operational area, says Dedrone. The company’s DroneTracker software is designed to connect with multiple sensors, including Dedrone RF sensors, and provides machine-learning analysis to help monitor the airspace.
It is illegal to fly a drone above 120m or within 5km of a UK airport. Following the drone-instigated Gatwick airport shutdown of 2018, Newcastle Airport – which handles up to five million passengers annually, worked to educate the local public against flying near its airfield, to prevent disruptions, delays and closures.
Newcastle Airport COO Richard Knight said: “Newcastle understood that unauthorised drones were an eventuality that we needed to plan for. Dedrone’s success supporting UK international airports, as well as their technology validation from CPNI, made them a natural choice to protect our operations. With Dedrone, Newcastle Airport can be alerted of any impending drone incursions, protect passengers and operations from drone-based disruptions, and continue to be the number one international gateway of choice for travellers to and from North East England.”
Dedrone, a CPNI-approved technology, is installed at multiple UK international airports and provides the tools Newcastle Airport needs to quickly integrate drone detection and threat mitigation into its daily operations.
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08 Dec 20. US defence agency selects FS-LIDS as interim counter-sUAS solution for military. The Joint Counter Small Unmanned Aerial Systems Office (JCO) in the US has selected Fixed Site-Low, Slow, Small Unmanned Aircraft System Integrated Defeat System (FS-LIDS) as the interim counter-sUAS solution for the US military. This comes after the US Department of Defense (DoD) established the US Army-led JCO in January to evaluate the performance of more than 40 counter-sUAS systems.
The JCO recommended the FS-LIDS solution for fixed or semi-fixed mission, following which it was then reviewed and approved by the DoD. The FS-LIDS solution is equipped with SRC Technology’s AN/TPQ-50 air surveillance radar, counter-sUAS EW system and electro-optic / infrared camera.
These components help the system in detecting low flying and small moving UAS targets, classify them and offer electronic defeat capabilities.
According to a SRC press release, SRC’s AN/TPQ-50 air surveillance radar, counter-sUAS EW system and electro-optic/infrared camera are primary components of FS-LIDS. These systems provide accurate detection of low flying and small moving UAS targets, identify and classify those targets, and provide low-cost precision electronic defeat capabilities.
The proliferation of weaponised, commercial off-the-shelf drones pose a threat to the US military troops and bases. In January 2020, the Department of Defense (DoD) established the JCO, led by the US, Army, to test more than 40 counter-sUAS systems. The JCO recently finished their evaluation and recommended the FS-LIDS solution for the fixed or semi-fixed mission, which the DoD has since reviewed and approved.
“We are proud to provide both our cutting-edge technology and expertise to support the FS-LIDS program,” said Kevin Hair, president, and CEO of SRC, Inc. “I am incredibly proud of our team for their ability to respond quickly to the Army’s urgent need for a counter-sUAS solution, and to have the system selected by the DoD as they work with industry to develop the joint solution for the services.”
SRC’s counter-sUAS technology was previously selected by the Army, as part of FS-LIDS, and the Air Force, as part of the Medusa program, to meet an urgent need to counter hostile UAS threats and help protect warfighters.
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08 Dec 20. Polish military takes delivery of Poprad static and mobile counter drone equipment. Counter Unmanned Aircraft Sytems (C-UAS) capability is included in the latest deliveries to Polish military forces by PIT-RADWAR. Some 24 Poprad surface-to-air missile systems have been handed off to military units all around Poland, and the Air Force training centre in Koszalin, according to Defence24.
The last Poprad SAM system left the production facility at the end of November under an agreement signed with the Armament Inspectorate of the Polish MoD, covering 79 systems with a price tag of more than PLN1bn. Poprad systems act as the primary armament of three anti-aircraft regiments of the Polish Army. They are also operated by three air defence regiments in four brigades (15th “Giżycka” Mechanized Brigade, 21st Highland Brigade, 17th “Wielkopolska” Mechanized Brigade, and 19th “Lubelska Mechanized Brigade).
Poprad is designed to detect, recognise and destroy airborne targets at close (5.5-6.5 km, depending on the missile type) distances and low altitudes (up to 3.5-4 km) with the use of short-range anti-aircraft missiles. The system features an autonomous passive target tracking and detection system. It also works in a networked setting, within a reconnaissance suite – that makes it challenging to detect and resistant to jamming. It can be a part of a larger system or work as a part of a broader integrated air defence system solution.
Poprad is equipped with GROM/PIORUN missiles manufactured by MESKO, as well as optronic sensors manufactured by PCO.
The functionality can be further enhanced, as the system can be retrofitted with non-kinetic counter-UAS solutions. Integration as such, also including the Advanced Protection Systems solution (with 3D radars and jammers) has already been implemented by PIT-RADWAR. PIT-RADWAR has also developed a concept of integrating the Piorun 2 missiles on the Poprad platform, with a range exceeding 10 kilometers. Furthermore, PIT-RADWAR plans to develop an integration of effectors with a range exceeding 12km on the platform. The Poprad system’s capabilities could be enhanced even further by providing it with an ability to act against potential threats when on the move.
(Image: The Advanced Protection Systems counter-UAS system (3D radars, jammers), integrated with the Poprad vehicle. Credit: Advanced Protection Systems)
For more information visit:
www.apsystems.tech (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
07 Dec 20. US cyber security agency publishes best-practice defence against malicious drones. A new report released by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (ISA) outlines awareness and mitigation measures for use by US federal departments and agencies to protect against malicious unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) operations. “Protecting Against the Threat of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS): An Interagency Security Committee Best Practice,” has been compiled as a result of extensive collaboration within the ISC Unmanned Aircraft Systems Working Group. Topics covered in the document include:
- An overview of UAS;
- Threats posed by UAS;
- Vulnerability assessments;
- Protective measures and activities;
- How to develop a facility response plan for UAS incidents;
- How to increase workforce awareness; and
- How to engage with community partners.
The report points out that although most agencies do not have the authority to disable, disrupt, or seize control of an unmanned aircraft, there are other effective risk reduction measures they may implement. The document aims to provide best practices that any organization or facility can use to mitigate UAS threats.
The report outlines a number of ways UAS-specific vulnerability assessments can be made by federal agencies. “A UAS-specific vulnerability assessment will assist organizations and facilities in understanding how a site may be vulnerable to the risks posed by UAS and will aid in identifying mitigation options to build resiliency and response procedures. Completing such an assessment increases understanding by focusing on site- specific threats, launch points, flight profiles, and platforms. The following figure provides an example of a UAS specific vulnerability assessment and mitigation options.”
The Interagency Security Committee (ISC), chaired by the DHS, consists of 64 departments and agencies and has a mission to develop security policies, standards, and recommendations for nonmilitary federal facilities in the United States.
For more information visit:
https://www.cisa.gov/sites/default/files/publications/Protecting%20Against%20the%20Threat%20of%20Unmanned%20Aircraft%20Systems%20November%202020_508c.pdf (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
07 Dec 20. Simlat develops simulator for safety agencies to visualise and manage rogue drone incidents. Israel’s Simlat, a manufacturer of aviation simulators, has developed the Polaris specialist simulator to help drone operators and regulatory bodies simulate drone flights in congested areas and develop new safety and security procedures.
Polaris simulates UAS traffic at scale, simulating the behavior of “rogue” or malfunctioning UAS and the the clutter made by thousands of automated flights
The UAS flight simulation is based on the company’s Full Crew Stand Alone Training System (C-STAR), which helps build the skill sets required for modern UAS operations. According to the company, it supports basic to advanced training from routine operations – such as takeoff and landing – through to advanced piloting skills, like safe recovery following an emergency and mission-training for first responders, wind farm inspectors and more.
The company says that Polaris can be integrated into airspace management systems and can create critical situations – like a drone flying over a busy international airport. (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
Blighter® Surveillance Systems (BSS) is a UK-based electronic-scanning radar and sensor solution provider delivering an integrated multi-sensor package to systems integrators comprising the Blighter electronic-scanning radars, cameras, thermal imagers, trackers and software solutions. Blighter radars combine patented solid-state Passive Electronic Scanning Array (PESA) technology with advanced Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) and Doppler processing to provide a robust and persistent surveillance capability. Blighter Surveillance Systems is a Plextek Group company, a leading British design house and technology innovator, and is based at Great Chesterford on the outskirts of Cambridge, England.
The Blighter electronic-scanning (e-scan) FMCW Doppler ground surveillance radar (GSR) is a unique patented product that provides robust intruder detection capabilities under the most difficult terrain and weather conditions. With no mechanical moving parts and 100% solid-state design, the Blighter radar family of products are extremely reliable and robust and require no routine maintenance for five years. The Blighter radar can operate over land and water rapidly searching for intruders as small a crawling person, kayaks and even low-flying objects. In its long-range modes the Blighter radar can rapidly scan an area in excess of 3,000 km² to ensure that intruders are detected, identified and intercepted before they reach critical areas.