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16 Nov 23. Advanced Warfighter Augmentation Solution From Taqtile to Be Demonstrated at Upcoming I/ITSEC.
Taqtile, a leader in digital modernization and AR-enabled work-instruction technologies, will be featured in several locations at the upcoming I/ITSEC conference in Orlando, Fla. The company’s Manifest® platform, which provides augmentation for warfighters, will be showcased in the I/ITSEC exhibits of multiple partners and customers. Booth demonstrations will illustrate how Manifest helps warfighters get back in the fight when equipment failures occur in combat.
In addition to critical in-combat applications, Manifest also supports maintainer efforts to keep vehicles, weapons, and systems in proper working order, improves combat readiness, and supports expeditionary warfighting by augmenting small squads capable of mobilizing complex equipment. The Manifest platform can also help train personnel on inspection procedures, equipment familiarization, and complex maintenance processes.
Manifest capabilities will be on display in three I/ITSEC booths:
* 3D Media, booth 3161 – Demonstration of support for MARS maintenance operations
* HTC VIVE, booth 3211 – Demonstration of Manifest utilizing the color passthrough capabilities of the VIVE XR Elite headset to inspect airplane landing gear
* Magic Leap, booth 3171 – Inspections and processes for recovery from equipment failure on an Abrams tank
To schedule a one-on-one meeting with a Taqtile representative at I/ITSEC, please visit: I/ITSEC Meeting Scheduler.
The Manifest platform has evolved to meet the requirements of defense forces around the world, including the U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force, New Zealand Defense Force, and the Royal Australian Navy, as well as international OEMs, systems integrators, and Allied defense forces. Taqtile is currently on contract with the Army Application Laboratory (AAL) to meet the Army’s ARMORS capability requirement. In partnership with 3D Media, Manifest is being utilized as part of the U.S. Air Force Rapid Sustainment Office MARS program.
“Manifest is a proven solution for reducing operator errors, delivering demonstrable ROI, and facilitating the digital modernization efforts of defense forces around the world,” states Kelly Malone, Taqtile’s Chief Business Officer. “The Manifest platform enables the digital transformation of critical defense procedures and processes, positively impacting the effectiveness, adaptivity, and resiliency of our troops and the vehicles and systems they rely upon.”
Manifest operates in the cloud, at the edge, and/or offline, and can access data over various channels including 5G. Taqtile’s Manifest is also a 5G testbed application as part of the Booz Allen Hamilton team for the U.S. Army’s 5GXR program operating at Ft. Cavazos.
Performance data from military studies demonstrate the effectiveness of Manifest:
* USAF junior propulsion mechanics using Manifest completed 100% of 28 assigned tasks with zero errors
* Automotive technicians in the New Zealand Army Trade Training School using Manifest completed tasks with 36% fewer errors than trainees using extant training methods which included instructor assistance
* Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) evaluators using Manifest generated 53% fewer errors/discrepancies than counterparts not using Manifest
Manifest has been architected to support an increasing number of devices, including head-mounted displays (HMDs) like Magic Leap 2 and the VIVE XR Elite, as well as tablets such as the iPad, and other mobile tools. Defense users access step-by-step work instructions, digital manuals and guidance, animated 3D models and digital twins, detailed holograms, and other invaluable knowledge irrespective of form-factor. Manifest can also be accessed via a browser, permitting use by devices that are already in the hands of warfighters today.
The Taqtile Manifest® platform provides AR-enabled augmentation that empowers warfighters to get back in the fight when equipment failures occur in combat. Leveraging proven technologies, including spatial computing, 3D visualization, and real-time collaborative communication, Manifest also supports maintainer efforts to keep vehicles, weapons, and systems in proper working order, improving combat readiness and supporting expeditionary warfighting. Manifest can even help train personnel on inspection procedures, equipment familiarization, and complex maintenance processes. For more information on Taqtile solutions for defense, please visit https://taqtile.com/defense/.
(Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
16 Nov 23. Shapps to review decision to procure fewer numbers of Wedgetails for RAF. While getting all five aircraft is desirable, the Defence Secretary says the immediate concern is to get the first three operational
The Defence Secretary has said he will review the decision for the Royal Air Force to receive only three rather than the five E-7 Wedgetail surveillance aircraft the RAF had been expecting.
Grant Shapps said we can do “one hell of a lot better” in terms of the procurement system for the UK military.
Mr Shapps told the Defence Select Committee that delays to the programme meant the Wedgetail would see operational capability by 2025, despite previous RAF expectations that the aircraft would enter service in the early 2020s.
He told the Committee: “I’m going to definitely want to take a very close look at all of these issues, the E-7 Wedgetail included, but I don’t want it to be taken therefore that decision is ripped up [to purchase just three]. First thing to do is get these three in the air, they’re in Birmingham being fitted as I understand it.
“We want to get them up in the air and functional because it’s a capability that we haven’t got what we’re missing entirely right at this moment and having to rely on our partners to deliver.”
In 2019, then-Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson signed a $1.98bn (£1.5bn) deal to purchase five E-7 aircraft.
The Wedgetail is being procured by the RAF to provide long-range air surveillance and is set to replace Sentry aircraft as the UK’s Airborne Early Warning and Control capability.
The Wedgetail collects information to provide the crew with a real-time picture of both aircraft and ships across a specific area – with the crew members then providing direction to aircraft and commanders on the ground.
Nato, meanwhile, plans to purchase six Wedgetail aircraft, with the contract to be signed next year and the first jet expected to be operational by 2031.
The E-7, measuring 110ft and 4in in length, is based on a standard Boeing 737 aircraft.
However, the Wedgetail is modified for its military role and carries a Northrop Grumman Multi-Role Electronically Scanned Array (MESA) surveillance radar and a sophisticated mission computer system.
The radar is operationally ready minutes after take-off and it can cover four million square kilometres over a 10-hour period, meaning it can track multiple targets simultaneously.
Information gathered by E-7s would be used by the Armed Forces to provide situational awareness and direct other assets such as fighter jets or warships. (Source: forces.net)
15 Nov 23. UK to field Land GBAD C-sUAS capability by end of year. The UK plans to field a LandGround-Based Air Defence (GBAD) counter-small unmanned aircraft system (C-sUAS) capability starting in December, Squadron Leader Hugo Piers Morris, senior officer 2 (SO2) counter-small uncrewed air systems, Project 6 lead, joint effects, in the British Army Programmes Directorate, said on the first day of SAE Media Group’s Future Armoured Vehicles Survivability (FAVS) 2023 conference being held in London from 13 to 15 November.
The capability will consist of 225 SMASH Smart Weapon Sight (SLS) anti-drone fire-control systems for small arms to be delivered in December, followed by body-worn electromagnetic DETECT systems to complement SMASH and section-level handheld radio frequency (RF) DEFEAT non-kinetic effectors and company-level manportable systems in February 2024.
The project’s package 1 is aimed at the rapid deployment of dismounted systems to counter Class 1b and 1c UASs, according to Sqn Ldr Morris. Spiral development between 2025 and 2028 and beyond has received UK Defence Innovation funding for the development of novel technologies. (Source: Janes)
16 Nov 23. X-FAB Introduces New Generation of Enhanced Performance SPAD Devices focused on Near-Infrared Applications. X-FAB Silicon Foundries SE, the leading analog/mixed-signal and specialty foundry, has introduced a specific near-infrared version to its single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD) device portfolio. Like the previous SPAD generation, which launched in 2021, this version is based on the company’s 180nm XH018 process. The inclusion of an additional step to the fabrication workflow has resulted in significant increases in signal while still retaining the same low noise floor, without negatively affecting parameters such as dark count rate, afterpulsing and breakdown voltage.
Through this latest variant, X-FAB is successfully expanding the scope of its SPAD offering, improving its ability to address numerous emerging applications where NIR operation proves critically important. Among these are time-of-flight sensing in industrial applications, vehicle LiDAR imaging, biophotonics and FLIM research work, plus a variety of different medical-related activities. Sensitivity is boosted over the whole near-infrared (NIR) band, with respective improvements of 40% and 35% at the key wavelengths of 850nm and 905nm.
Using the new SPAD devices will reduce the complexity of visible light filtering, since UV and visible light is already suppressed. Filter designs will consequently be simpler, with fewer component parts involved. Furthermore, having exactly the same footprint dimensions as the previous SPAD generation provides a straightforward upgrade route. Customers’ existing designs can gain major performance benefits by just swapping in the new devices.
X-FAB has compiled a comprehensive PDK for the near-infrared SPAD variant, with extensive documentation and application notes featured. Models for optical and electrical simulation will provide engineers the additional design support they need, enabling them to integrate these devices into their circuitry within a short time period.
As Heming Wei, Product Marketing Manager Sensors at X-FAB explains; “Our SPAD technology has already gained a very positive market response, seeing uptake with a multitude of customers. Thanks to continuing innovation at the process level, we have now been able to develop a solution that will secure business for us within various NIR applications, across automotive, healthcare and life sciences.”
The new NIR enhanced SPAD is available now. Engineers can start their design with the new device immediately.
15 Nov 23. Mayorkas warns of dangers if US loses tools to block terrorist drones. The U.S. government is at risk of losing key tools for preventing terrorists from using drones, chemicals or weapons of mass destruction if Congress failes to take action soon, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas warned Wednesday.
Congress could temporarily extend the measures dealing with drones and WMD as part of a bill the House approved Tuesday to avert a government shutdown.
But a bill regulating chemicals stalled in the Senate after a Republican senator raised concerns that it could make the U.S. chemical industry less competitive, and those powers expired in July. The others also expire this year unless Congress takes action to extend them.
“Congress must not allow these DHS authorities to lapse,” Mayorkas said, arguing that they are vital for protecting the country. “This is not a moment to let our guard down.”
He spoke during a congressional hearing focused on threats to the homeland alongside FBI Director Christopher Wray and the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, Christine Abizaid.
The Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards program requires any facility that has a certain quantity of any of a long list of “chemicals of interest” to report the information to Homeland Security. Then Homeland Security determines whether the facility is considered high risk and must develop a security plan. The agency assesses the plans and does inspections.
There are about 3,200 high-risk facilities across the country, according to agency data.
The program also allows facilities to vet prospective employees through Homeland Security for links to extremist groups, but this has stopped since it expired.
This summer, the House overwhelmingly voted to reauthorize it. But it stalled in the Senate after Sen. Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, raised objections. He said in a July 26 congressional speech that such regulations favor big businesses because they create a barrier to new companies coming into the market and even without these regulations, companies would keep security measures in place out of self-interest.
The authority that created the Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office expires Dec. 21. It might be getting a slight reprieve. A bill passed by the House to temporarily fund the government into the new year would reauthorize the office until February. The Senate still has to approve it.
The office, with about 240 federal employees and over 400 contract staff, and a budget last fiscal year of roughly $450m, works with other parts of Homeland Security as well as states, municipalities, tribes and territories to make sure they have the right technology, training and intelligence to protect the country from mass attacks like from a nuclear weapon.
Local law enforcement agencies can request equipment and staff for events. Equipment can range from backpack units that can detect radiation while the wearer is walking through a crowd to a full trailer loaded with various types of equipment and staffed by Homeland Security experts. Over the last fiscal year, that Mobile Detection Deployment Program deployed over 180 times to 42 states, two territories and one tribal area, according to DHS data.
Festivals, Boston Marathon
Those events included the Portland Rose Festival in Oregon; the NFL Draft in Kansas City, Missouri; the Boston Marathon; and the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in New Mexico. They’ll also be sending equipment and staff to protect the hundreds of thousands of people who come out to see the Thanksgiving Day parade in New York.
The potential closure of the office has worried cities that rely on it for help. In an Oct. 18 letter calling for the office to be reauthorized, the Houston director of public safety and homeland security, George T. Buenik, wrote that the federal funding provides a “consistent, nationwide level of service” that state and local government cannot provide on their own.
The third authority that expires this year allows the departments of Homeland Security and Justice to protect certain facilities or events from unauthorized drones and seize or down drones they think pose a danger. Mayorkas has spoken previously about the dangers posed by drones infringing on airport operations, including an incident in June where the Pittsburgh airport had to temporarily ground flights after a drone was spotted.
The drone authority is set to expire Nov. 18, but it is also included in the House measure to temporarily fund the government.
Mayorkas, Wray and Abizaid also called on Congress to reauthorize Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The law permits the U.S. intelligence community to collect the communications of foreigners overseas suspected of posing a national security threat without getting a warrant. The government also captures the communications of American citizens and others in the U.S. when they’re in contact with those targeted foreigners. Some in Congress would like federal agencies to be required to get a warrant before they can access the communications of people in the U.S., something the White House opposes.= (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
16 Nov 23. Elistair Unveils KHRONOS – Push Button DroneBox for ISR Missions. Elistair, a manufacturer of long-endurance, tethered unmanned aircraft systems, announced the unveiling of KHRONOS, a fully automated tethered drone system designed for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions in challenging, GPS/GNSS-denied and RF-denied environments.
Deployed from a transportable dronebox in under two minutes, KHRONOS can operate from both fixed and mobile platforms with minimal human input, enabling operators on the move their own “pocket watchtower” without a heavy investment in training.
“KHRONOS represents a significant milestone for Elistair,” said company CEO Guilhem de Marliave. “Public safety agencies, border patrol units, military forces and even vehicle integrators have all been looking for a simple, organic, long-endurance ISR asset that can be launched at the push of a button—and now they finally have it.”
Elistair has been developing and delivering tethered drones to customers in more than 70 countries for close to a decade. The 66-pound KHRONOS leverages that experience. It is easily deployed from a dronebox to deliver a continuous, day/night aerial view extending over a 10-kilometer radius for 24 hours a stretch.
In addition to being ruggedized for operation off-road and in poor weather, KHRONOS can operate in both GPS/GNSS-Denied and RF-denied environments, thanks to its advanced positioning system and secured tethered communications. And with its small logistical footprint, and its open API, it can be easily integrated with vehicles.
“The aim behind KHRONOS was clear: we wanted a tethered drone that’s straightforward to use, adaptable to various scenarios, integrates seamlessly, and is robust in construction for demanding environments,”
said Elistair CTO Timothée Penet.
Powered by T-Planner 2, the newest version of Elistair mission software, KHRONOS benefits from the latest intelligent functions, such as target tracking, automated object categorization, and cued camera slewing to points of interests. Elistair plans to deliver its first KHRONOS systems to customers in January 2024. (Source: UAS VISION)
15 Nov 23. Pentagon counter-drone office makes headway as services adopt new tech. The Pentagon’s counter-drone office is making headway on pushing new capabilities as the military services and combatant commands adopt the technology, its director said.
Several technologies that will help the U.S. military combat the rising drone threat are no longer just under evaluation in demonstrations in western test ranges but are now being procured by the services and used by units in every combatant command, Maj. Gen. Sean Gainey, the Joint Counter-small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Office director, told a Center for Strategic and International Studies event on Nov. 14.
The Joint Counter-small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Office, or JCO, established in 2019 to coordinate counter-UAS development, doctrine, organization, and training across the force, has held five demonstrations aimed at looking at various capabilities to tackle the complex and varying drone threats observed on the battlefield from cheap, hand-held devices to low-collateral interceptors to high-powered microwave capabilities.
The first demonstration held in April 2021 at Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona was focused on low-collateral interceptors.
The demonstration made it possible for the JCO to identify readily available capability. The office narrowed down the pool of low-collateral interceptors to five vendors and passed that group to the Air Force along with funding to continue evaluation and demonstration from those vendors, Gainey explained.
The plan now is to conduct a final fly-off in the February or March timeframe, Gainey said. Following the fly-off, each service will be able to choose from a list of recommended vendors for capabilities that fit service-specific requirements.
At the same time, once a capability identified in demonstrations has reached a required safety threshold for soldier use, the JCO sends the systems into combatant commands. “Every service has a low-collateral capability inside every COCOM right now testing now and providing that feedback to the Air Force,” Gainey said.
The strategy allows the services to get capability out in the field rather than waiting until everything is fully baked and feedback is used to aid development of technology that continues to address evolving threats, he explained.
The JCO has used a similar method to transition laser weapons designed to defeat small drones from development into procurement, Gainey said. The office is funding the Air Force and Army to take directed energy weapons from 10-kilowatts, 20-kilowatts and eventually 50-kilowatts into theater to operationally assess the various systems and make recommendations.
Capability will then transition to the services to each buy systems at scale with their own procurement funding, according to Gainey.
While the JCO has a process to move technologies identified through demonstration out of development and into fielded systems, a CSIS report released Nov. 14 recommended Congress and Defense Department leadership should “consider modifications to JCO’s authorities and relation to service acquisition agencies to improve the requirements process and acquisition timelines.”
While the JCO has worked for several years to identify, demonstrate and refine capability across the counter-drone industry, the services “will play a larger role” in institutionalizing counter-UAS capability across the force, the report states.
“Questions remain as to whether they will accept systems supported by the JCO or develop their own unique platforms more suited for their specific needs, as well as how such needs will be prioritized against other service needs,” the report states.
The JCO could be empowered, the report suggests, “with an authority requirement recognized by the Joint Capabilities Integration Development Systems (JCIDS) that is broad enough to be effective for immediate C-sUAS needs.”
With that authority, the office should still coordinate closely with service leadership “to satisfy unique service requirements and avoid overlapping too much with other requirement generation bodies,” the report recommends. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
15 Nov 23. OSL Teams with Wembley Stadium for Fan Safety. Operational Solutions Ltd (OSL), a drone detection and security solutions leader, is collaborating with Wembley Stadium.
OSL has implemented its Drone Alert Service (DAS) to assist Wembley in establishing itself as a trailblazer in stadium safety and security. This partnership marks a significant achievement in OSL’s commitment to delivering innovative solutions that safeguard critical infrastructure and elevate the security of public spaces.
DAS stands out as the inaugural subscription-based drone detection service in the UK. With no hardware prerequisites for end users and an easily accessible online dashboard, the service monitors drone flights in real time and furnishes information to identify the pilot.
This distinctive offering is crafted to provide swift access to proven capabilities, mainly catering to customers with limited space for deploying multiple sensors. The DAS system seamlessly aligns with Wembley’s specific requirements.
Wembley’s Head of Security, Steve McGrath, commented, “The safety of our guests is our highest priority for all events at Wembley Stadium. The deployment and 24/7 monitoring of the DAS System significantly enhances our capabilities and options around the detection of drones and drone usage around Wembley Stadium.”
Sam Lowe, Business Development Manager at OSL, added, “We are delighted to have worked with Wembley to boost the safety and well-being of their spectators. Wembley’s selection of OSL’s technology shows our ability to offer a diverse portfolio of solutions tailored to our client’s varied requirements, providing venues ranging from stadiums to airports and prisons.” (Source: https://cuashub.com/)
15 Nov 23. NATO Strengthens Situational Awareness with Next Generation of Command and Control Aircraft. NATO has selected its next-generation command and control aircraft as the Alliance’s existing Airborne Warning and Control (AWACS) fleet nears retirement. Production of the six new Boeing’s E-7A Wedgetail aircraft is set to begin in the coming years, with the first aircraft expected to be ready for operational duty by 2031. A consortium of Allies gave their approval to the project, one of NATO’s biggest-ever capability purchases, this month.
“Surveillance and control aircraft are crucial for NATO’s collective defence and I welcome Allies’ commitment to investing in high-end capabilities,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. “By pooling resources, Allies can buy and operate major assets collectively that would be too expensive for individual countries to purchase. This investment in state-of-the-art technology shows the strength of transatlantic defence cooperation as we continue to adapt to a more unstable world”.
The E-7 Wedgetail is an advanced early warning and control aircraft that provides situational awareness and command and control functions. Equipped with a powerful radar, the aircraft can detect hostile aircraft, missiles and ships at great distances and can direct NATO fighter jets to their targets. The United States, the United Kingdom and Türkiye also either fly the Wedgetail or plan to operate it. It is based on a militarised version of the 737 jetliner.
NATO has operated a fleet of E-3A Airborne Warning and Control (AWACS) aircraft since the 1980s. Based at Geilenkirchen airbase in Germany, the AWACS have flown in every major NATO operation, including the fight against ISIS as well as on NATO’s eastern flank following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The E-7 is expected to have its main base at Geilenkirchen and could operate from several forward locations across Europe.
The Wedgetail will be part of the Alliance’s future surveillance and control project which will field NATO’s next generation of surveillance systems from the mid-2030s. (Source: https://www.defense-aerospace.com/NATO)
14 Nov 23. Drone attacks on US troops in Middle East rise to 55 in under a month. The number of attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria has climbed to 55 as of Monday, a Pentagon spokeswoman told reporters during a briefing, resulting in 59 injuries counted so far.
The attacks, 27 in Iraq and 28 in Syria, are part of an escalation in strikes by Iranian-backed militias in those countries that has steadily continued since Oct. 17.
In response, the Pentagon has deployed support troops and air defense units to the region to protect bases housing U.S. forces, as well as launched multiple strikes on facilities in Syria known to store weapons.Singh pushed back on questioning as to whether the U.S. strikes have failed to deter the militias from further attacks.
“We have a very robust presence in the region right now,” she said. “That is sending, I think, a very strong message of deterrence. And while I certainly hear your question, we always reserve the right to respond in a time and place of our choosing.”
While U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria have come under drone attacks from time to time in recent years, the escalation since the beginning of the Hamas-Israel conflict is unprecedented.
Pentagon officials have not directly drawn a line between the attacks and U.S. support for Israel.
“I think that we are all sensitive to the fact that there are tensions in the region … you are seeing, and we probably will continue to see, groups that may try to exploit the situation to benefit their own interests, to include Iranian proxy groups,” Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, a Pentagon spokesman, said during a briefing Nov. 2. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
14 Nov 23. Countering Unmanned Aerial System Attacks a Priority. The Joint Counter-Unmanned Aircraft Systems Office is working on countermeasures, training and doctrine to establish solutions to address defense against unmanned aerial system attacks.
Army Maj. Gen. Sean A. Gainey, director, of that office spoke today at a Center for Strategic and International Studies event, “Countering Small Uncrewed Aerial Systems.”
Each of the military services, in partnership with industry, is conducting experiments and doing field testing with a variety of ways to defeat UAS attacks, he said.
One very promising area, Gainey said, is the use of high-powered microwaves to take out UAS. These microwaves, which range from 10 to 50 kilowatts, cost less per shot than traditional munitions such as missiles. Demonstrations have already shown some success.
However, use of microwaves is not an end-all solution, Gainey said, meaning that other defensive measures could be more appropriate given conditions on the battlefield and in the environment, including atmospheric conditions. “There isn’t a silver bullet solution out there.”
Other aspects of defense include development of advanced radar and command and control, such as the integrated battle command system, he said. The radar would detect incoming and the command and control would connect shooters and sensors to targets.
The importance of defense against UAS attacks can be seen by what is happening in Ukraine, he said. In the future, every service member will most likely also need to be capable of being an air defender as these attacks will shape the future battlefield.
There’s still a lot of work to be done in developing and fielding UAS attack countermeasures, along with training and doctrine, Gainey said, but the effort is well underway and is already producing results. (Source: U.S. DoD)
14 Nov 23. Vision Products, LLC Develops Zero Distortion Freeform Prism. Vision Products, LLC (www.visionproducts.llc ), a leader in head/helmet mounted displays (HMDs) for military training & simulation, ground, and aviation applications, is proud to announce the development of the world’s first zero distortion freeform prism eyepiece for augmented reality systems. With its very large 64-degree diagonal field of view, a 2k x 2k resolution, and a 120 Hz update rate, this eyepiece sets the bar for augmented reality systems that must deliver the ultimate in performance. Using a high-performance optical polymer means that the display will not shatter like glass waveguide displays do, and the freeform prism architecture provides bright, high contrast imagery with none of the diffraction effects common in waveguide eyepieces. The minimum peripheral obscuration frameless design means that users will see the real world around the side of the eyepiece with no obscurations.
Dr. Mike Browne, Vision Products’ President, stated, “Although freeform prism eyepieces provide better image quality than waveguides, there has always been the issue of a small amount of edge distortion. Customers can now have both high-performance imagery AND zero distortion in a wide field of view eyepiece.”
Vision Products’ zero distortion eyepiece will have its first demonstration at the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC), the world’s largest modeling, simulation, and training event. The I/ITSEC 2023 exhibition runs from November 27 through November 30, 2023, and will be held in the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC), located at 9800 International Blvd, Orlando, Florida. Vision Products can be found in #628. Additional information for the I/ITSEC conference can be found at www.iitsec.org.
About Vision Products, LLC
Vision Products is a privately held small business and a pioneer in the development and deployment of innovative head- and body-worn solutions for commercial and government customers. We specialize in the design, development, and manufacture of state-of-the-art high-resolution wide field of view head-worn displays and vision systems. Our products and technologies include augmented, virtual, and mixed reality systems; digital night vision products; and the development of systems for medical applications. To learn more please visit www.visionproducts.llc.
(Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
14 Nov 23. Lockheed seeks expanded roles for Q-53 radar including drone detection. Lockheed Martin is mulling additional applications and integration for its Q-53 radar, long relied upon by the U.S. Army to spot incoming rockets, artillery and mortars.
The Q-53 has since 2010 been deployed alongside soldiers to detect, classify and determine the impact points of indirect fire. It received extended-range modifications in recent years, and has demonstrated the ability to plug into an Army command-and-control system to help take down drones.
While its origin is tied to counter-insurgency operations, its future is shaped by competition and potential conflict with Russia and China.
“It’s been a product that’s been out there, but we’ve continued to utilize technology enhancements to provide new missions,” David Kenneweg, Lockheed’s program director for multi-mission air defense radars, told reporters during a Nov. 2 tour of the company’s facility in Syracuse, New York.
The Q-53, which replaces the older Q-36 and Q-37, utilizes an active electronically scanned array, or AESA, and is highly mobile. Setup and breakdown take minutes.
Lockheed has so far delivered more than 190 of the radars to the Army and other buyers. The company in March 2022 won a $3.3 bn Q-53 production contract that covered spare parts, services and deployment to foreign military sales-applicable countries. Kenneweg said there is continued interest for the Q-53 on the international market.
“Its legacy has been counter-fire,” he said. “Now, we’ve got a multi-mission radar that does multiple things.”
In tests last year at Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona, the Q-53 linked with the Army’s Forward Area Air Defense Command and Control system, or FAAD C2, and fed tracking data to RTX’s Coyote Block 2 counter-unmanned aerial systems setup.
Future demonstrations are planned, according to Kenneweg, who declined to provide additional details about timing or complexity. The threat drones pose — spying, targeting assistance, one-way attacks and more — is only ballooning, as is seen in Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
“If you just look at the media and the types of things that are going on, obviously the counter-UAS threat is real,” Kenneweg said. “That’s one of the reasons we’re bringing that mission forward.”
Lockheed is the world’s largest defense contractor when ranked by defense-related revenue, earning roughly $63.3 bn in 2022, according to Defense News Top 100 analysis. The company’s Syracuse facility specializes in radars, other sensors and electronic warfare.
(Source: Defense News Early Bird/C4ISR & Networks)
14 Nov 23. Sierra Nevada to supply US Army with intel-gathering jets in $554m deal. The U.S. Army selected Sierra Nevada Corp. to provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft and related services for an ongoing overhaul of its aerial spying and targeting capabilities.
The company’s RAPCON-X, converted Bombardier business jets, won approval for the Army’s Theater Level High Altitude Expeditionary Next Airborne ISR-Signals Intelligence project, or ATHENA-S, according to a Nov. 14 announcement.
The multi-year contract, initially teased last month at the Association of the U.S. Army convention in Washington, is worth $554 m. Sierra Nevada spent ms of its own dollars refining its candidate, which is capable of cuing in on electronic transmissions and collecting target signatures on the ground.
“This award is the direct result of SNC’s commitment to putting ‘skin in the game’ and staying one step ahead by anticipating challenges and innovating solutions years in advance,” Tim Owings, executive vice president for mission solutions and technologies, said in a statement. “Our born-digital design process and engineering techniques place RAPCON-X among the most capable and rapidly configurable A-ISR platforms worldwide.”
The Army is in the midst of revamping its aerial reconnaissance and electronic warfare arsenals. It is moving away from Cold War-era planes and their limitations and toward a future where battlefield insights are gleaned from dramatic distance, with long-reaching firepower to match.
The ISR investments come as the U.S. Department of Defense prepares for potential large-scale conflict with Russia and China. The Army is paying particular attention to what’s known as deep sensing, or the capacity to find, monitor, target and kill from farther away and with finer precision.
Both ATHENA-S and its long-range-radar sister, ATHENA-R, will shape the service’s High Accuracy Detection and Exploitation System, or HADES, expected later this decade. L3Harris Technologies and MAG Aerospace were tapped for ATHENA-R earlier this year. The companies did not disclose the value of the contract at the time.
Sierra Nevada said it will conduct its ATHENA-S work at facilities in Hagerstown, Maryland. The company is the 57th largest defense contractor in the world when ranked by defense-related revenue, according to Defense News analysis. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
13 Nov 23. US seeks to fund Israeli laser as Army considers Iron Beam’s potential. The Biden Administration’s budget package of roughly $106bn in emergency supplemental funding includes a $1.2bn investment in Israel’s directed energy weapon system, “Iron Beam,” which the U.S. Army could consider as an alternative laser weapon for its own needs, according to the service’s acquisition chief.
The Iron Beam technology is “intriguing,” Doug Bush told reporters last week. “If [the Israelis] are successful, that certainly could be something the Army could think about leveraging.”
Congress has yet to pass the supplemental funding aimed to support U.S. and allies’ defense needs, including Ukraine and Israel. A growing number of House Republicans oppose additional Ukraine aid and have instead pushed for a stand-alone $14 bn Israel supplemental.
Bush said he’d seen the first prototype of the directed energy technology meant to augment the Iron Dome air defense system capability in Israel on his last trip to the country, and added that he was “pleased” to see the supplemental include the U.S. investment in developing Iron Beam.
The Army is working on its own high-energy laser weapon capability as part of the Indirect Fire Protection Capability, or IFPC, to defend against rockets, artillery, and mortars as well as cruise missiles and drones. That system overall has experienced delays due to supply chain issues, but the Army is in the process of receiving the first prototypes from its maker Leidos’ Dynetics.
The laser weapon portion of the IFPC system is being developed by Lockheed Martin and Dynetics and the Army awarded a contract to Lockheed last month to deliver two 300-kilowatt-class laser weapon systems for the IFPC prototypes program with an option for two additional units.
“The Israeli system is a slightly different approach technologically,” Bush said, “so, it’s actually a nice complement because we’re kind of going down one path, they’ve gone down a slightly different one. I think, yes, there’s potential, if theirs works well, it could be something we could think about leveraging for our needs in that space, so that’s really a benefit of that funding is, I mean, we can explore multiple paths here and see what works.”
While Bush said he could not go into specifics about the technology, the differences have to do with “how the laser beam is formed and aimed” and each uses different power levels.
“They have a very specific problem they’re trying to solve with rockets and things like that, where the Army system goes a little broader — cruise missiles perhaps, things like that,” he added.
Mark Montgomery, a defense analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington said he hopes that if the supplemental funding is passed that the U.S. has a deal with the Israeli government that intellectual property needs to be owned by both American and Israeli companies involved – presumably US-based RTX and Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, which worked together to co-develop Iron Dome.
Those companies should be able to “immediately turn it around and build stuff for us because this is a serious investment in laser and non-kinetic directed energy weapons,” Montgomery told Defense News in a recent interview.
Then-Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced in early 2022 the country’s plan to create a “laser wall” to shift from investing in large numbers of interceptors to using less-costly lasers and said the system would be operational by next year. Later in 2022, the Israeli government said it could likely deploy the system in two years.
While the system is not yet operational, Israel announced in April 2022 that it had successfully intercepted mortars, rockets and anti-tank missiles in recent tests in the Negev Desert the month prior. And Iron Beam was displayed in February 2023 at the IDEX defense exhibition in the United Arab Emirates.
Experts have highlighted the technological challenge lasers have handling large salvos of rockets because lasers take time to heat up a target to destroy it. A laser might need to hit a target steadily for two to three seconds to kill a rocket, for instance.
The Hamas-Israel war has already shown, according to reports from both sides, that Hamas has potentially doubled its rocket rate of fire compared to the war between Israel and Hamas in May 2021. In 2021, Hamas could fire roughly 125 rockets in salvos over several minutes. In the attack on October 7, reports state that Hamas fired anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 rockets into Israel over a 20-minute time period. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
14 Nov 23. DOJ and DHS Counter-Drone Authority Set to Expire (Again).
Another national security-based deadline for Congress is rapidly approaching. The Counter-UAS authority for the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is set to expire on November 18th. If Congress fails to extend the legislative authority granted to these two agencies, the homeland will be even more vulnerable to a security threat that is rapidly proliferating around the world.
Congress has not passed any Counter-UAS legislation since the 2018 FAA Reauthorization Act. Within the 2018 FAA Reauthorization Act was the Preventing Emerging Threats Act (PETA) of 2018. The PETA provided legislative relief from specific federal violations for the DOJ and DHS to use certain RF-based detection equipment and mitigation technology to detect, identify, monitor, track, and warn without prior consent. The authority also authorized the agencies to disrupt, seize, or exercise control; and use reasonable force to disrupt, disable, or destroy drones that were assessed as a credible threat to people, facilities, or assets.
State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial (SLTT) public safety and law enforcement, as well as critical infrastructure and others, have advocated for expanding authority for years. In recent testimony, Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray said, “If it isn’t reauthorized, there is no public safety agency in this country that can provide counter-UAS security.”
The original PETA authority expired on October 5, 2022. The authority has been temporarily extended multiple times since then and will likely see another extension announced this week.
Extending DOJ and DHS Counter-UAS authority and expanding authorities to SLTT and critical infrastructure has strong bipartisan support in Washington, D.C.
In April 2022, the Biden Administration released its Domestic Counter Unmanned Aircraft Systems National Action Plan. The whole-of-government plan sought to address the threat of drones in the homeland. The Plan recommended expanding where the U.S. can protect against nefarious UAS activity in the homeland, who is authorized to take action, and how it can be accomplished lawfully. The Plan sought to expand airspace awareness and protection activities while safeguarding the airspace, communications spectrums, individual privacy, civil liberties, and civil rights.
Earlier this year, Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) introduced S. 1631- Safeguarding the Homeland from the Threats Posed by Unmanned Aircraft Systems Act of 2023. The U.S. House of Representatives version of the bill, H.R. 4333- Safeguarding the Homeland from the Threats Posed by Unmanned Aircraft Systems Act of 2023, was introduced by Representative Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA). Both versions of the legislation are attracting bipartisan support.
This legislation’s importance to the homeland’s security can not be understated. Inexpensive consumer and custom-built drones are playing a significant role in the conflicts in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. These extremely capable drones can conduct surveillance to locate targets, accurately deliver ordnance or coordinates for indirect fire, and conduct battle damage assessments, to name a few.
In the United States, drones are already a significant problem at the border, where the technology is used to conduct surveillance to guide the flow of people and drugs into the United States. Drones are also used to transport drugs into the country and likely money or other items back South.
Prisons are being assaulted through the air with contraband deliveries via drone happening daily throughout the country. These drone drops increase the risk to staff and prisoners with the delivery of cell phones, drugs, and, in some cases, weapons or escape tools.
Drones have been and continue to be a safety risk in and around airports. In July of last year, a drone near Reagan National Airport shut down air traffic in and out of the busy airport for a short time until the situation could be resolved. Other airports worldwide report similar incidents that have impacted aircraft and passengers’ safety and created costly delays.
Although nothing more than an extension of authority is expected from Congress this week, we continue to remain hopeful that Congress will take the necessary steps to expand the use of these authorities to SLTT and critical infrastructure to increase the security of the homeland.
14 Nov 23. Iron Drone Raider C-UAS Hunter-Capture Solution to be Upgraded. Ondas Holdings, a provider of private industrial wireless networks and commercial drone and automated data solutions, announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Airobotics Ltd (“Airobotics”), is expediting enhancements to its counter-Uncrewed Aerial System (UAS) technology, the Iron Drone Raider. This initiative is in response to the urgent requirements of the Israeli Defense and homeland security forces amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza.
With the backing of significant Israeli defense entities, Airobotics’ teams are upgrading the interception system to address specific defensive needs arising from the current situation. The Iron Drone’s distinctive integrated AI-based interception drone system is designed to eliminate small hostile drones. It is effective against various small drones, whether controlled or pre-programmed for flight. This includes hostile drones that operate independently of a pilot’s command and control radio link.
“Iron Drone Raider, with its unique capabilities and proprietary technology, represents the cutting edge of counter-drone technology,” said Eric Brock, Chairman and CEO of Ondas. “The Airobotics team is making great progress to finalize the last stages of development in order to provide the system as soon as possible and address the operational needs rising from the field. By deploying the Iron Drone Raider, customers can neutralize the growing threat posed by the proliferation of small, hostile drones, thereby saving lives.”
Small drones are increasingly utilized as aerial surveillance and attack tools. To counter such threats, various methods can be employed. For instance, disrupting small, hostile drones can be achieved by jamming GPS reception or radio frequencies, thereby interfering with the manual control capabilities of the drone pilot. Alternatively, hostile drones that operate autonomously without critical communications can be thwarted through kinetic solutions.
The Iron Drone Raider system possesses unique and proprietary capabilities to counter all forms of small hostile drones, regardless of their operational mode. Upon detecting a small hostile drone, the Iron Drone Raider system autonomously launches a small, hyper-fast interceptor drone. This interceptor drone employs advanced AI vision to detect and track approaching hostile drones, “locking on” to them. Subsequently, the intercepting Raider drone pursues the target and incapacitates the hostile drone using a net and a parachute, safely lowering it to the ground. The entire process, encompassing detection, deployment, tracking, and capturing of the hostile drone, is fully automated, eliminating the need for human pilot intervention.
“We are receiving many inquiries and working around the clock to enhance our Iron Drone Raider system to address the needs of various Israeli Defense forces,” said Meir Kliner, CEO of Airobotics and President of Ondas Autonomous Systems. “With the support of major Israeli defense contractors, we are looking to provide the Iron Drone Raider solution to different forces on the ground and believe that it is going to be a game changer helping to counteract the rising threat from hostile drones.”
Earlier this year, Airobotics, a subsidiary of Ondas, successfully acquired the assets of Iron Drone, an Israel-based company specializing in developing autonomous counter-drone systems. The Iron Drone Raider system leverages AI technologies for identifying and intercepting hostile drones, offering compatibility with various drone detection systems. This system physically intercepts small, hostile drones through a rapid, autonomous drone equipped with interception mechanisms. It is complemented by a highly automated docking station capable of concurrently addressing multiple hostile drone targets. In August of the current year, the Israel Innovation Authority (IIA) granted a sum of NIS 2.1 m (approximately $540,000) to support the system’s ongoing development and enhance its capabilities.
About Ondas Holdings Inc
Ondas Holdings Inc. (“Ondas”) is a leading provider of private wireless data solutions via Ondas Networks Inc. (“Ondas Networks”) and commercial drone solutions through American Robotics, Inc. (“American Robotics” or “AR”) and Airobotics LTD (“Airobotics”), which we operate as a separate business unit called Ondas Autonomous Systems.
Ondas Networks is a proprietary, software-based wireless broadband technology developer for large, established, and emerging commercial and government markets. Ondas Networks’ standards-based (802.16s), multi-patented, software-defined radio FullMAX platform enables Mission-Critical IoT (MC-IoT) applications by overcoming the bandwidth limitations of today’s legacy private licensed wireless networks. Ondas Networks’ customer end markets include railroads, utilities, oil and gas, transportation, aviation (including drone operators), and government entities whose demands span a wide range of mission-critical applications.
Our Ondas Autonomous Systems business unit designs develops, and markets commercial drone solutions via the Optimus System and the Iron Drone Raider™ (the “Autonomous Drone Platforms”). The Autonomous Drone Platforms are highly automated, AI-powered drone systems capable of continuous, remote operation and are marketed as “drone-in-a-box” turnkey data solution services. They are deployed for critical industrial and government applications where data and information collection and processing are required. The Autonomous Drone Platforms are typically provided to customers under a Robot-as-a-Service (RAAS) business model. American Robotics and Airobotics have industry-leading regulatory successes, which include a first-of-its-kind FAA Type Certification for the Optimus System and having the first drone system approved by the FAA for automated operation beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) without a human operator on-site.
Ondas Networks, American Robotics, and Airobotics provide users in oil & gas, rail, mining, agriculture, public safety, and other critical infrastructure and government markets with improved connectivity and data collection and information processing capabilities. (Source: https://cuashub.com/)
14 Nov 23. US Navy Expands UAV Trials in Persian Gulf. The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63) recently demonstrated expansive maritime domain awareness, utilizing Flexrotor unmanned aerial vehicles during operations in the Gulf of Oman, Nov. 8-9. The UAVs, part of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command’s Task Force 59, put a highly capable intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capability in the hands of Sailors at sea. Flexrotor’s high endurance and vertical takeoff-and-landing capabilities make them particularly well suited for the task of building an accurate maritime picture, said Capt. Colin Corridan, Task Force 59 commodore.
“Our warfighters require innovative methods for gaining a deeper understanding of the operating environment,” Corridan said. “The ISR capabilities of these UAVs greatly expand our sight picture and help us better monitor what’s happening in the region.”
Flexrotor provides complete autonomous flight following takeoff, with a wide communication range and the ability for around-the-clock ISR coverage. It can be used day or night by U.S. and coalition partners for a wide range of intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance operations over land and sea.
Flexrotors played an integral part in recent operations where it integrated with 12 different unmanned platforms for “manned-unmanned teaming” operations, tracking Iranian Navy and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) ships and small boats over several days during routine patrols in and around the Strait of Hormuz.
The operations aboard Stethem built on the strength of that operation, Corridan noted.
“The Sailors aboard Stethem and from Task Force 59 are strengthening maritime security and stability through the use of Flexrotor, deterring malign activity by bad-faith actors,” he said. “As these capabilities expand, we’re going to be able to gain more information more quickly to be able to make faster, smarter decisions.”
U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/U.S. 5th Fleet’s area of operations encompasses about 2.5 m square miles of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean. This expanse, comprising 21 nations, includes three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab al Mandeb. (Source: https://www.defense-aerospace.com/USN)
14 Nov 23. Thermoteknix Fused Thermal Night Vision Binocular with Augmented Reality makes debut at Milipol, Paris exhibition.
The Fused Night Vision Goggle with Augmented Reality (FNVG-AR) from Thermoteknix makes its debut at Milipol 2023.
Thermoteknix Systems Ltd., global innovator in thermal imaging, night vision, fusion and Augmented Reality (AR) systems.
The Thermoteknix stand is located in Hall 5 at Stand B094.
Thermoteknix’ FNVG-AR is a state-of-the art, lightweight, fused binocular night vision goggle (NVG) integrated with the latest generation 16mm white phosphor night vision tubes and high resolution thermal imager with optical sensor fusion. Designed and manufactured by Thermoteknix in Cambridge, UK, FNVG-AR is the only ITAR-free fused binocular night vision goggle available today.
FNVG-AR delivers outstanding performance, fusing night vision and thermal capabilities, for soldiers to observe and manoeuver in all weather conditions, during limited visibility, and under all light conditions for rapid threat detection and target engagement. Users can alternative between combinations of night vision, thermal and AR, while showing various user-selectable levels of AR information to ensure their optimal tactical advantage in the battlefield whether on patrol, reconnaissance or kinetic operations.
FNVG-AR connects seamlessly to Battle Management Systems (BMS) including ATAK to display real-time information. This includes live blue force tracking, markers, navigation routes, waypoints or Jumpmaster information in intuitive 360 degree AR. Furthermore, FNVG-AR can display real-time video streaming from the BMS, including live video feeds from any integrated ISR or targeting asset.
Thermoteknix AR software enables users to overlay iconography, GPS and navigation data into the head-up display, delivering the most advanced situational awareness available today. The integration of AR and video streaming gives soldiers real-time and actionable intelligence. Without distraction or lag, FNVG ensures eyes are always on target, without the need to expose an illuminated End User Device (EUD) with consequent loss of focus and risk of detection.
“The FNVG-AR combines over a decade of experience designing and manufacturing fused thermal and night vision products since Thermoteknix’ first fused systems were launched in 2012. With the addition of AR and live video from connected systems streamed directly into the head-up display, the FNVG-AR is a groundbreaking milestone in the well-equipped, dismounted soldier. Markers, targets, geodata, threats and now live ISR and targeting footage are integrated into our lightweight fused goggle without risk of exposure or detection. The demand for AR-driven intelligent systems by military forces has raised the effectiveness and safety of the dismounted soldier. At Thermoteknix we continue to generate new breakthroughs in AR technologies, delivering enhanced situational awareness and protecting soldiers on the ground,” explains Dr Richard Salisbury, Managing Director of Thermoteknix
The Thermoteknix FNVG-AR is powered by ARTIM, a smart battery module mounted on the rear of the helmet, available in both 24hr and a new significantly lower profile 12hr format (ARTIM-MINI). ARTIM delivers real time, uninterrupted AR capability to FNVG-AR whether connected dynamically to a networked BMS, or in isolation. Thermoteknix ARTIM also supports a number of other Thermoteknix products including ClipIR XD (clip-on thermal imager which attaches to an existing night vision device) and VisAR (daytime HUD displaying AR information).
All Thermoteknix products are designed and manufactured at its Cambridge, UK state-of-the-art facilities.
For more information on Thermoteknix visit www.thermoteknix.com.
10 Nov 23. EOS showcased latest innovation for countering UAS at Indo Pacific 2023. Electro Optic Systems (EOS Defence Systems) unveiled its latest innovative C-UAS solution – a laser dazzler – at the Indo Pacific 2023 international maritime exposition this week.
Designed and developed entirely in Australia specifically for export markets, the silent, non-ballistic countermeasure was showcased integrated with the company’s heavy-hitting R800 remote weapon system (RWS). Described as ‘Slinger’s big brother,’ the R800 sets a new standard in multi-dimensional threat response. Scott Hicks, VP Sales and Business Development, said that introduction of the Dazzler as part of the R800’s capability set, heralds a significant development in non-ballistic countermeasures.
When coupled with the R800’s traditional 30mm cannon and 7.62mm coaxial machine gun, the laser Dazzler provides operators a flexible range of kinetic and non-kinetic response options against UAS and USV threats. The addition of the new optic-dazzling, disabling, and disengaging capability makes the R800 a formidable solution to counter uncrewed threats.
“EOS has established itself as a trusted partner for superior accuracy and counter-drone capabilities through the success of the Slinger system. The laser Dazzler builds on this experience using cutting-edge Australian-designed technology to extend options for non-lethal payloads, said Hicks. “It is not merely an enhancement to our capabilities; it reflects the lessons learnt from modern warfare in utilising non-lethal effects in built up areas and the innovative drive that characterises EOS as we tackle the growing employment of drones in a wide range of contemporary operating environments across the globe”. For more information: https://eos-aus.com (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
10 Nov 23. NATO Multinational Battlegroup Slovakia deploys dual jammer/surveillance system at Pliesovce. The NATO Multinational Battlegroup Slovakia deployed the STARKOM jammer/surveillance/EW system at its training centre in Pliesovce on 9 November. In service with the Czech armed forces since last year, STARKOM (STAvebnicový Ruši? KOMunikaní – Modular Communication Jammer) offers powerful electronic countermeasures capabilities in the form of jamming and/or signals intelligence (SIGINT) as well as electronic surveillance and support measures. The USD60+ m development programme has enabled Czech forces to replace outdated jamming platforms.
Mounted on the 8×8 Tatra Force T-815-7T3RC1 truck chassis, STARKOM has been entirely developed and manufactured in the Czech Republic, with the VVU Brno research institute as prime contractor. Subcontractors URC Systems and the JISR Institute provided specialised components and services. The Czech armed forces are to procure eight complete sets by the end of 2023, significantly enhancing existing EW capabilities. The force will then be able more easily to jam ground-based and aerial targets – including drones – disrupting hostile communications and navigation signals in various spectra at the operational-tactical level. For more information: www.vvubrno.cz/en (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
13 Nov 23. As part of the German Armed Forces’ “Timber Express 2023” exercise, sensor solution provider HENSOLDT has connected several flying platforms via data link and networked them with modern information systems. Using the EUA OPTARION mission support system, situational information could be reliably communicated between the NH90 and TIGER helicopters and other platforms such as the Tornado multi-role combat aircraft and the 2000 self-propelled howitzer without any changes to the aircraft. For the first time, the data was also continuously synchronised with the Bundeswehr’s new command information system.
“With the mission support system, we are able to integrate both existing and new platforms into the armed forces’ digital command and control network without any changes to the aircraft,” says Alex Irmscher, programme manager for ground stations at HENSOLDT. “We are working continuously with the Army Air Corps and the German Air Force to further advance command and control capabilities in the area of airborne systems and anchor them operationally alongside exercises.”
The advantages that the EUA OPTARION offers its users were successfully demonstrated for the third time as part of “Timber Express 2023”. As a link between reconnaissance and operational elements, relevant data could be communicated digitally along the sensor-to-effector chain. This interaction forms the basis for efficient command and control and the deployment of armed forces in an interoperable information and communication network.
10 Nov 23. Canadian Defence committee calls for open competition on military plane bid. A parliamentary committee is demanding that Ottawa ensure an open bidding process for new military surveillance planes, rather than a sole-source contract. Echoing calls from the premiers of Ontario and Quebec, the House of Commons defence committee passed a motion Thursday that asks the federal government to put out a request for proposals before it chooses a replacement for the Royal Canadian Air Force’s CP-140 Aurora — maritime patrol planes set to retire in 2030 after a half-century of service.
For months, Bombardier CEO Éric Martel has been pushing Ottawa to formally ask for tenders as he promotes the Montreal-based company’s reconnaissance aircraft over a Boeing Co. alternative, the P-8A Poseidon — the apparent front-runner.
Bombardier joined forces earlier this year with U.S.-based General Dynamics on a patrol aircraft, a modified version of its Global 6500 business jet with submarine-hunting technology. The first plane is not expected to role off the assembly line until the early 2030s.
Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne has stopped short of saying whether competition will be open, with no bidding process for the contract officially selected so far.
Simon Page, an assistant deputy minister of defence and marine procurement, told the defence committee Tuesday that Boeing’s Poseidon was the best aircraft to meet Canada’s operational needs.
10 Nov 23. BlueHalo to Integrate Directed Energy Capability on USMC JLTV. BlueHalo has been awarded a contract from the United States Navy’s Office of Naval Research and Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division to develop a High Energy Laser (HEL) Directed Energy Weapon (DEW) prototype, integrated onboard the Marine Corp’s Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV). The company will adapt its LOCUST Laser Weapon System (LWS) for integration onto a JLTV, providing warfighters with advanced mobile air defense against unmanned aerial system (UAS) threats.
“With its superior target, acquisition, track, and defeat capabilities and its broad adaptability across both fixed-site and mobile applications, the LOCUST laser system is the perfect solution for rapid integration into systems like the JLTV to address our customers’ most complex challenges,” said Trip Ferguson, BlueHalo Chief Operating Officer. “We are proud to be the industry leader in Directed Energy technologies and honored that the U.S. Navy has entrusted BlueHalo to deliver this critical capability.”
The United States Marine Corps (USMC) is completing initial development and is launching full production of its Marine Air Defense Integrated Systems (MADIS), focused primarily on Ground Based Air Defense (GBAD) modernization efforts. The addition of BlueHalo’s LOCUST HEL system will provide critical Directed Energy counter-unmanned aerial system (C-UAS) capabilities, adding it to the system’s existing kinetic and electronic warfare components. BlueHalo will work with the systems integration team at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division to ensure compatibility and conduct “live fire” testing.
The LOCUST system combines precision optical and laser hardware with advanced software, artificial intelligence (AI), and processing to enable and enhance the directed energy “kill chain”, which includes tracking, identifying, and engaging a wide variety of targets with its hard-kill HEL.
“LOCUST is a highly advanced, highly adaptable laser weapon solution. LOCUST has been installed for fixed-site ground-based protection. It has been palletized for easy transport and mobile defense. It has been integrated into existing customer infrastructure. Now, the U.S. Navy has turned to BlueHalo to integrate LOCUST’s Directed Energy capabilities onto a JLTV for threat protection while on the move,” said James Batt, BlueHalo Chief Growth Officer. “Customers continue to choose BlueHalo for our proven defense technologies and ability to rapidly transition innovations to mature prototypes and into full-rate production.”
This DEW prototype integration builds on BlueHalo’s support for the USMC MADIS program, which has utilized BlueHalo’s SkyView passive radio-frequency (RF) detection and tracking sensors to provide precision tracking of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) threats since 2018. SkyView continues to be a part of the MADIS architecture, delivering the latest SkyView-MPV3 earlier this year.
BlueHalo offers a full portfolio of layered C-UAS air defense technologies–delivering best-in-class, cost-effective, control-point solutions to warfighters. In addition to LOCUST and SkyView, these systems include Titan–an autonomous RF C-UAS solution that establishes a hemisphere of protection in less than 5 minutes without operator training, forcing drones to safely land without disrupting nearby communications or electronics. These layered C-UAS technologies are enabled by a proprietary data fusion system built on BlueHalo’s artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) expertise. (Source: ASD Network)
10 Nov 23. Analysis of Multi-Layer System of Systems to Counter UAS.
Analysis of a Multi-Layer System of Systems to Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems is a Naval Postgraduate School thesis by Aaron Chengyi Seow.
The advancement in technological capabilities of counter-unmanned aerial systems (CUAS) to address unmanned aerial systems (UAS) threats has been remarkable in recent years. There is a growing need to harness CUAS technologies by developing a system-of-systems (SoS) CUAS approach. This research entails a literature review covering two main areas: (1) the current landscape of UAS technologies and their application, and (2) an exploration of CUAS capabilities and assessing their effectiveness.
Using this knowledge, a hypothetical operational scenario is tested against a model-based systems engineering (MBSE) tool, ExtendSim, to evaluate the efficiency of various notional SoS CUAS configurations. A method is formulated to analyze the contributing factors to the success of SoS CUAS missions and their impact, which is then employed in a trade-off analysis. Insights are drawn from each SoS CUAS simulation conducted within the MBSE tool, enabling further refinement and optimization of SoS CUAS configurations based on a qualitative cost analysis. The outcome of this research is a more refined model and method that can be utilized to represent real operational contexts for in-depth analysis. This study suggests promising potential in integrating diverse CUAS platforms into a unified SoS CUAS to counter the complex threats posed by UAS effectively.
Publication Date– September 2023
Analysis of a Multi-Layer System of Systems to Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems contains the following major sections:
- Literature Review
- Modeling and Simulation
- Analysis of Results
- Conclusion and Future Work
Approved for public release. Distribution is unlimited.
C-UAS Hub does not own this content and provides a link for users at the bottom of the page to access it in its original location. This allows the author(s) to track important article metrics related to their work. All credit goes to its rightful owner.
Author- Aaron Chengyi Seow. (Source: https://cuashub.com/)
13 Nov 23. Bombardier elevates GlobalEye surveillance in seventh Global aircraft delivery.
Bombardier Defense’s Global business jets prove crucial in advancing military airborne surveillance technologies for Saab’s GlobalEye solution.
In a development at the Dubai Air Show 2023, Bombardier Defense announced the delivery of its seventh Global aircraft to Saab, reinforcing its commitment to enhancing military surveillance capabilities.
The aircraft is set to transform into Saab’s Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) solution known as GlobalEye, further solidifying modern business jets’ role as military forces assets.
Bombardier Defense has achieved a milestone with its seventh Global aircraft delivery to Saab. Destined for the Swedish Air Force, this delivery will become Saab’s second GlobalEye aircraft. Bombardier Defense successfully delivered its sixth Global 6000 aircraft to Saab in July.
The increasing recognition of modern business jets as strategic assets for military forces globally is emphasised by Jean-Christophe Gallagher, Executive Vice-President of Aircraft Sales and Bombardier Defense. “More and more countries are preparing for the future by choosing modern, more efficient business jets as strategic assets for their military fleet.
With the rapid progression of technologies, there is a growing realisation that business jets, such as our Global aircraft, can seamlessly integrate the equipment and capabilities that were traditionally carried by commercial aircraft.”
Beyond their lower operating costs, Global business jets possess unique takeoff and landing capabilities, enabling them to access strategically important locations. The steep approach certification and wing design of Bombardier’s Global aircraft provide agility, a feature for airborne surveillance platforms for long-range air, maritime, and ground surveillance.
Saab’s GlobalEye, incorporating attributes of Bombardier’s Global business jet, has 11 hours of operational endurance and maintenance intervals. The aircraft’s cabin space further accommodates workstations and mission equipment, creating optimal conditions for the crew during situational awareness missions covering large areas.
The seventh Global aircraft delivery reinforces Bombardier’s reputation for manufacturing specialised aircraft for the defence industry but also reflects the evolving landscape where modern business jets play a role in advancing military capabilities.
September this year, Saab delivered the first of two Saab 340 Airborne Early Warning (AEW) aircraft to Poland. The ceremony occurred two months after Poland placed the order. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
10 Nov 23. Combatting Drone Swarms with Machine Learning. Simulated Laser Weapon System Decision Support to Combat Drone Swarms with Machine Learning is a Naval Postgraduate School thesis by Daniel M. Edwards.
This thesis showcases the application of machine learning to provide automated decision support for warfighters managing laser weapon systems in intricate tactical scenarios. The study leveraged the Swarm Commander modeling and simulation software environment from the NPS Modeling Virtual Environments and Simulation (MOVES) Institute to generate simulated datasets involving wargaming scenarios where a shipboard laser weapon system defended against drone swarm threats.
These simulated datasets were employed to train a machine learning algorithm to predict the optimal engagement strategy within a complex battlespace featuring diverse drone swarms. Several machine learning techniques were assessed, ultimately selecting the classification tree method as the preferred approach. The final algorithm exhibited an impressive 96% overall accuracy in correctly forecasting engagement outcomes, accounting for drone threat types, quantities, and laser weapon system attack strategies.
This research underscores three key findings: (1) the value of modeling and simulation in aiding the development of tactical machine learning applications, (2) the potential of machine learning to enhance support for future tactical operations, and (3) the broader potential of machine learning and automation to alleviate the cognitive burden on future warfighters faced with critical decisions in complex threat environments.
Publication Date– September 2021
Simulated Laser Weapon System Decision Support to Combat Drone Swarms with Machine Learning contains the following major sections:
- Literature Review
- Swarm Commander Tactics and Machine Learning Experimentation
- Results and Data Optimization
Author- Daniel M. Edwards (Source: https://cuashub.com/)
10 Nov 23. Counter UAS Systems to Defeat Low Slow and Small Air Threats.
New Generation of Counter UAS Systems to Defeat of Low Slow and Small (LSS) Air Threats is a paper by Jacco Dominicus of the Royal Netherlands Aerospace Centre NLR.
The detection, classification, identification, tracking, and interception of low, slow, and small air threats pose a significant challenge for existing sensor and effector systems. Initial iterations of Counter Unmanned Aircraft Systems (C-UAS) often relied on identifying the datalink between the drone and its controller, offering limited effectiveness against contemporary threats. However, this approach becomes problematic when operators manipulate standard datalinks and is ineffective against current and future autonomous drones.
Current methods for detecting and neutralizing drones, such as combining radar with optical sensors, also have drawbacks. They are not consistently reliable, generate numerous false alerts, and often require substantial manpower to operate. The NATO SCI-301 Research Task Group (RTG) has been diligently working to define the criteria for second-generation C-UAS systems. This paper provides an overview of the RTG’s findings from their research efforts spanning the past three years.
Publication Date– 2021
New Generation of Counter UAS Systems to Defeat of Low Slow and Small (LSS) Air Threats contains the following major sections:
- SCI-301 and its Background
- LSS Air Vehicles as a Threat
- Countering LSS Air Vehicles
- First and Second-Generation C-UAS Systems
- The Ultimate Goal: Deterrence
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Author- Jacco Dominicus (Source: https://cuashub.com/)
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