Sponsored by Blighter Surveillance Systems
03 Feb 21. Blighter Surveillance Systems Targets US Defense and Security Market for Growth Opportunities. Blighter Surveillance Systems (‘Blighter’, www.blighter.com), the British designer and manufacturer of electronic-scanning radars and surveillance solutions, has announced the appointment of the consulting firm JGW Group (www.jgwgroup.com) as its US in-country strategic partner to support the company’s expansion into the US defense and security market.
Blighter has built its industry-leading expertise in electronic-scanning radars for wide area surveillance solutions and counter-UAS systems, over many years, and has a strong reputation, track record and customer base.
As a world-leader in the development and manufacture of electronic-scanning radar and surveillance solutions, Blighter will be exploring further opportunities to support the US Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security in the ongoing fight against rapidly developing adversaries.
This will build on Blighter’s proven successes having already become a valuable partner of the US Department of Defense with the delivery of their A400 series radars as part of the AUDS C–UAS platform for deployment to military and CNI bases over the last three years.
The increasing need for border security, perimeter protection and surveillance systems to address the threat caused by drones, has resulted in record growth for the company with opportunities for expansion into the US market. This builds on the existing expertise of Blighter which has seen them providing advanced border security in high-risk regions for decades, including providing surveillance systems for the South Korean Army to monitor the De-Militarized Zone (DMZ).
“The demand in the US market for radar surveillance capabilities in defense and critical national infrastructure protection is increasing rapidly and is a key platform for Blighter’s strategic international growth,” said Angus Hone, chief executive officer, Blighter Surveillance Systems. “This appointment will be important for our success in the US and will enable us to build brand awareness, broaden our stakeholder engagement with customers and industry partners, and to identify new business opportunities in this key market. We are delighted to be taking this proactive step in expanding our presence in the US.”
Blighter continues to develop and extend its product range to keep at the forefront of radar capability and to meet the growing global need for effective technical solutions to counter the malicious use of drones. In Q4 2020, Blighter launched the latest in its range of market-leading radars, the A800 3D drone detection radar for land, air and sea surveillance.
Andrew Wilson, President, JGW Group said, “The JGW Group is honored to be appointed by Blighter Surveillance Systems Limited to represent them in the US Defense and Civilian sectors. Our tag line of “Taking Technology to Market” is very much representative of what Blighter brings to these US market sectors. They have developed technically advanced radar modules that will support missions on land, sea and air at competitive rates. We at JGW see a bright future for Blighter with many of the top OEM’s who are integrating these systems for government programs of record.” (Source: PR Newswire)
04 Feb 21. France places additional order for Thales’s O-NYX night vision goggles.
- The French armed forces have demonstrated renewed trust in Thales, extending a long-standing partnership in night vision solutions with a new order for 3,000 O-NYX goggles.
- The additional 3,000 night vision goggles ordered by the French Armament General Directorate (DGA) will be delivered in 2021 for deployment into French Army units alongside the 3,500 O-NYX goggles already delivered.
- O-NYX goggles offer higher performance and are lighter and more comfortable to wear than other night vision devices. They are manufactured at the Thales site in Saint-Héand.
The French armed forces have demonstrated renewed trust in Thales, extending a long-standing partnership in night vision solutions with a new order for 3,000 O-NYX goggles.
With more than 80 years of experience in high-end optics and more than 110,000 night vision goggles in service worldwide, Thales has built on feedback from successive generations of operational users to enhance the perception of soldiers on night-time missions.
Less is more
Weighing less than 350 g, O-NYX goggles have a patented low-profile design that shortens the distance between the eyes and the centre of gravity of the equipment to minimise neck strain and improve wearing comfort for prolonged use. But as well as being easy to wear, O-NYX goggles deliver significant improvements in optical performance.
Enhanced tactical efficiency
Over the years, Thales has worked with successive generations of operational users and harnessed the latest advances in light intensification technology to bring featherweight, ultra-compact goggles within reach of each and every infantry soldier who needs to operate at night.
O-NYX goggles offer a 51° field of view, expanding the observed scene by 70% compared with conventional goggles, and the combination of pin-sharp resolution and a wider field of view augments the soldier’s perception and enhances situational awareness. With its low energy consumption, the new goggle will work for up to 40 hours on a single charge and can run on standard AA batteries when needed.
Small equipment, big ambitions
The O-NYX programme is part of moves to replace small equipment — items like handguns, helmets and bullet-proof vests — under the current French defence spending plan.
Underpinning Thales’s leadership in the optronics market is the Group’s end-to-end technology expertise, an integrated approach to product development and active engagement with an ecosystem of innovative industry partners in France.
For the O-NYX French programme, Thales’s partner Photonis enhanced the performance of its image intensification tubes and worked with the DGA and the French Army to validate its latest 4G tube technology, which increases optical performance by 50-60% compared to existing solutions.
The latest order for O-NYX night vision goggles is a further endorsement of Thales’s ability to combine all these capabilities with the experience and insights of operational users to build a future we can all trust.
“The French Army is known to be a demanding user with active experience in theatres. The deployment of the first O-NYX goggles with units in the field is a source of huge satisfaction for our teams. Importantly, this new product was co-developed with operational users every step of the way, reflecting Thales’s commitment to customer-centric innovation.” Benoit Plantier, VP Optronics and Missile Electronics activities at Thales.
03 Feb 21. Defense Official Discusses Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Human Decision-Making, AI. Defeating a swarm of small unmanned aircraft systems may one day require faster decision making than what a single human being can provide, and may mean the use of artificial intelligence to make those decisions. Right now, though, rules of engagement still require a human in the loop.
“Right now we don’t have the authority to have a human out of the loop,” Col. Marc E. Pelini, the division chief for capabilities and requirements within the Joint Counter-Unmanned Aircraft Systems Office, said during a teleconference. “Based on the existing Department of Defense policy, you have to have a human within the decision cycle at some point to authorize the engagement.”
But given the threat of UAS swarms, Pelini said he knows there is talk about developing artificial intelligence capabilities to enable “in-the-loop” or “out-of-the-loop” human decision-making.
“When you’re starting to see swarming activities of hundreds or potentially thousands [of UAS] in the future, obviously you want your system to operate as fast [as possible] to provide those weaponeering solutions to the operator, or operate within a set of parameters,” Pelini said. “But that’s really kind of defined right now in the policy realm.”
In January, the Defense Department published the Counter-Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Strategy to provide a framework for addressing small UAS hazards and threats in the U.S., host nations and contingency locations.
One aspect of the department’s strategy will be the development of a Joint Counter UAS Center of Excellence, which Army Maj. Gen. Sean A. Gainey, the director of the Joint Counter-Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Office, said is being developed now under the guidance of the Fires Center of Excellence. A Joint Counter UAS academy is also expected to be developed to train service members and leaders on how to fight the threat posed by UAS.
“The intent of the academy is to … not only provide the opportunity for training but to start training leaders on counter-UAS and have the basic understandings and … go from basic to advanced understanding of the threat and then how to employ these capabilities,” Gainey said.
The concept of the schoolhouse is likely to involve both resident and non-resident training opportunities for a variety of students, Pelini said.
“Your non-resident personnel would really kind of be the operators that are operating a specific piece of equipment … that would be taught utilizing a joint common core,” Pelini said.
With in-resident students, he said, the school would strive to accomplish two things.
“The first one is training experts — so kind of building those, for lack of a better term, master gunners on the Army side, that would help the commanders develop and evaluate and implement the counter-UAS training plan for the particular unit,” Pelini said. “The other piece of the puzzle of the resident course is developing the joint architecture and joint systems experts … understanding how systems interact with each other, getting more to the technical granularity, and understanding electronic warfare fratricide, radar fratricide, etc.”
Pelini said in-resident students would be developed into subject matter experts to serve at battalion, brigade or higher commands to allow leadership to make optimal use of counter-UAS systems. (Source: US DoD)
03 Feb 21. Hensoldt South Africa Launches New Radar Business. Integration of the Tellumat Defence & Security and ATM business units into HENSOLDT South Africa.
HENSOLDT South Africa has launched its new radar business after acquiring the Air Traffic Management (ATM) and Defence & Security business units of Tellumat at the end of 2020. Together with the company’s existing radar and other capabilities, these business lines are integrated to form the Radar Business Unit of HENSOLDT South Africa.
The acquired activities represent an extensive portfolio, more than 50 years of expertise in the defence electronics landscape and a workforce of over 100 employees. “With the integration of the Tellumat Defence & Security and ATM business units into HENSOLDT South Africa, we are now representing the three major sensor solution business lines of the HENSOLDT Group here in South Africa,” says Rynier van der Watt, Managing Director of HENSOLDT South Africa. “Expanding from Optronics and Spectrum Dominance to now also include radar, identification friend or foe (IFF) and datalinks therefore creating a complete sensor solutions offering,” says Van der Watt.
Through this acquisition, HENSOLDT South Africa’s capabilities are expanded with a new portfolio area, centring around radar, IFF and datalinks. The radar offering focuses on naval and land radar, which will include leading-edge new development in this product range. Identification friend or foe (IFF) and datalinks will also be offered, where HENSOLDT is inheriting a world-class product range that it aims to enhance even further. Finally, air traffic management (ATM) and radar services become part of the overall portfolio, with the aim of expanding the ATM services and developing existing radar support services into full-blown maintenance, repair and operations (MRO).
Heading up these activities is Bennie Langenhoven, Chief Executive of the Radar Business Unit, previously the head of Tellumat’s ATM business unit. “Launching the Radar Business Unit of HENSOLDT South Africa is a strategic expansion of HENSOLDT’s radar business with the goal to become the leading manufacturer and exporter of air-surveillance and defence radars on the African continent,” says Langenhoven.
The South African radar capability will integrate with and expand on the Group’s existing radar products. “Our long track record in the maintenance, repair and operation of radar systems puts us in a very good position to not only support the Group’s radar portfolio, but also those of our partners and OEMs, including legacy systems,” says Langenhoven. In addition to providing the latest radar technology, HENSOLDT South Africa also offers midlife upgrades to extend the life of existing radar systems, especially in cases where budget constraints limit or prevent the acquisition of new radars.
The acquisition also gives rise to strong synergies between HENSOLDT South Africa’s Radar, Optronics and GEW business units, with collaboration envisioned on various fronts. The ASTUS tactical surveillance unmanned aerial system (UAS), previously part of the Defence & Security business unit in Tellumat, is being integrated into HENSOLDT South Africa’s Optronics portfolio as part of the company’s strong airborne capability. The ASTUS’ exceptional product offering, combined with HENSOLDT’s design, manufacturing and certification competency, gives ASTUS the opportunity to become a world-class product and game changer in the market.
Through its Optronics and GEW business units, HENSOLDT South Africa has already achieved significant success as a sensor solutions house in the world market, delivering more than 55 products into 40 export countries, with a combined heritage of 70 years. HENSOLDT South Africa now increases its portfolio to more than 60 products, exported to over 43 countries.
HENSOLDT South Africa aims to be a leader in driving innovation and fostering local capability and expertise. To further expand its technical capability in South Africa, “the Radar business unit will also become the custodian of the HENSOLDT South Africa engineering hub, where we will be incubating new radar products to support the HENSOLDT Group,” says Van der Watt.
The HENSOLDT Group is expanding its radar product portfolio through the development of a next generation air defence radar product range in HENSOLDT South Africa. “This development marks the first time that a new HENSOLDT tactical air defence radar for land and sea is developed outside Germany,” says Erwin Paulus, head of HENSOLDT’s Radar Division. “The opening of the HENSOLDT Radar Business Unit in South Africa is of high strategic importance to continue our efforts to further internationalise the HENSOLDT Radar Business,” says Paulus.
The company is pleased that this development will also contribute to the country’s wider technical and defence industry, as well as the growth of the economy. “Partnerships with local industry players are currently one of our focus areas,” says Langenhoven. “These partnerships aligns well with HENSOLDT South Africa’s strategy to maintain strong relationships with suppliers and local OEMs,” continues Langenhoven.
With an extensive portfolio representing all HENSOLDT’s major business lines, five sites in South Africa and now employing a workforce of more than 700 employees, HENSOLDT South Africa is the Group’s biggest industrial footprint outside Europe. Therefore, this expansion strategy is central to HENSOLDT’s vision to become the leading, platform-independent provider of defence and security sensor solutions worldwide. (Source: ASD Network)
02 Feb 21. DoD Likely To Miss 2021 Deadline For Counter-Drone Weapon.
“Low-collateral effect interceptors” against small drones would be used in “defeating small UAS in urban environments, over sensitive sites, or situations where the rules of engagement would not allow kinetic effects,” DoD’s solicitation to industry says.
The Pentagon will choose a first round of industry-developed systems for shooting down small drones in early 2022, according to officials at the the Joint Counter-small Unmanned Aerial Systems Office (JCO).
That initial set of capabilities is known as “Low-Collateral Effects Increment No. 1,” JCO Director Army Major Gen. Sean Gainey told reporters in a briefing today. The plan is to figure out what industry has “ready to deliver; ready to get it out to the field, pretty quickly.”
The term “low-collateral effects” refers to counter drone systems that can be employed with few negative consequences for non-enemy aircraft and electronic systems near the field of intercept. Those types of weapons are the first focus in implementing DoD’s strategy to defeat small drones, released in early January.
“JCO conducted an assessment of all the affiliated counter-UAS capabilities [within DoD] and essentially determined the selection of the current systems for future investment, based on a criteria such as effectiveness usability sustainment and the integration –and that was one of our focuses, integration — into a common C2 [command and control system],” Gainey elaborated. “With that assessment now complete … we’re now continuing to work with industry to really bring these interim systems to full maturity, or to eventually replace them with follow-on, enduring solutions, and we’ve reached out to industry to help us move forward.”
While Gainey didn’t directly answer a question about whether any system would be available by Sept. 30, as mandated in the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the timeframe provided by JCO officials suggests the answer is ‘no.’
Army Col. Greg Soulé, JCO director of acquisition & resources, said the office is reviewing industry proposals sent in response to a Jan. 22 request for information (RFI). The focus of these first trials, to be held in April at the Yuma Proving Ground, is on “low-collateral effects interceptors,” he said. The RFI explains: “Specific, but not limited, uses would include defeating small UAS in urban environments, over sensitive sites, or situations where the rules of engagement would not allow kinetic effects.”
Soulé says they’ll pick a down-select group to provide oral presentations, and then decide who comes to the trials. Based on the results — and “working with the Air Force as the designated service lead for this capability area” — the JCO will “compare [chosen systems] against other similar low-collateral effect interceptor solutions that are already under government contract” and assess their add-on value. “[L]ate ’21, I believe, is the current Air Force plan” for finishing that review, he said. “And then, in the ’22 timeframe, selecting that initial capability for procurement and fielding to the force.”
The Air Force, and the Army’s Rapid Capabilities & Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO), which leads ground-force development of cutting-edge tech like high-powered lasers and hypersonic missiles, are partners with the JCO in the C-sUAS endeavor.
The April trials are only a first. There will be follow-on industry solicitations and trials for other types of low-collateral damage weapons, specifically those based on directed-energy, the JCO officials said.
There will certainly be “follow-on efforts … to look at the next set of solutions and/or payloads that would also be a part of this low-collateral effects interceptor package,” Soulé said.
The end goal is a “system of systems, including kinetic; high-energy lasers being tested in field right now; and, eventually, high-powered microwaves,” Gainey said. “We’re deploying those [laser] systems right now, under combat into theaters right now, and seeing a lot of progress with high-energy lasers. Also, simultaneously, we’re working — as most of you probably know — through the Air Force work in high-powered microwave capability that will also be deployed pretty soon. So those two capabilities — which although they’re designed as components into architecture, can potentially become inherent systems themselves — are being tested.”
The Air Force plans to do field testing on its Tactical High Power Microwave Operational Responder (THOR). It was expected to be deployed to Africa last fall but that was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. While there was some kerfluffle late last year about whether THOR had already been fielded, the bottom line is that THOR will be deployed sometime in 2021.
As various C-sUAS systems are deployed, Gainey stressed that integrated C2 is key to ensuring cross-service functionality, and that they can plug and play with the future Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) system, as well as the “common data language” being developed by the University of California for DoD’s Research & Engineering office (OSDR&E).
“When we first started off, we recognized command and control was going to be the center of gravity for interoperability. And that’s really what we’re driving to right now is interoperability” of the three C2 systems endorsed by the JCO back in June:
- FAAD-C2 (Forward Area Air Defense Command and Control), developed by Northrop Grumman for the Army but now used by the Marines, Air Force, and Special Operations as well.
- MEDUSA (Multi-Environmental Domain Unmanned Systems Application Command and Control), developed by Kongsberg for the Air Force.
- ADSI (Air Defense System Integrator), developed for the Marines by Ultra Group.
“We’re sitting at a good spot in establishing that [interoperability] up front earlier, so now industry is building components to our common c2 standard,” Gainey said. (Source: Breaking Defense.com)
02 Feb 21. HENSOLDT modernizes COBRA artillery location radars. Sensor specialist HENSOLDT will modernize the artillery location radar COBRA which is in service with several NATO armies. Under a contract awarded by the multinational procurement organization Organisation Conjointe de Cooperation en matière d’Armement (OCCAR) – Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation, HENSOLDT will replace the Radar Target Generator (RTG), a core element for the test environment of COBRA indispensable for determining optimum deployment and testing system performance.
The RTG is designed to generate primary radar returns and can be placed in the Radar’s far field in order to simulate target trajectories. The RTG is the key element to test and verify the COBRA Radar performance with reproducible target trajectories.
The new RTG takes into account changes of the user nations operational requirements such as long-term deployments in stationary locations, simultaneous operation of several systems and 24/7 surveillance missions. This contract also emphasizes the commitment of HENDSOLDT to a trustful partnership with the OCCAR COBRA System and demonstrates the support for the challenges ahead in the In-service support phase and the COBRA Mid-Life Update activities.
COBRA is a mobile radar system for locating hostile artillery and missile positions and for calculating in advance the flight path of projectiles in order to give early warning and enable protective action. Its first configuration was developed by the EuroArt consortium comprising HENSOLDT, Thales and Lockheed Martin around the turn of the century for the German, French and British armed forces. Today, a total of more than 40 systems of various configurations have been deployed by Germany, France and Turkey as well as several armed forces outside Europe.
01 Feb 21. British Army takes DefendTex Drone40 to Mali. Drone40, an expendable loitering munition developed by Australian firm DefendTex, will shortly see operational use in Mali with the British Army’s Royal Anglian Regiment, according to Australian Defence Magazine’s Defence Week Premium.
Based on a standard 40mm low velocity grenade, Drone40 can be launched from a 40mm grenade launcher, hand-launched or dropped from another UAV or manned aircraft. Once in flight four rotors pop out from the body of the projectile to keep it aloft. Depending on payload and how it used, the battery powered Drone40 can remain airborne for up to 60 minutes and has a maximum range of 20km.
Drone40 can carry a variety of payloads: ISR, High Explosive (HE), Electronic Warfare (EW), smoke/flash and even a laser designator. In Mali it will likely be used in the reconnaissance role. It will also be deployed to Poland later this year for a British Army exercise.
Drone40 was first exhibited at Army Innovation Day 2016 and DefendTex subsequently received a Defence Innovation Hub contract to fund its development. DefendTex has since acquired Alfatron, an electrical componentry manufacturer, to localise the munition’s supply chain. The company says the Australian Industry Content in Drone40 stands at 90 per cent.
Drone40 is now the subject of a number of R&D programs by bodies such as the Trusted Autonomous Systems Defence CRC, the NGTF’s Counter Improvised Threats Grand Challenge and DST’s Human Machine Teaming Program. The company says Drone40 has grown into a family of UAVs in 60, 81 and 155 mm calibres with wider payload and range capacities.
The infantrymen of the Royal Anglians will use Drone40 as part of Operation Newcombe, which provides logistical heavy-lift support to French counter-terror efforts and conducts long-range reconnaissance patrols to gather intelligence on behalf of the UN mission in the country. (Source: http://rumourcontrol.com.au/)
01 Feb 21. Poseidon build for Norway begins. Norway’s procurement of five Boeing P-8A Poseidons took a major leap forward on 29 January, with the announcement by the manufacturer that production of the first maritime multimission aircraft (MMA) had begun. Spirit Aerosystems has begun work on the first 737-800 fuselage for the Royal Norwegian Air Force (RoNAF), ahead of its being mated to 737-900 wings, and other flight and military systems by Boeing at its Seattle facilities.
Norway is procuring the P-8A to replace the six ageing Lockheed Martin P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) and three Dassault Falcon DA-20 Jet Falcon surveillance aircraft that are currently flown by the RoNAF. It signed for its five aircraft on 29 March 2017 with the overall programme valued at NOK10bn (USD1.2bn), some of which will come from the country’s intelligence services budget. All five P-8As are set to be delivered between 2022 and 2023.
The progression of the P-8A programme for Norway (and separately for the United Kingdom) will be welcome for NATO, which is looking to better plug the Greenland, Iceland, and UK (GIUK) Gap against increased Russian maritime activity. With the greatest maximum take-off weight of any dedicated maritime patrol aircraft currently on the market (85,139 kg), the P-8A is equipped with the Raytheon AN/APY-10 maritime surveillance radar and L3 Wescam MX-20HD digital electro-optical/infrared sensors primarily. It has the capacity to carry 126 sonobuoys and can carry the full panoply of anti-submarine and anti-surface weaponry in its internal weapons bay as well as on underwing hardpoints. In the main cabin there are six mission workstations, although there is plenty of room and the necessary power and cooling for expansion. (Source: Jane’s)
01 Feb 21. SPEXER 600 AESA Ground Surveillance Radar. HENSOLDT UK recently launched SPEXER 600, a multi-mission, X-band ground-based surveillance radar which features the world beating SharpEye solid state transceiver technology.
It builds on the excellent pedigree of other HENSOLDT products, complementing the HENSOLDT SPEXER family in CNI and battlefield space, whilst offering a cost effective man portable solution. SPEXER 600 from HENSOLDT UK is the solution for today’s multiple and complex threats, be it on the battlefield or in securing national critical infrastructure. Offering all weather detection and tracking of UAVs, personnel and vehicles at excellent ranges, day or night. SPEXER 600 meets the needs of both the military user and high value facility security team.
The rugged SPEXER 600 can be set up in less than 15 minutes and provides detection of low flying aircraft and drones, maritime threats as well as land targets and artillery fall of shot. Operation can be via a simple user interface on a standalone local display, or it can be integrated into a wider C2 system with other sensors and classifiers to provide a complete asset security system. A built in tracking capability ensures the user has full visibility of even the smallest of threats.
SPEXER 600 is a pulse compressed, coherent Doppler X band radar with 20 selectable frequencies that can be rapidly changed to remove interference from other radars or jammers. SPEXER 600 has 120° horizontal and 40° vertical coverage with 3 modes of operation.
The radar is available with three range modes. A long-range surveillance mode provides overall situational awareness out to 20km for general targets. A medium range mode for slow moving target detection out to 10km and a short range mode is ideal for detecting small drones out to 5km.
Being lightweight SPEXER 600 can be deployed by a single vehicle for stationary operations and rapid re-deployment. For fixed assets, there is no requirement for any specialist lift equipment or special access to enable mounting on masts or buildings. Designed to the relevant MIL STDs, SPEXER 600, is a truly multi-functional ITAR free AESA radar from HENSOLDT, a market leader in civilian and military sensor solutions
01 Feb 21. Citadel Defense Gets Multi-Million Dollar Contract for AI Powered Counter Drone System. Citadel Defense has received a multi-million-dollar government contract for their Titan, an AI-powered, radiofrequency (RF) based counter drone system. Citadel’s technology was selected following a competitive evaluation of two dozen competitive counter small unmanned aircraft systems (C-sUAS).
Titan proved highly effective in complex urban environments and was preferred by operators as it exhibited technical superiority across many unpredictable threat scenarios including drone swarms.
“As the only automated RF sensor solution in the market that uses AI and machine learning to detect, identify, track, and safely defeat uncooperative drones, Titan is a force multiplier for US and allied forces,” explains Christopher Williams, CEO of Citadel Defense.
The Titan protects troops and high value assets against unwanted drone activity and swarms when large and expensive multi-sensor systems cannot be deployed. At locations where integrated systems are installed, Titan serves as the RF defense layer, bringing an industry-leading low false alarm rate, targeted countermeasures, and broadest level of threat coverage to highly integrated counter drone solutions.
The number of commercial drone platforms that pose a threat continue to proliferate and evade legacy C-sUAS systems. Adversaries have become increasingly sophisticated with the technologies used, creating significant challenges for C-sUAS systems that rely on slow-to-update UAS threat-libraries and countermeasures.
“AI, machine learning and adaptive countermeasures are required for the C-sUAS mission. New commercial UAS platforms have over 100 controller settings that can change a drone’s communication signature. Library-dependent and cyber-focused systems simply can’t keep up,” explained Williams.
Bad actors adapt their strategy quickly when they discover a security vulnerability. Williams says,
“With hundreds of sensors now deployed, Citadel is helping customers detect shifting trends in drone activity on a global scale to help stay ahead of the threat.”
Under this contract, Titan systems are being delivered in response to urgent needs. (Source: UAS VISION)
01 Feb 21. SkyWall Patrol was operated in a live urban environment in a series of tests. These tests were conducted at the end of 2019 as part of the Internal Security Fund – Police project SKYFALL, an EU-funded programme. The system was then down selected as part of a formal evaluation, due to SkyWall Patrol’s un-matched range and performance, while providing a low collateral damage and physical defeat of the target drones. Law enforcement and military authorities around the world already use SkyWall Patrol at high-profile events to protect key people or assets, and at critical infrastructure such as nuclear sites and international airports. The result of the tender process is a framework agreement that gives the participating European law enforcement authorities with equipment immediately to provide an initial operational capability and a range of training activities through EU ISF funding. Furthermore, the framework agreement allows the Member States to purchase these systems in order to roll out the capacity on a larger scale. SkyWall Patrol gives a mobile operator the ability to physically capture a drone in a net, used in conjunction with electronic countermeasures for a layered defence, or in environments where electronic attack cannot be deployed. The system can be networked through command and control systems to enhanced situational awareness and gives a tactical advantage to mission commanders.
James Cross, Director and founder of OpenWorks commented, “We are excited to announce that SkyWall Patrol will form an important part of the counter-drone response for more law enforcement authorities in Europe. The evaluation was incredibly challenging and we learned a lot from being pushed harder than ever during day and night tests in an urban environment. The whole OpenWorks team will be working hard to deliver the equipment quickly and looking forward to learning more from a new group of end users.”
29 Jan 21. L3Harris unveils Next Generation Squad Weapon Fire Control System. L3Harris Technologies has unveiled its candidate for the US Army’s Next Generation Squad Weapon Fire Control (NGSW-FC) system, which is running in parallel with the service’s quest to replace its M16 and M4 assault rifles.
L3Harris’s NGSW-FC system is designed to be interchangeable with Trijicon’s legacy Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight (ACOG) and Rifle Combat Optic (RCO) on board the army’s NGSW-Rifle programme, which is in the midst of considering weapon designs from Textron Systems, Sig Sauer, and General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems. L3Harris’s NGSW-FC solution is competing against Vortex Optics.
According to the US Army’s solicitation, the NGSW-FC’s objective is to provide a “ruggedised fire control that increases accuracy and lethality for the dismounted warfighter on the battlefield” via variable magnification, a ballistic calculator, an atmospheric sensor suite, and a laser rangefinder.
“Combining these features with an in-scope digital display produces an adjusted aim-point for the soldier within the field of view. The system will provide the weapon system [with] an accurate range to target along with an adjusted aim point for the selected weapon/ammunition combination,” the document stated.
L3Harris’s NGSW-FC was designed to provide soldiers with an “integrated approach” to increase accuracy and decrease the time required to engage a threat, the company said.
The system features a magnified direct-view optic with a digital reticle, a laser rangefinder, a ballistic computer, and environmental sensors capable of measuring air pressure and temperature. The system was designed in collaboration with US optics manufacturer Leupold & Stevens. (Source: Jane’s)
Blighter® Surveillance Systems (BSS) is a UK-based electronic-scanning radar and sensor solution provider delivering an integrated multi-sensor package to systems integrators comprising the Blighter electronic-scanning radars, cameras, thermal imagers, trackers and software solutions. Blighter radars combine patented solid-state Passive Electronic Scanning Array (PESA) technology with advanced Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) and Doppler processing to provide a robust and persistent surveillance capability. Blighter Surveillance Systems is a Plextek Group company, a leading British design house and technology innovator, and is based at Great Chesterford on the outskirts of Cambridge, England.
The Blighter electronic-scanning (e-scan) FMCW Doppler ground surveillance radar (GSR) is a unique patented product that provides robust intruder detection capabilities under the most difficult terrain and weather conditions. With no mechanical moving parts and 100% solid-state design, the Blighter radar family of products are extremely reliable and robust and require no routine maintenance for five years. The Blighter radar can operate over land and water rapidly searching for intruders as small a crawling person, kayaks and even low-flying objects. In its long-range modes the Blighter radar can rapidly scan an area in excess of 3,000 km² to ensure that intruders are detected, identified and intercepted before they reach critical areas.