Sponsored by Blighter Surveillance Systems
24 Mar 21. Toshiba Invests $15m in C-UAS Company Fortem. Toshiba Corporation announced that Toshiba Infrastructure Systems & Solutions Corporation, the Toshiba Group company specializing in the global infrastructure business (hereinafter Toshiba), has entered into a strategic business alliance with Fortem Technologies, Inc. (hereafter Fortem), and invested $15m in the company. Fortem is a supplier of counter-drone security systems and Toshiba, through the alliance, aims to expand its radar-based security solutions business.
Based in Utah, US, Fortem is a drone security company that has grown rapidly in recent years by supplying leading counter-drone systems, notably highly accurate small drone detection radars that are easily installed, and autonomous drones that can capture rogue drones in a net.
“Toshiba is a world-renowned technical and sales powerhouse,” said Timothy Bean, CEO of Fortem. “We are very pleased to announce this alliance to accelerate the delivery of solutions to our customers that combine the disruptive innovation of our AI-enabled Fortem SkyDome System with the depth of Toshiba’s commercial drone RF detection expertise and advanced radar technology. This partnership brings added confidence to security professionals who must secure the airspace above their venues, campuses and metro regions.”
Toshiba has already commercialized a drone detection system that plots incoming direction and altitude from radio waves emitted by the drone in flight. Toshiba is also strengthening its drone security business through research and development of related products.
The alliance will integrate Toshiba and Fortem’s highly complementary systems to realize more effective, multi-layered counter-drone solutions and services, and expand sales in Japan and the US, and in promising overseas markets, including those of Asia, Europe, the Middle East, with mutual access to each other’s sales network.
Masaki Haruyama, Vice President of Toshiba said, “We are excited to partner with Fortem, a pioneering counter-drone solution provider with proven detection system and unique and highly effective interception system. Toshiba has a long history of providing leading technologies of radars. With the perfectly complementary technologies and products of the two companies, we are confident that we can become a global top-tier player in a rapidly growing market, and contribute a safer, more reliable facilities.
Going forward, Toshiba will contribute to ensuring infrastructure security through the alliance with Fortem, by responding to the growing need to prevent damage caused by suspicious drones at airports and other critical facilities, stadiums and other large venues, and private properties around the world. Toshiba aims to win annual sales of 30 billion JPY in the counter-drone security business by FY2030.
About Fortem Technologies, Inc.
- Founded: 2016
- Representative: Timothy Bean
- Headquarters: Utah, the United States
- Employees: Over 100 people
- Business: Counter-drone security products and services
About Toshiba Corporation
Toshiba Corporation leads a global group of companies that combines knowledge and capabilities from over 140 years of experience in a wide range of businesses—from energy and social infrastructure to electronic devices—with world-class capabilities in information processing, digital and AI technologies. These distinctive strengths support Toshiba’s continued evolution toward becoming an Infrastructure Services Company that promotes data utilization and digitization, and one of the world’s leading cyber-physical-systems technology companies. Guided by the Basic Commitment of the Toshiba Group, “Committed to People, Committed to the Future,” Toshiba contributes to society’s positive development with services and solutions that lead to a better world. The Group and its 130,000 employees worldwide secured annual sales surpassing 3.4 trillion yen in FY 2019. (Source: UAS VISION)
24 Mar 21. Royal Navy’s New Merlin Crowsnest AEW Helicopter Enters Service Ahead Of CGS21 Deployment. The Royal Navy announced that the first Merlin ‘Crowsnest’ airborne early warning (AEW) helicopter has entered service with 820 Naval Air Squadron.
The Merlins have been kitted out with new mission systems and radars from Thales Group by aerospace company Leonardo in Yeovil, overseen by Lockheed Martin.
Each helicopter has a crew of three: two observers (mission and tactical specialists) and one pilot. High above the fleet with their sophisticated sensors, they enable the carrier strike group commander to see, understand and react well beyond the horizon for any air or surface threats. They can also act as a control centre for strike operations between the carrier and the ship’s F-35 Lightning jets. They will be based at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose.
The announcement came just in time for the operational Carrier Strike deployment in May, known as CGS21. HMS Queen Elizabeth is due to deploy to the Mediterranean, Indian Ocean and into the Indo-Pacific region in an operational deployment with the UK’s allies and partners. Early reports casted doubts on the readiness of the Crowsnest capability following a delay in its initial operational capability (IOC). Our colleagues at Navy Lookout, however, are reporting that the three Crowsnest Merlins that will accompany the CGS21 deployment will carry pre-IOC sets which are not fully certified, although this should give at least basic capability – any limitations are obviously classified. Full IOC is scheduled for September 2021, with FOC in May 2023.
Commodore Steve Moorhouse, Commander UK Carrier Strike Group, who will direct HMS Queen Elizabeth’s first deployment with the help of his staff, said the new Merlins were the final pieces in the group’s large, complex jigsaw:
“It’s hugely encouraging to see the progress of the Crowsnest trials. Already one the most advanced submarine hunters, the Merlin Crowsnest will offer long-range intelligence and surveillance against surface and airborne threats, and the ability to command and control strike missions. Coupled with the Wildcat attack helicopter, the UK Carrier Strike Group will soon operate one of the most capable and versatile helicopter air groups.”
For the record, the British Ministry of Defense awarded a contract worth £269m to Lockheed Martin in January 2017 for the supply of ten Crowsnest kits for the British naval aviation. The kits are modular radar systems that may be fitted (and taken off) any of the 30 Leonardo AW101 Merlin HM.2 maritime helicopters fielded by the Royal Navy. The first Leonardo Merlin HM.2 helicopter fitted with the Crowsnest kit conducted its first flight in late March 2019 at the Leonardo Helicopters (formerly AgustaWestland) site of Yeovil.
The Merlin HM.2 helicopters equipped with this system will fly missions from British aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth-class and are replacing Sea King ASaC.7 DRLO helicopters in the 849th Navy Aviation Squadron (which were all decommissioned in September 2018).
The developer and manufacturer of the Crowsnest system is the British branch of Lockheed Martin (Lockheed Martin UK), while Thales and Leonardo are subcontractors. Under the terms of the contract, the first Merlin HM.2 helicopter equipped with the Crowsnest kit was set to be commissioned in June 2019.
Initially, Lockheed Martin offered its own containerized Vigilance system as part of the Crowsnest program, using a multipurpose radar with AFAR based on the Northrop Grumman AN / APG-81 radar (used on the Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter) or the Israeli IAI radar placed in an external onboard container Elta EL / M-2052. This system has been tested by Lockheed Martin since the end of 2011. However, in April 2015, Lockheed Martin, joining forces with Thales, proposed a more conservative and cheaper version of the Thales solution, which was originally proposed by the latter independently. It is an upgrade of the Cerberus radar system used by the Sea King ASaC.7 helicopters with modified Thales Searchwater 2000 AEW radar with mechanical scanning. In May 2015, this “budget” decision was chosen by the UK Department of Defense. (Source: News Now/https://www.navalnews.com/)
22 Mar 21. New Contracts and New Technology See Leonardo’s Meteorology Business Go from Strength to Strength.
- Leonardo has recently signed contracts to supply weather radars to customers in the Middle East, the Americas, the Asia-Pacific and Europe, including Poland, France and Norway
- The company has also enhanced its portfolio with the launch of SKIRON3D, a state-of-the-art Doppler lidar system which can measure winds and detect hazardous wind-based phenomena
- With a presence in over 150 Countries in the ATM and airport domains, Leonardo is committed to supporting and protecting people via its latest-generation technologies, in line with its “Be Tomorrow – Leonardo 2030” strategic plan
Leonardo, through its subsidiary LEONARDO Germany GmbH, has recently seen its meteorological business go from strength to strength with a string of commercial successes bolstered by new product development. The company has signed a number of new international contracts to supply weather radars and has made important strides in the fields of meteorological software and service solutions. Together, these achievements are underpinning the further international expansion of Leonardo in this market sector.
The new contracts include a number signed with long-standing Leonardo customers in Europe. Poland selected LEONARDO Germany GmbH to supply 10 C-Band magnetron weather radars as part of its network modernisation. Météo France, the French national meteorological service, placed an order for an S-Band magnetron weather radar for its Reunión overseas department. Meanwhile, MET Norway, the Norwegian weather service, chose Leonardo to supply a C-Band magnetron weather radar. A further contract signed with a customer in the Middle East will see Leonardo supply five mobile X-band weather radar systems and the company’s weather radars have also recently been chosen by customers in the Americas and Asia Pacific.
Leonardo has also secured an important contract at the intersection of meteorology and aviation as part of the SESAR JU (Single European Sky ATM Research Joint Undertaking) research programme. The company and its partners have been awarded all four WAVE 3 projects within SESAR 2020 research and innovation programme, being funded from the EU’s Horizon 2020 budget. Meteorology is a key work package within WAVE 3, which will see the development of a concept of operations for unmanned space services and the exchange of information with Air Traffic Management. Part of this will include the development of tailored meteorological services for drone operations. The projects will run until 2022.
Ensuring that the company remains at the forefront of meteorological technology, LEONARDO Germany GmbH has also launched a new product, SKIRON3D®. A state-of-the-art Doppler lidar system, SKIRON3D® can measure winds and detect hazardous wind-based phenomena such as wind shear, gusts, turbulence, and microbursts. In concert with Leonardo’s METEOR 60DX weather radar and an LLWAS system, SKIRON3D® provides a comprehensive solution for all-weather, three-dimensional detection of hazards that could pose serious threats to aviation.
With a presence in over 150 Countries and a broad portfolio of capabilities in the ATM (Air Traffic Management) and airport domains, Leonardo is committed to supporting and protecting people and communities and contributing to sustainable growth via latest-generation technologies, in line with its “Be Tomorrow – Leonardo 2030” strategic plan. (Source: ASD Network)
22 Mar 21. US Navy seeks prototype data fusion system for CUAS. The US Navy is seeking industry input toward the development of a new High Level Data Fusion (HLDF) prototype system architecture, designed to augment command and control capabilities (C2) aboard current combat platforms to support counter unmanned aerial system (CUAS) operations.
The crux of the new HLDF prototype will be a new open systems architecture “that can fuse data from multiple sources to provide object assessment, situational assessment, and threat assessment,” particularly those posed by small UAS (sUAS) platforms, according to Request for Solutions (RFS) posted by the National Security Technology Accelerator in March. Service leaders have set aside USD3.5m for the programme.
In the end, the new architecture and associated Computer Software Configuration Item (CSCI) requirements, will lay out the technological blueprint for “competitive design and development of complete HLDF components of C2 systems, or individual data fusion software modules, [which] can be used to allow software modules from multiple organizations or systems to be interoperable,” the RFS solicitation stated.
Specifically, the architecture requirements being sought by navy engineers will allow service personnel to integrate “various software modules” into existing C2 systems, allowing those programmes to “adopt the HLDF reference architecture [and] enable efforts to be focused on improving specific data fusion capabilities within the system,” the solicitation stated. “The HLDF reference architecture developed in [RFS] will include requirements and interfaces for software modules, as well as an assessment of existing capabilities with the goal of reducing the cognitive workload on the operator so the only decision is whether or not countermeasures should be employed,” it added. (Source: Jane’s)
22 Mar 21. Lockheed Martin presents MORFIUS counter drone concept at AUSA Global Force Next conference. Lockheed Martin presented its MORFIUS armed drone at the at AUSA Global Force Next Conference, 16-18 March. MORFIUS uses a High-Powered Microwave (HPM) designed to counter drone swarms in a future-proof response to an evolving threat. It a reusable drone that can fit inside a six-inch diameter launch tube and weighs less than 30 pounds, light and versatile enough to attach to ground stations, ground vehicles, or aircraft, reports Breaking Defense.
“We’re focused on how we address the counter-UAS swarm threat,” said Brian Dunn, of Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. Lockheed Martin really believes, he continued, “that an airborne delivered HPM effect really has an opportunity to make a big difference against the counter-UAS swarm flight that we’re going to be facing in the future.”
Working as part of a layered approach to counter-drone defense, MORFIUS units will be launched at hostile drones, or drone swarms, and then disable them in close proximity, with potentially a gigawatt of microwave power — or, as Lockheed put it, a million times the power of a standard 1,000-watt microwave oven, reports Breaking Defense.
Asked about the feasibility of a small flying machine carrying enough battery for such a burst, Lockheed refused to get into specifics, instead simply saying that the power comparison was favorable to ground systems. This is possible because MORFIUS can fly close to its targets and blast them with microwaves at close range – unlike ground-based systems, whose microwave emissions lose energy as they cross longer distances.
Crucial to the promise of MORFIUS is its ability to zap many drones at once in mid-air, far from the friendly vehicles, buildings, or people actively being defended.
“You have to engage the target before it gets to its ordnance release line, if it’s a kinetic effect, or if it’s an electronic attack, or defeat it before it can employ its ISR capabilities,” said Brian Dunn.
Part of what is driving the counter-drone arms race is the tremendous growth in capability among cheaper uncrewed flying vehicles in use by both civilian and military fields. At the presentation, Becca Schwartz, who leads strategy for Lockheed Martin Counter-UAS, pointed to, among other things, the spectacular displays of drone swarms in the Olympics as an example of just how much commercial tech can offer for potential terrorist or military swarming, reports Breaking Defense.
“Accessibility to the hobbyist means that it’s accessible to the adversary,” said Becca Schwartz.
The widespread availability of cheap and capable drones means that they are available to unconventional adversaries as much as near-peer competitors. And because drone evolution is increasingly driven by the fast-paced and fast evolving commercial market, it can be hard for counter-measures to keep pace with commercial tech or security innovations. A microwave is as close as electronic warfare comes to brute force, frying electronics rather than bypassing them. It’s a payload that, if proven successful in the field, could keep pace with the threat for years to come, reports Breaking Defense. (Source: Breaking Defense.com)
22 Mar 21. US transport agency collaborates with police to test C-UAS mitigation strategies and techniques. US Transportation Security Agency (TSA) is working with Connecticut State Police (CSP) to hone their ability to hunt and stop unauthorized drones from interfering with commercial aviation, says a TSA press release.
In partnership with law enforcement and police departments from Connecticut and New York, the TSA and CSP ran scenarios at Hartford-Brainard Airport where they tested the state police department’s ability to locate a rogue drone as well as its operator by using law enforcement operated drones to find them.
“If you want to fully neutralize the threat from a drone, you need to locate the pilot as well as the device itself,” said Steve Blindbury, TSA’s Connecticut Assistant Federal Security Director for Law Enforcement.
The test showed the team’s ability to quickly find the drone and then guide police forces stationed on the ground to locate and order the operator to land the device.
“We know that it takes time to send out a plane or a helicopter to look for a drone that is in the proximity of an airport or in a flight path,” said Sgt. Eric Hurley, Commanding Officer of the Connecticut State Police Emergency Services Unit/Aviation Section. “Even though we anticipate adding detection equipment to our capabilities soon, we wanted to see if we could dispatch a police operated Unmanned Aviation System quick enough to locate the nefarious drone.”
The collaboration between the National Air Guard, New Haven Police Department, TSA Officers, Directors, Federal Air Marshals and the CSP was instrumental in being able to quickly identify and locate an unauthorized drone from the air with the use of another drone.
“It’s important for TSA elements across the nation to develop these forward leaning relationships with federal, state and local law enforcement in their Areas of Responsibility,” said Kimberley Thompson Supervisory Air Marshal in Charge of Law Enforcement Assessments Section/Unmanned Aircraft Systems. “In an incident involving a potential threat from a UAS incursion at an airport, we are going to need to leverage these partnerships in order to have a well-coordinated expeditious response to mitigate the threat to commercial aviation.”
The Connecticut State Police have several future exercises scheduled throughout 2021, and TSA will continue to play a role in supporting a partner agency as they hone their Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) mitigation strategies and techniques. For more information visit: www.tsa.gov (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
19 Mar 21. IDGA and D-Fend counter drone study reveals concern over effectiveness of traditional measures. The Institute for Defense and Government Advancement (IDGA), an independent think-tank, and D-Fend Solutions, a counter drone specialist, have released the results of a survey looking at the effectiveness of counter drone technology. The survey found that traditional counter-drone technologies, such as jamming-based and kinetic solutions, are viewed as inadequate.
The counter-small, unmanned aerial systems (C-sUAS) survey collected insights from security personnel worldwide who are involved in their organization’s C-sUAS operations. Participants hailed from special forces and military (40% of respondents), national security and homeland security (23%), law enforcement agencies (19%) and other types of organizations (18%).
Sixty-three percent (63%) of respondents observed an increase in incidents in the past year, with 42% experiencing 6 or more rogue drone incidents or intrusions during that time period, says the IDGA press release.
Despite the rising number of incidents, many security personnel are concerned about the limitations of traditional technology when deployed as the main component of a counter-drone defense. Nearly 6 out of 10 respondents (59%) surveyed said that the potential of collateral damage caused by physical/kinetic C-sUAS solutions – from the projectile used to shoot down or capture the drone, the falling drone itself, or debris – prohibits adoption of such a system. And 53% of respondents said jamming is too problematic to deploy, due to its potential to disrupt nearby communication systems or other drawbacks.
Sixty three percent (63%) of those surveyed said the best possible outcome of a threatening rogue drone incident is takeover of the drone itself, followed by a safe landing in a designated zone. Twelve percent (12%) favor sending the drone back to its takeoff point, making a total of 75% favoring a controlled outcome over traditional methods.
The least desirable outcome among respondents is physically (kinetic) shooting down the drone with a projectile, such as a bullet, laser, net or drone-killing drone – with 7% selecting this as the best outcome. Only 17% favor jamming to disconnect the drone from its controller.
Preserving Continuity is an Extremely Important Priority
In contrast to their views on traditional technologies, respondents were overwhelmingly positive about the importance of preserving operational and situational continuity. Nearly 9 out of 10 respondents (86%) say that while mitigating a rogue drone incident, it is very important to preserve continuity at the site, including full function of communications, transportation, commerce and everyday life.
Sixty-three percent (63%) of respondents have already experienced operational disruption from drone incidents and 77% expressed concern that a counter-drone system could possibly disable “friendly” drones during an unauthorized sUAS intrusion.
“Significant percentages of C-sUAS decision-makers perceive jammers and kinetic-based solutions as too limited and potentially risky to be the main component of a successful counter-drone strategy,” said Zohar Halachmi, Chairman and CEO, D-Fend Solutions. “This is due to traditional technologies’ inability to cover the entirety of the drone incident lifecycle as standalone solutions, and the potential for communications interference or collateral damage. Control-based technologies, such as RF cyber takeover, can form the foundation of a robust C-sUAS strategy and integrate complementary solutions, offering a multi-layered counter-drone defense when required.”
“The large number of respondents who seek to preserve continuity, along with the desire for a safe outcome, highlights the need for new methods of addressing rogue drones,” continued Halachmi. “With rogue drone incidents on the rise in the past year, it is important for security organizations to conduct risk assessments that consider how counter-drone solutions could disrupt their operations.”
“There have been previous counter-drone surveys, but the Institute for Defense and Government Advancement teamed with D-Fend to focus on an under examined area: the perspectives of C-sUAS decision-makers,” said Jonathan Sanders, Divisional Director, IDGA. “IDGA utilized our extensive database of governmental, military and defense industry contacts to determine the concerns of security personnel involved in the counter-drone space and better understand their opinions of existing technologies. We believe the data from this survey provides rare insights into C-sUAS users’ state of mind.”
Additional results from the survey revealed other important trends:
- Identifying key factors: the ability to fly long distances is the most important factor when assessing whether a new drone type or model presents a threat to an organization (selected by 89% of respondents), followed by the capacity to carry a heavy payload (81%) and the capability to withstand adverse weather (62%).
- The rise in drone threats: 31% of respondents said their organization experienced more than 10 rogue drone incidents or intrusions last year.
- Drone incidents: over three quarters of respondents (78%) said that unauthorized or rogue drones entering their organization’s airspace are a threat to operations, facilities and/or people.
The IDGA-D-Fend Solutions’ survey covered C-sUAS decision-makers globally who were interviewed in early 2021.
For more information visit:
17 Mar 21. Terma develops counter drone system based on intelligent detection sensors and AI technology. Danish manufacturer Terma has developed a counter drone system designed to detect and respond to threats from drones in the airspace. The T.react CIP counter drone solution is based on the company’s wide area perimeter solution which utilizes intelligent detection sensors, cameras, data fusion and AI technology. This is designed to provide a coherent situational awareness picture assisting the operator in countering the threat.
T.react CIP detects drones by utilising a specially designed radar from the SCANTER product line, offering 360 degrees surveillance capability. Equally, the detection may be complemented by using other radar types and detection technologies. The T.react CIP system analyses input from the sensors and presents this to the operator on the screens in a simplistic and easy to understand way.
T.react CIP is designed to automatically track the drone and present its three dimensional position and track history on the operator display. The solution can handle any number of drones simultaneously and depending on the severity level determined by the operator, the system will automatically assign one or more cameras to an event allowing the operator to get a visual confirmation of the intrusion.
T.react CIP uses machine learning, artificial intelligence and complex pattern recognition to sort the data collected by the radar, thermal sensors, and cameras. T.react CIP is designed to intelligently sort regular activities from abnormal ones to focus only on illegal activities, suspicious behaviour, unauthorized perimeter breaches, and airborne security threats like drones.
T.react CIP counter drone can interface to different types of counter measures ranges which assist the operator to counter the threat. Soft kill to hard kill and GPS jamming.
For more information visit:
www.terma.com (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
17 Mar 21. Department 13 and AVCRM link to add drone detection to infrastructure compliance risk management. Australian counter UAS (C-UAS) company Department 13 has partnered with Australian aviation software provider AVCRM (Advanced Compliance Risk Management) to bring clients a new operational safety, asset management and complete situational awareness service. The integrated system will provide a streamlined, turn-key solution ideal for critical infrastructure and, government and emergency services clients, giving them full command of drone detection and security, say the two companies in a press statement.
Department 13 chief executive officer Lee Croft said: “Operation platforms in compliance don’t have drone detection, and drone-detection platforms don’t have full compliance and risk management systems integrated into them.”
Over time, the system will incorporate Department 13’s MESMER C-UAS.
17 Mar 21. WhiteFox Defense delivers a DroneFoxTM C-UAS to major US city police force. WhiteFox Defense Technologies Inc reports it has delivered a DroneFoxTM Counter UAS (CUAS) system to a major US city’s police department. DroneFox is an omnidirectional drone detection, identification, and mitigation system. The system has demonstrated the ability to detect and track drones at ranges over 15 km during customer testing.
According to a company statement: “The system enables the user to assess the threat level, including the drone and pilot’s location and movement in real-time – a massive advantage in a world quickly experiencing a rise in drone threats. Drones continue to be used in criminal activities, including monitoring police movements during protests, capturing harassing photos of private citizens, and interfering with law enforcement ITAR Unrestricted helicopters, such as a near-collision with an LAPD helicopter. Waco, TX, recently saw a string of robberies that began with burglars using drones to spy on vacant homes before stealing over USD200,000 in cash and valuables.
“As consumer drones become more accessible, the need for counter-drone technology becomes imperative. DroneFox locates and tracks reckless and malicious drones. Authorized users can also employ DroneFox to mitigate drone threats, safely landing them. This rich dataset and analysis capability enables law enforcement to better respond to drone incidents.”
16 Mar 21. Drone Defence and Scientel Solutions partner to create Starlying Sky Security. Drone Defence and Scientel Solutions have partnered to create a new Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems (C-UAS) entity called Starlying Sky Security. The new company is now the sole distributor for North, South & Central America of proprietary UAV security technology developed by Drone Defence and Scientel Solutions.
According to a joint press release, the new entity ensures that a range of short-term, permanent, hybrid & mobile solutions are readily available for consumers across the Americas. This includes solutions for both commercial and governmental applications including prisons, critical and commercial infrastructures, airports, stadiums and large-scale events, as well as protection for key agricultural assets.
Richard Gill, our CEO & Founder, said: “It is our mission to protect people and organizations from the harmful use of commercial drone technology. Our partnership with Starlyng Sky Security will ensure that companies across North, South and Central America are protected from the threat of illicit drone use. The drone industry is set to become extremely valuable to the US economy, but in order to achieve this potential, security issues need to be addressed and illegal drone use neutralized. Working together with Starlyng Sky Security, we can protect the people and places that need it most, and facilitate a future in which drones safely use the skies.”
Nelson Santos, Founder & CEO of Scientel Solutions, said: “Scientel Solutions is excited to extend our business into the drone defense industry and offer counter-drone solutions that will protect people, organizations and infrastructure from potential threats caused by the use of commercial drones. Over the next 5 years we can expect our partnership to extend throughout the world, ensuring that potential drone threats are no longer a concern for any organization.”
The global UAV market is estimated to be worth USD43.1bn by 2024, with the development of the North, Central and South American markets being key.
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20 Mar 21. Proposed US submarine-hunting plane prompts hand-wringing in Germany. The U.S. government has cleared the sale of five P-8A maritime patrol aircraft to Germany, but Berlin is nowhere near ready to make a decision on the $1.8bn purchase.
The March 12 notice by the Defense Security Cooperation about the planes and associated equipment comes after Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer announced in February that a replacement for Germany’s P-3 Orion was not financially tenable for the time being.
The German navy has said it urgently needs new aircraft, pointing to sophisticated Russian submarine capabilities in the Baltic and Nordic regions. The service favors the Boeing-made P-8 Poseidon.
The potential purchase is another example of a German service branch having a preference for an off-the-shelf product from the United States. It follows the Luftwaffe eyeing the F-35 as a replacement for the country’s Tornados. In the end, the ministry of defense decided against the Lockheed Martin-made plane to keep the defense-industrial pipeline working toward the French-German-Spanish Future Combat Air System, which is set to hit the skies in 2040.
Similar considerations are now at play with the Orion replacement. A separate German-French cooperative program, the Maritime Airborne Warfare System (MAWS), is expected to produce a new aircraft by 2035. The program is still in its infancy, though, and the German navy needs new planes by 2025.
Defense leaders here consider the U.S. offer for the Poseidon one of several potential gap fillers for the intervening ten-year period. But, as in the case of the F-35, some officials fear that the system would be too sophisticated and expensive in that role, potentially outshining the envisioned co-development with neighbor France.
Also in the running as part of a market survey by the ministry of defense is the Airbus-made C-295, but the plane is too small to carry the anti-submarine combat punch that the navy says it needs.
“Sonobuoys and the ability to launch torpedoes are in demand again at the northern flank,“ said Sebastian Bruns, a naval analyst at the University of Kiel in northern Germany. “The navy needs more than just eyes in the sky.“
He said Russia’s submarine-warfare capabilities are “exquisite,“ with European nations routinely losing track of Moscow’s vessels. The growing discipline of “seabed warfare,“ a kind of hide-and-seek game involving novel sensors or self-activating sleeper weapons that sit undetected on the ocean floor, is a fast-moving area of military research, Bruns added.
That’s why some in the German navy fear losing a key capability, potentially for good, if the defense ministry’s bridge solution towards MAWS lacks oomph, according to the analyst. “For German naval aviators, this is a make-or-break moment.“
French trade publication Mer et Marine reported this week that the French ministry of defense had offered Germany the possibility of leasing four of its Breguet Atlantic 2 aircraft, the type Paris wants to replace with the eventual MAWS aircraft.
The German and French defense departments did not immediately confirm the proposal. A German navy official said the service was aware of it through the press report.
Airbus is also waiting in the wings, having pitched an idea for an A320-type plane converted for the sub-hunting role.
Either way, there is currently no money budgeted for a new maritime patrol aircraft, a German ministry of defense spokeswoman told Defense News. The next step would be analyzing information about potential candidates and determining an order of preference for a decision later on, she said. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)
18 Mar 21. Milrem Robotics and Marduk Technologies Launch Autonomous C-UAS System. Milrem Robotics, the European leading robotics and autonomous systems developer and Marduk Technologies, the provider of world-class Counter Unmanned Aerial System (C-UAS) solutions jointly launched a unique mobile autonomous C-UAS platform that offers protection against loitering munition and surveillance drones.
The jointly developed system features the electro-optical C-UAS platform Marduk Shark and the THeMIS unmanned ground vehicle (UGV). This mobile solution provides frontline forces with an independent ability to accurately detect, classify and target loitering munition and other flying objects. It uses the most advanced Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning models.
The mobile C-UAS platform can be integrated with kinetic and non-kinetic weapon systems and with different sensors and effectors such as radar, radio frequency detector, jammer, laser, etc.
Currently, most C-UAS solutions are used stationary, however, utilizing mobile platforms with autonomous capabilities gives defences forces the flexibility to relocate them according to the threat assessment. Mobility also provides early warning for the forces in various positions.
“Frontline forces on the move are most exposed to adversary drones. The mobile autonomous C-UAS platform gives our customers an additional layer of protection and extends our product portfolio, which lets us provide more capabilities for our defence customers,” said Martin Simon, the CEO of Marduk Technologies.
“Autonomous UGVs equipped with a C-UAS payload create a new capability on the battlefield that allows forces to focus on their main task of engaging the adversary while UGVs provide better situational awareness and force protection,” said Kuldar Väärsi, CEO of Milrem Robotics. (Source: ASD Network)
22 Mar 21. New Vision and Analysis Capability Improves Autonomy and Safety of Elbit Systems’ Seagull USV. Elbit Systems introduces new technologies on-board the Seagull Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) further enhancing its capability to operate autonomously in a busy maritime environment and to overcome communication challenges. A 360-degrees Panoramic Video System with an Automatic Target Recognition capability and a patented Automatic Navigation System, complement the USV’s Sense and Avoid capability, enabling the vessel to operate in compliance with the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972 (COLREGs). This enables the Seagull USV to operate safely in dense harbors, at sea with heavy traffic and autonomously complete missions even without communications with the control station.
Seagull is a multi-mission USV that features a modular mission payload suite supporting Anti-Submarine Warfare, Mine Countermeasure missions, Electronic Warfare, Maritime Security, underwater surveys and other missions using the same vessel, mission control system and data links.
The Seagull USV is in service with the Israeli Navy since 2017 and is currently in the production and deployment phase internationally.
21 Mar 21. DroneShield Ltd (ASX:DRO) (“DroneShield” or the “Company”) announced, in partnership with Trakka Systems, a successful demonstration of the TIPS-C (Trakka Interceptor Package Solution) at Eglin Air Force Base. The TIPS-C is designed to better serve the ISR, inspection, UAS and C-UAS marketplaces.
On February 24, 2021, an executive team from DroneShield and Trakka Systems met with multiple key decision makers and members from Hanscom and Eglin AFB at the Northwest Florida Fairgrounds to demonstrate the unmatched capabilities of the TIPS-C total package solution.
The TIPS-C, mounted on a mobile platform, provides a flexible, early detection, identification, and neutralizing counter UAS solution for the rapidly evolving UAS threat. Trakka’s partnered vendor DroneShield provided DroneSentry-C2™ software, which is designed to produce a common operating picture for drone detection and tracking within the local airspace. DroneSentry-C2™ ingested the data from several sensors, including the radar, radio frequency (RF), and our TrakkaCam TC-300 to provide an intuitive visualization of the airspace and potential drone threats.
DroneShield’s DroneSentry-C2™ integrates RadarZero™ radar, TrakkaCam TC-300, and DroneOptID™ AI-based computer vision engine to provide real-time drone detection and tracking with slew-to-cue camera for visual threat assessment and video evidence recording.
The backbone of the TIPS-C is an open architecture command and control center with TrakkaMaps TM-100 proprietary mapping solution that can incorporate any number of third-party complementary detection and neutralizing devices. Our advanced software algorithms can detect, identify, and automatically track drones of any size while dismissing other moving objects (including birds) in detections zones. This feature all but eliminates the false positives that challenge other systems, thereby saving precious time in the heat of imminent threats.
The demonstration was, overall, an excellent success. Additional feedback from our partners and customers set the TIPS-C above any product they’ve seen: “No OEM has been able to successfully demonstrate an integrated system that detects UAS, slews optical sensor onto target and tracks, then classifies the UAS.”
“Setup time from covert to up and detecting was less than 10 minutes. For a mobile, multi-sensor system that’s unprecedented.”
“Integrated capability allows operators to detect and protect while on the move and at the halt in a low-SWaP form factor.”
“The autonomous nature of not only multi-sensor detection, but fusion and continuous tracking of the UAV with little to no cognitive burden on the analyst or operator.”
The breakthrough capabilities of the TIPS-C provide an expert suite of low risk, seamlessly integrated UAS detection and mapping solutions that are flexible, aware, reliable, and economical.
18 Mar 21. Citadel Defense Receives Multiple International Contracts for Low-Collateral Impact Titan Counter Drone System. Titan’s artificial intelligence gives militaries and federal agencies an advantage in live threat scenarios
Citadel Defense has been awarded multiple counter drone delivery contracts from Five Eyes (FVEY) customers. Citadel’s Titan counter unmanned aircraft system (CUAS) will be rapidly fielded in response to immediate operational needs. The Titan was selected based on positive reports from over a dozen evaluations and three years of successful military and federal agency deployments.
autonomous protection against an estimated 98% of commercially available drone platforms with superior performance in urban environments. Low support, training, and sustainment costs deliver a force multiplying benefit to militaries and governments during a time when resources and budgets are constrained.
“Titan was engineered with artificial intelligence, machine learning, and adaptive countermeasures to make every operator, regardless of training or job specialty, capable of preventing drone attacks with low-collateral impact,” explains Christopher Williams, CEO of Citadel Defense.
Allied forces have become familiar with Titan technology during joint missions with U.S. forces. With legacy technologies struggling to address the evolving threat, allied forces have selected Titan’s capabilities based on operator trust and effectiveness in hundreds of different missions. The multi-domain mission flexibility offered by Titan equips expeditionary forces with necessary protection that has previously been unaddressed.
“Many customers have missions where larger, highly integrated CUAS systems cannot be used. When Titan is not integrated with other sensors, it delivers cost-effective force protection as a standalone system that increases safety of servicemen and servicewomen in high-risk environments,” says Williams.
When asked how Citadel helps customers prepare for asymmetric threats, Josh Harman, Director of Business Development at Citadel Defense, emphasized, “Speed, agility, and responsiveness must go beyond technology. Citadel is always investing to stay ahead of a requirement, anticipating future threat environments, and working directly with our customers to adapt solutions to the mission need.”
The company has been delivering systems under the contract throughout March. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
18 Mar 21. Thales Launches its New Digital Secondary Radar RSM NG – an Innovative Meta-sensor for Safer Air Traffic Management.
- Thales unveils a new digital secondary surveillance radar with increased performance and reliability for safer air traffic management – up to 2, 000 flight tracks and 64 simultaneous data outputs to air traffic centres.
- More than a radar – a 2-in 1 meta-sensor, with fully integrated EnHanced Mode S and ADS-B sensors, offering faster track initialisation and detection, with the latest in cybersecurity protection.
- The RSM NG radar is ready for today and tomorrow’s environment, with reduced radio frequency pollution, capacity for future digital software upgrades and predictive maintenance – optimising total cost of ownership, with 30% reduction in the design weight and volume.
With more than 900 Air Traffic Control radars installed in over 100 countries, Thales is a trusted leader in the global market and now unveils the RSM NG. Thales’ new digital secondary radar – an innovative meta-sensor for safer skies. The radar leverages the latest digital technologies to bring airports outstanding performances, cyber protection and optimised life-cycle costs.
A meta-sensor approach makes the radar unique. This 2 in 1 sensor ensures the quality, integrity and availability of data provided to Air Traffic Controllers, contributing to the aircraft’s 3 NM separation standards. The RSM NG combines ADS-B and radar (Mode S) data for faster track initialisation providing higher-quality information with reliability. The radar can track up to 2,000 flight tracks and share 64 data outputs simultaneously to different air traffic centres.
Based on international NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) framework, the RSM NG is Cyber Secured by design, with a single interface for controlling cybersecurity functions while maintaining the radar’s operational behaviour.
Minimising re-interrogation rates, the RSM NG reduces radio frequency pollution and provides an interference map to facilitate its integration in the environment.
A future ready radar. All of these technological enhancements integrate seamlessly into the constant evolving ATC environment; in particular, the advanced digital architecture of the RSM NG supports software-defined upgrades to accommodate future technical requirements.
More compact and easy to deploy, the RSM NG incorporates HUMS capabilities (Health Usage and Monitoring System) for optimised maintenance. Re-engineered to limit life-cycle costs, the radar has a very compact design with 30 % reduction in weight and volume, with now only two electronic cabinets instead of three.
“With more than 50 years of experience in secondary surveillance radars, Thales is constantly investing to lead the latest innovations in the market for air traffic control radars for safer skies. The RSM NG represents no less than 10 patents”. Marie Gayrel, Director of ATC radar activities, Thales (Source: ASD Network)
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.