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30 Jun 21. SAIC wins USAF contract to support modernisation of counter-sUAS. SAIC will provide a wide range of support and sustainment services to modernise defences against the sUAS threats.
Science Applications International (SAIC) has secured a contract to help the US Department of Defense (DoD) Combatant Commands better counter small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) threats.
The contract has been with the US Air Force Life Cycle and Management Center (AFLCMC), Force Protection Division.
Under the single-award contract, SAIC will provide a wide range of integrated logistics support (ILS) and sustainment services.
Valued at $90m, the contract has a one-year base period of performance and three one-year options.
Currently, SAIC supports the US Army’s counter-sUAS programmes and will continue this effort through the latest contract.
SAIC National Security and Space sector president Michael LaRouche said: “SAIC’s past performance with the army for more than nine years demonstrates our ability to provide the Combatant Commands with a full range of support and sustainment services for modernization of counter-sUAS that will help contain this growing tactical threat.
“We are incredibly proud and honoured to continue this important work.”
The company will primarily be responsible for repairing and maintaining counter-sUAS systems, equipment, and software.
These include services such as help desk support, logistics, corrective and preventative maintenance, training, as well as supply chain management.
Furthermore, SAIC will provide new ways to modernise systems.
SAIC will provide these services to several Combatant Commands, including Central Command (CENTCOM), European Command, Indo-Pacific Command (INDO-PACOM), and Strategic Command, as well as the US Space Force (USSF).
In September last year, SAIC won an order to support the USAF’s 414th Supply Chain Management Squadron. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
30 Jun 21. Germany signs on for Five Boeing P-8A Poseidon Aircraft. The German Ministry of Defense today signed a letter of offer and acceptance for five Boeing (NYSE:BA) P-8A Poseidon aircraft under the U.S. government’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) process. With this order, Germany becomes the eighth customer of the multimission maritime surveillance aircraft, joining the United States, Australia, India, the United Kingdom, Norway, Korea and New Zealand.
“Boeing is honored to provide Germany with the world’s most capable maritime surveillance aircraft,” said Michael Hostetter, Boeing Defense, Space & Security vice president in Germany. “We will continue to work with the U.S. government, the German government and industry to establish a robust sustainment package that will ensure the German Navy’s P-8A fleet is mission ready.”
The P-8A Poseidon offers unique multimission capability and is the only aircraft in service and in production that meets the full range of maritime challenges faced by European nations. Deployed around the world with more than 130 aircraft in service, and over 300,000 collective flight hours, the P-8A is vital for global anti-submarine warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and search-and-rescue operations.
“Bringing this capability to Germany is not possible without the contributions of German industry,” said Dr. Michael Haidinger, president of Boeing Germany, Central & Eastern Europe, Benelux and the Nordics. “With the P-8A, we will expand our collaboration with German companies, create new jobs and contribute to long-term local economic growth.”
German companies that already supply parts for the P-8A include Aljo Aluminum-Bau Jonischeit GmbH and Nord-Micro GmbH. Recently, Boeing signed agreements with ESG Elektroniksystem-und Logistik-GmbH and Lufthansa Technik to collaborate in systems integration, training, support and sustainment work. By working with local suppliers, Boeing will provide support, training and maintenance solutions that will bring the highest operational availability to fulfill the German Navy’s missions.
30 Jun 21. HENSOLDT wins billion-dollar contract for “PEGASUS” reconnaissance system. Sensor solutions provider HENSOLDT has been awarded a contract by the German Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) to supply the airborne electronic signals intelligence system “PEGASUS”.
“PEGASUS is of great industrial policy importance for Germany as a whole as a high-tech location. The overall responsibility for the system lies in Germany and the value creation largely takes place through national companies,” said HENSOLDT CEO Thomas Müller. “This gives the Bundeswehr unrestricted access to all the technologies used.”
“We have developed the modular and high-performance HENSOLDT reconnaissance solution KALAETRON on the basis of the already flight-proven ISIS reconnaissance system. KALAETRON offers unique reconnaissance capabilities based on powerful German key technology. PEGASUS thus forms the core for a sovereign reconnaissance network and the basis for future capability development in the field of self-protection and electronic warfare,” said Celia Pelaz, HENSOLDT’s head of strategy and head of the Spectrum Dominance and Airborne Solutions Division.
In a ceremony scaled down for corona reasons, the contract for the development, production and integration of the signal-capturing reconnaissance system PEGASUS, including the three Bombardier “Global 6000” aircraft and associated evaluation stations, was signed yesterday. HENSOLDT acts as general contractor and is also responsible for the production of the entire reconnaissance technology. Lufthansa Technik, based in Hamburg, is responsible for the procurement of the aircraft from the manufacturer Bombardier and their modification (cabin conversion, installation of reconnaissance technology). Altogether, almost 30 companies, many of them medium-sized, from all over Germany are involved in the project as suppliers and partners.
28 June 21. Hensoldt-THEON consortium to produce NVG sets for Belgium and Germany. The NVG contract covers production of a total of 9,550 MIKRON NVG sets and related support. A consortium of Hensoldt Optronics and THEON Sensors has received a contract from the Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation Executive Administration (OCCAR-EA) to produce night vision goggles (NVG). The contract is the result of a Europe-wide competitive bid. It was signed by the OCCAR-EA director and representatives of industry in Bonn, Germany.
The NVG contract comprises the production of 4,550 MIKRON NVG sets for Belgium and 5,000 MIKRON NVG sets for Germany.
It also includes the provision of initial spare parts, training, documentation, and 1,789 head mounting systems for Germany.
Furthermore, the contract includes initial in-service support (ISS) of five years for Belgium.
According to OCCAR, the contract also secures firm prices for options that cover initial ISS for Germany, follow-on ISS for both Belgium and Germany, and the acquisition of up to 20,000 extra NVG sets.
MIKRON NVG features an integrated infrared illuminator and is powered by a self-contained single AA battery.
The lightweight, image intensified, dual tube binocular also operates with a remote battery pack. It can be used either as helmet-mounted, head-mounted, or hand-held.
The first delivery of a small number of NVG sets is scheduled for next month. This will facilitate the start of an Operational Testing and Acceptance campaign.
Meanwhile, the first production batch for Belgium will be delivered by the end of this year. The final batch will be handed over in the first quarter of 2024.
OCCAR launched the Night Vision Capability (NVC) programme at the Bonn site in May last year.
In the first stage, the programme involves the development, production and optional in-service phases of NVGs.
The programme is aimed at increasing the night-vision capability of Belgium’s and Germany’s ‘dismounted soldiers and drivers’ of army vehicles. (Source: army-technology.com)
28 Jun 21. RAF E-3D AWACS supports UK carrier strike group in Mediterranean. Two Royal Air Force (RAF) E-3D Sentry airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft have deployed to the Mediterranean to support UK-led Carrier Strike Group 21 (CSG21) operations and exercises in the region. The unannounced participation of the E-3Ds in the Mediterranean phase of the CSG21 deployment emerged after the aircraft’s ADS-B transponder was tracked on an open source website during its missions from RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus.
An E-3D was first tracked on 30 May operating east of Gibraltar after HMS Queen Elizabeth and CSG21 entered the Mediterranean. From 7 June onwards, the two E-3Ds have been flying over the eastern Mediterranean. On 20 June RAF and US Marine Corps F-35B Joint Strike Fighters launched from Queen Elizabeth and flew their first missions over Syria and Iraq. According to the tracking data, an E-3D was airborne to support this mission.
A senior UK defence source told Janes on 25 June that the E-3Ds were the operational command of the carrier strike group and it was likely they would be redeployed to the Mideast and Far East to support later stages of the CSG21 cruise to Japan and South Korea.
On 25 June an RAF spokesman confirmed the deployment of the aircraft to Janes, “RAF intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance assets, including the E-3D, are supporting the CSG21 deployment and associated operational flights. Operational command of supporting assets will depend on location and mission.” (Source: Jane’s)
29 Jun 21. Australia issues RFI for Integrated Undersea Surveillance. Australia has issued a Request for Information (RFI) for Project SEA5012 Ph.1 – Integrated Undersea Surveillance Systems. The RFI closes on 24 September and while not discussing schedules for technology maturity, acquisition and service entry, it asks respondents to include information on a range of technologies, both current and emerging.
The objectives of the RFI process are to:
- inform Defence about the technical readiness levels of potential options which meet its needs
- Seek information regarding Australian industry’s ability to design, manufacture, supply and sustain the sub-systems, systems and systems-of-systems which will constitute the Integrated Undersea Surveillance System
- Understand approximate project cost and schedule assumptions.
The project is seeking information from industry with regards to:
- Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems
- Surveillance Systems
- Sensor signal processing and analysis
- Future systems and alternative technologies and concepts.
Respondents may offer options which fulfil the needs for more than one discrete system, or offer multiple solutions for a single need.
Defence advises that it envisages project SEA5012 Ph.1 involving US International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) controlled information and material and has flagged this possibility to help industry understand the possible requirements of future procurements.
To view and download the RFI documentation go to the AusTender page: https://www.tenders.gov.au/Atm/Show/ad767d70-9bb4-4197-b631-fabd1082c4eb
(Source: Rumour Control)
29 Jun 21. Australian DIN calls for Undersea Communication and Detection proposals. The DIN has issued a call for collaborative R&D proposals addressing DST Group’s Remote Undersea Surveillance STaR Shot. Almost simultaneously with the release of the SEA5012 Ph.1 RFI, the NSW Defence Innovation Network (DIN) is calling for collaborative research proposals addressing DST Group’s Remote Undersea Surveillance STaR Shot theme.
Through its Strategic Investment Initiative (SII), DIN will invest $500,000 in R&D to develop a cutting-edge prototype for defence use. The SII is funded by the NSW Government and DST’s NGTF.
Now that Remote Undersea Surveillance is a priority area for Defence Investment with an RFI on the streets, DIN has established the SII to enable multi-disciplinary research teams to produce innovative prototypes, create lasting links to the defence industry, catalyse commercialisation and trigger additional R&D investment in NSW.
A key objective is to build capability in the State by funding collaborative research that will enable a prototype to undertake a demonstration of of the integrated system’s new capability within 12-18 months.
Applications close on 6 August; the project is due to start on 1 January, 2022.
For further information go to the DIN web site: https://defenceinnovationnetwork.com/din-calls-for-proposals-in-undersea-communication-and-detection/ (Source: Rumour Control)
28 June 21. Dozens of Drones Violating Military Airspace in UK. New technology used in a collaboration between the U.S. military and British authorities has detected more than 50 small drones violating the airspace around two bases used by the U.S. Air Force in England in the past nine months, officials have said.
Since last October, when the technology was first used, the Air Force has tracked the small unmanned aircraft systems, or sUAS, flying in airspace surrounding RAF Mildenhall and Lakenheath, and notified British Defense Ministry police.
Mildenhall is home to the U.S. Air Force’s 100th Air Refueling Wing, and the Air Force’s only F-15 fighter wing in Europe is based at Lakenheath.
Of the 50 drones detected, five were recovered by police. They were piloted by hobbyists who “were found to not have malicious intent,” said Staff Sgt. Austin Grimmer, the 100th Security Forces Squadron noncommissioned officer in charge of counter-sUAS operations at Mildenhall.
But the growing number of violations of military and commercial airspace by drones have led the U.S. Defense Department to draft a strategy to counter sUAS and the British to pass legislation giving police more power to stop them.
Drones may impede flight operations and endanger personnel and equipment, military officials have said.
“It is evident that the potential for hazards or threats (from small drones) has the ability to impact the Joint Force,” then-acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller said in the plan, which calls for the U.S. military to work with partner countries — as the U.S. did with Britain — to “respond to the needs of a rapidly changing security environment.”
Integrating the U.S. and British counter-drone systems “provides a layered defense” to detect, track, identify and defeat unmanned aircraft, said Lt. Col. Charles Carabell, chief of police and security for the U.S. Air Forces Europe U.K. coordination cell.
Further details on the new technology were unavailable due to security reasons, Carabell said. The counter-drone effort brings together at least five different joint agencies, including the Air Force Research Laboratory, making it “one of the great coordination opportunities that we have with the U.K,” Carabell said.
Beginning Tuesday, U.K. police will gain powers to ground drones and confiscate flying hazards under a new law passed by parliament. The law also allows police to search an operator or their property if there is suspicion of illegal activity.
British police may also use technology, such as radio frequency jammers, to stop drones from flying.
Drones in the U.K. are barred from flying over crowds or built-up areas, and near aircraft, airports and airfields. (Source: UAS VISION/ Stars & Stripes)
28 June 21. India’s Jammu Airport subject of hostile drone attack in suspected terrorist action. According to a report by India’s NDTV, two blasts took place at the Air Force base at Jammu Airport on 27 June 2021. The attack is believed to be the first use of drones in a terror attack on an Indian military facility.
The report says one of the blasts caused damage to the roof of a building in the technical section while another bomb exploded in an open area. Two Indian Air Force personnel suffered minor injuries in the explosions.
“The attack at the IAF station in Jammu is a terror attack,” said Jammu and Kashmir police chief Dilbag Singh.
An FIR has been registered under the anti-terror Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act that allows the arrest of suspects and their detention for up to six months without evidence. The National Investigation Agency has taken over the probe.
Teams from the IAF, the National Bomb Data Centre, forensic experts and the Jammu and Kashmir police are also investigating the attack.
“Drones with payload were used in both the blasts at Jammu airfield. Another crude bomb was found by the Jammu police. This IED was received by a Lashkar e Taiba operative and was to be planted at some crowded place,” Mr Singh told NDTV.
The Jammu airport is a dual use facility under IAF control, also used to operate passenger flights. Jammu Airport director Pravat Ranjan Beuria told PTI there was no disruption in flights. For more information visit: www.ndtv.com (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
24 Jun 21. Drone attacks threaten Baghdad airport – Saudi prepares for more drone incursions. Baghdad airport was targeted by weaponized drones on June 14, for the second time in a week, reports NOTAM monitoring organisation the OpsGroup.
“The FAA has issued yet another Information Note, but their advice remains the same – local militia are showing renewed intent to target US interests at airports. This is exposing low level aircraft to risk from rocket and drone activity along with air defence systems. The FAA continues to ban all US operators from the ORBB/Baghdad FIR – but with many other operators still overflying, this is an important update.”
Also according to the Ops Group: in Saudi Arabia “an escalation in attacks is possible during Hajj season, particularly with a focus on Riyadh and Dammam airports due to the higher numbers of traffic.”
Airspace safety monitoring site Safe Airspace gives more details: “Houthi drone and missile attacks on targets in Saudi Arabia are increasing. These continue to be a persistent threat to ops to Saudi airports, and for overflights of the OEJD/Jeddah FIR. The most significant risk is in the south of the country along the border with Yemen, but OERK/Riyadh and OEJN/Jeddah airports have also been targeted. The are several long-standing airspace warnings in place: Canada, France and Germany warn of a risk to landing anywhere in the country, but particularly along the border with Yemen in the southwest part of the OEJD/Jeddah FIR. There is definitely a risk to operations in Saudi airspace, even outside the ESCAT area. The primary risk is from Houthi drone and missile attacks on airports across the country, but particularly in the south.”
Throughout 2020 Houthi drone and rocket attacks targeted OEAH/Abha and OEGN/Jizan airports along the Yemeni-Saudi Border.
The site also noted that in May 2021 there was an attempted drone attack by local militia on LTCC/Diyabakir airport in South Eastern Turkey and in January 2019 Turkish security forces intercepted three weaponised drones during attempted attacks against sites in southern Turkey. (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
25 Jun 21. The RAAF and DSTG have jointly developed new technology built to monitor airspace, and detect and respond to UAV threats. The Royal Australian Air Force’s Air Warfare Centre (AWC) and the Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG) have announced the development of a new drone detection system, Windtalker.
The technology is designed to track uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) activity and leverage stimulated algorithms for detection, recognition and decision-making.
Ant Perry, who was recently appointed as an adviser to the AWC, noted the importance of the new technology, given risks associated with the misuse of UAVs.
“It is a great privilege to take on the role here at the Air Warfare Centre and be able to contribute to some really worthwhile projects,” Perry said.
“Unmanned aerial system misuse can cause safety issues and security concerns for the Australian Defence Force and the Windtalker drone sensor detection system provides users a common operating picture of the airspace.”
The Windtalker incorporates the additional functionality of an ADS-B receive, enabling users to track the flight path of ADS-B-equipped aircraft within range of the sensor.
“The Windtalker system is evidence of the win-win DSTG and RAAF partnership,” Perry added.
The joint development of the system follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between DSTG and the AWC in late 2019.
DSTG leader, electronic fabrication Gordon Sherlock reflected on the success of the ongoing relationship between the organisations.
“The staff at the Air Warfare Centre are renowned for their professionalism, skills, knowledge and technical ability,” he said.
“I have seen first-hand how the AWC avionics technicians have brought transferrable skills to the team and how the Air Force’s robust training continuum complements the wide array of tasks required to be performed at DSTG.”
Corporal Stan Filipek, who helps facilitate the manufacture of technical componentry and assembly of electronic components, added: “It has been exciting to be a part of the partnership between the two agencies.
“I like to think of the Windtalker project as a representation of the fruits of our labour.”
The AWC, which is a division of the Air Command, aims to establish modern and fully integrated combat capability.
The AWC’s workforce includes Air Force, Army, Navy, Australian Public Service and Defence industry personnel. (Source: Defence Connect)
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