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08 Jul 21. Pakistan hires Leonardo, Paramount Group for aircraft conversion program. Pakistan has hired an Italian defense company to convert three Embraer Lineage 1000 regional jetliners into long-range maritime patrol aircraft for its Navy.
The contract with Leonardo involves the acquisition of two aircraft to join the single Lineage 1000 already in Pakistan, followed by the design, modification, installation and integration of an anti-submarine warfare and maritime patrol package. The three planes will then be introduced into service as Sea Sultan patrol aircraft.
Follow-on contracts are expected to bring the total number of Sea Sultans to 10, replacing the country’s long-serving P-3C Orion fleet. Defense News learned in October that the Navy selected the Lineage 1000 to replace the fleet.
Under an additional contract, South Africa’s Paramount Group will handle the pre-conversion maintenance, repair and overhaul of the aircraft.
Pakistan’s Ministry of Defence Production, which handles acquisitions, did not reply to Defense News for comment.
A spokesperson with Leonardo declined to comment for this story. Similarly, Paramount Group declined to comment, citing “strict confidentiality agreements.”
However, Defense News obtained additional details from a source with knowledge of Pakistan’s ongoing defense programs. A closed tender was launched in November 2020 involving Leonardo, Germany’s Rheinland Air Services and Turkish Aerospace Industries on the basis of their proven maritime patrol aircraft conversion experience.
Rheinland previously won an order for the Sea Eagle maritime patrol aircraft conversion of ATR 72 propliners for the Pakistan Navy, beating out a rival offer from TAI, which offered a package based on that developed for the Turkish Navy’s ATR 72s. Only Leonardo was shortlisted on a technical basis for the Lineage 1000 conversion. This was mainly on the basis of the Leonardo SeaSpray radar installed on the RAS 72 Sea Eagle aircraft and Sea King helicopters, and the trusted Italian-origin torpedo-release systems already installed on the Pakistan Navy’s anti-submarine warfare aircraft, and which would certainly be fitted to the Sea Sultan.
Leonardo also has a good relationship with Pakistan’s other military branches, supplying Grifo radars for Mirage III and F-7PG Fishcan fighters, delivering AW139 helicopters, and helping procure refurbished M109 self-propelled howitzers.
After three months of detailed technical discussions, and the securing of internal funds from Pakistan’s Armed Forces Development Plan, a $190m contract was signed between the Ministry of Defence Production and Leonardo in the penultimate week of June.
Brazil, where Embraer is based, is also developing a maritime patrol aircraft program based on conversion of the Lineage 1000 to replace it P-3B Orion fleet, but there appears to be no cooperation between the two programs.
Pakistan’s 2010 acquisition of Mectron-made PAA-1 Piranha within-visual-range missiles (now SIATT after the parent company spun off the Mectron unit) and MAR-1 anti-radiation missiles did not lead to previously promised defense industry cooperation.
Aerospace expert Justin Bronk at the Royal United Services Institute said expectations of international cooperation on the Lineage 1000 conversion programs wasn’t realistic.
“MPA mission systems are actually some of the most sensitive programs in the defense aviation world, and so there may be security reasons why Pakistan and/or Brazil would chose not to cooperate on a Lineage 1000 conversion,” he said. (Source: Defense News)
01 Jul 21. How sensors are igniting a new era for defense testing and simulation. The rapid advancements of sensor technology and open-source architectures are giving today’s defense organizations new opportunities for testing and simulation that are much broader and more realistic than ever before. The arrival of these innovations is timely, and needed, to address the increasingly adverse environments in theater. And today, in theater can mean nearly anywhere at any time, depending on the type and scope of asymmetrical threats.
New technologies have opened pathways for agencies to have more agile, flexible and cost-effective options to ensure mission security and success. Auxiliary sensors are in development now on a broad scale and being tested for deployment.
The Department of Defense has already taken clear steps to advance the evaluation and use of sensors as part of new systems. Therefore, testing and simulation systems must evolve in tandem in order to effectively support them. The Army Open Innovation Lab, for example, was established for industry to demonstrate capabilities and integrate their new products and services with the Army’s open architecture standards.
DOD is collaborating with industry partners to provide new sensors, applications and implementation methods that will become the new standards upon which the next generation of systems will rely. Meanwhile, the build and test era has begun. As government and industry move forward, there are several key areas of functionality that the next generation of testing and simulation will need to address:
- Multi-sensor systems. With the rapid development and deployment of new sensor technology on ground-, land-, and air-based vehicles and equipment, effectively testing, simulating and evaluating how sensors will operate in real environments is critical.
- Modularity. Modular testing and simulation resources provide a nimble and flexible plug and play implementation will reduce test and validation times allowing for game-changing technology to be fielded quicker.
- Open systems. Open architecture and open-source approaches bring greater flexibility, speed and cost effectiveness, while simultaneously creating new areas that testing and simulation systems will need to consider to maintain effective replication of real-world environments and accuracy of results.
- Cybersecurity. DOD devices and systems already follow the Defense Information Systems Agency’s Risk Management Framework Security Technical Implementation Guide. Having test systems that also meet DOD cybersecurity requirements reduces operational downtime and implementation costs.
As future systems containing multi-sensor components, plug-in functionality and open-source resources advance, new simulation and testing approaches must accommodate these new characteristics.
Ideally government and industry can closely collaborate to provide innovative simulation and testing solutions that match the latest innovations. These systems must be interoperable, secured against a variety of threats and accomplish the mission uninterrupted.
To do so quickly and cost effectively, it will be imperative that new sensor systems follow a new common testing and simulation standard. An agnostic testing approach will eliminate the time and budget challenges that can come with one-off testing scenarios. Government and industry should come together to create standards so that new sensors, using open architecture and modular, secure systems, can be built to ensure national security mission success. (Source: Defense Systems)
07 Jul 021. Cohort, the independent technology group, announced that its wholly owned subsidiary ELAC SONAR GmbH (“ELAC”) has received an order valued at over €49m by Leonardo, among the top world players in the Defence and Security sectors, leader in the design and supply of systems for naval defence and maritime and coastal surveillance. ELAC SONAR will provide sonar systems for two new U212 Near Future Submarines (NFS) being supplied by Fincantieri for the Italian Navy in the framework of the contract awarded to the Italian shipbuilding group and managed by the Organization for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR), an international organisation with the express mission to facilitate the management of cooperative armament programmes in Europe (Currently OCCAR manages 16 Programmes with a portfolio of around 80bn €, that is expected to increase to up to 100bn €). Work on the contract will commence immediately and will complete in 2030. In accordance with OCCAR Through Life Management principle and best practices, the contract includes delivery of submarine sonar systems, special test and training tools, and associated technical services. The contract also includes options for two more U212 NFS submarines.
Andy Thomis, Chief Executive, said “This is a major achievement for ELAC SONAR. Being selected to provide the complete submarine sonar suite for a European Navy of the first rank is a strong and visible endorsement of ELAC SONAR’s world leading Sphere™ technology. We look forward to working with Leonardo and Fincantieri to create a capability for the Italian Navy that is unmatched on a submarine of this class. The contract is also significant in relation to the Group’s order book and, together with other recent wins, enhances the visibility of future revenues.”
07 Jul 21. France tests laser-powered anti-drone system for the 2024 Olympics. The French military used a laser-powered canon on Wednesday to destroy a drone in a test of technology that the government hopes will be used to protect the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
The Armed Forces Ministry said the test, conducted near the Atlantic coast in southwestern France, was a first for Europe, adding that the United States and Israel were also working on similar “Star Wars”-inspired weapons.
France plans to use the system, developed by local startup firm Cilas with public funds, to protect military bases and nuclear plants, as well as major events, against small low-flying drones that can escape radar detection.
“We aim to have a fully operational system in time for the 2024 Summer Olympics”, a ministry spokesperson said.
The prototype tested on Wednesday can detect lightweight commercial drones from a distance of up to 3 km (1.8 miles), track them and destroy them once they approach within 1 km of the canon.
Its laser ray is one million times more powerful than the one used by QR code readers, the ministry said.
“We need to adapt to a constantly changing threat and the increasing ability of drones to escape jamming devices or conventional missile shields,” the ministry spokesperson said.
The ministry said it had also launched tenders for the development of a magnetic-wave canon and interceptor drones due to the growing threat of attacks using swarms of drones. (Source: Reuters)
05 Jul 21. Singapore Army commissions TPQ-53 S-band WLR system. The Singapore Army has commissioned the Lockheed Martin TPQ-53 weapon locating radar (WLR) system to replace its current fleet of X-band (8–12.5 GHz range) ThalesRaytheonSystems TPQ-36 and TPQ-37 WLRs that have been in service since 1986 and 1991 respectively.
The new radar system was commissioned by defence minister Ng Eng Hen at Headquarters 6th Singapore Division/Headquarters Sense and Strike (HQ 6 Div/HQ SS) at Mandai Hill Camp on 28 June. Unlike the US Army, which operates the type under the AN/TPQ-53 designation and integrated on five-tonne M1083 6×6 medium tactical vehicles (MTVs), the radar’s active array assembly in the Singapore version is mounted on a four-wheeled trailer and towed by a MAN TGS 6×6 truck. The Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) noted that the new system provides improved acquisition and target identification of rocket, artillery, and mortar (RAM) threats out to a maximum range of up to 60 km – up from 50 km previously – along with improved accuracy. Unlike the earlier radar systems that can only operate in staring mode, the TPQ-53 can operate in both rotating and staring modes for operations that require all-round force protection.
“This provides early warning, protects forces on the ground, and enables swift destruction of hostile threats,” said MINDEF in a 30 June statement.
“The [radar] has improved locating accuracy to better deliver counter attacks on enemy artillery forces,” it added, noting that the highly automated system requires about 30% less manpower to operate as compared with its predecessors. “This also enhances situational awareness and increases survivability of ground troops.” (Source: Jane’s)
01 Jul 21. US/UK “cooperating to develop C-UAS defence of US airbases in UK.” The US Stars and Stripes news agency reports: “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.”
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 non-commissioned 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.”
“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. “
For more information
https://www.stripes.com/branches/air_force/2021-06-25/Technology-US-UK-drones-1791610.html (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
06 Jul 21. Indian Air Force releases RFI to procure ten CUAS systems. The service expects the delivery of the anti-drone systems to complete within 12 months of singing the deal. The Indian Air Force (IAF) has reportedly floated a request for information (RFI) for the procurement of counter-unmanned aircraft systems (CUAS). Eligible companies based in India are invited to participate in the process. According to the RFI, the selection and procurement process will commence in the third quarter of 2021.
The IAF is planning to acquire a total of ten systems that will be deployed at various airbases in the country.
Participants are required to provide delivery dates in their applications as the service aims to take receipt of all the units within one year of signing the contract.
The IAF is seeking a ‘multi-sensor, multi-kill’ CUAS solution equipped with active phased array radars with 360-degree coverage, Global Navigation Satellite Jammer System (GNSS), Radio Frequency (RF) sensors and more advanced technologies.
In the RFI, the IAF stated: “The CUAS is intended to detect, track, identify, designate and neutralise hostile UAS. Laser-Directed Energy Weapons (Laser-DEWs) are essentially required as a kill option.”
“It should provide a multi-sensor, multi-kill solution to enforce effective no-fly zones for unmanned aircraft while inflicting minimal collateral damage to the surrounding environment. It should generate a composite air situational picture for the operator and generate alerts based on user-defined parameters.” (Source: airforce-technology.com)
05 Jul 21. Patria joins in an EDIDP program to develop maritime surveillance capabilities. Patria is part of three-country Northern-European co-operation in a consortium that was selected by the EU in the European Defence Industrial Programme for Maritime Surveillance Capabilities. The member states are Estonia, Finland and Sweden (the lead) all countries surrounding the Baltic Sea and the countries have signed the letter of intent. The consortium is led by Saab (Sweden) and further parties are Patria (Finland), CAFA Tech (Estonia) and Rantelon (Estonia). The EDIDP is a defence industry development programme designed to support the competitiveness and innovation capacity of the union’s defence industry. The EDIDP is the first EU-funded programme to develop defence capabilities, with a financial envelope of €500m. The selection for the EDIDP programme was made at the end of June 2021 and the actual start of the project will take place in autumn 2021. Duration of the PADIC programme is three years.
The project Passive Acquisition by Digital Convergence (PADIC) will study, design, prototype and test a coastal radar network system in response to emerging threats by exploiting acquisition by passive sensors in an open architecture. The project will make use of low-cost and commercially available passive radars across Europe that are spectrally non-congesting during peacetime, while sustainable and immune against stealth attempts during conflicts. It will also maximise the performance through digitalization towards function-transparent, software-defined sensor hardware platforms.
“We are extremely happy that our team’s expertise, our technological background and the commitments and contributions from the consortium member states were valued by the EU and now we can further develop these next-generation capabilities with our neighbours and with our partners”, says Jonas Geust, President of Systems Business Unit at Patria.
02 Jul 21. New Chinese conventional submarine fitted with towed array sonar. High-resolution photographs of China’s latest submarine recently posted on social media forums appear to confirm that the boat is fitted with a reelable passive towed array sonar, which is a significant enhancement over the previous Type 039B (Yuan) class.
The submarine, which as previously reported by Janes has an unusually shaped fin similar to that on the Saab Kockums A26, was first photographed at the Wuchang shipyard in Wuhan in early May and subsequently at the Shenjia yard in Shanghai, where it had arrived by 20 June.
The most recent photographs show clearly that, compared with the Type 039B, the length of the flat part of the submarine’s casing, above the pressure hull, has been extended further aft and that the fixed segment above the upper rudder has been enlarged. These changes would facilitate the installation of a winch drum under the casing, together with a payout tube to dispense the array and tow cable through a bell mouth above the rudder.
This aperture above the rudder is clearly visible in some of the photographs, together with what appears to be a deployment drogue that would use hydrodynamic drag to stream the array. The size of the bell mouth suggests that a thin line array is installed, which would be consistent with a design where the array is wound around a relatively small drum under the casing. (Source: Jane’s)
05 Jul 21. BIRD Aerosystems Has Successfully Delivered a Complete ASIO Maritime Surveillance Task Force Solution to a Country in Africa. The ASIO Maritime Surveillance Task Force Solution provided includes multiple Maritime Patrol Aircraft installed with BIRD’s advanced MSIS mission management system – which was also at the Naval HQ command and on a number of vessels. BIRD Aerosystems, a global provider of innovative defense technology and solutions that protect the air, sea and land fleets of governments and related agencies, has delivered a complete ASIO Maritime Task Force Solution to an undisclosed African government.
The ASIO Maritime Task Force Solution provided includes multiple Cessna Citation CJ3 aircraft that the company converted into Maritime Patrol Aircraft, together with BIRD’s advanced mission management system (MSIS) which was also installed on a number of vessels as well as at the naval HQ command.
BIRD Aerosystems’ ASIO Maritime Task Force Solution provides customers with an integrated Aerial-Naval-Land solution. It facilitates maritime and coastal surveillance, patrol and survey of borders and strategic assets, and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) monitoring capabilities. Leveraging BIRD’s MSIS for complete mission operational support, including planning, execution, debriefing, online mission updates, and complete situational awareness between all segments (airborne, naval & ground) within the task forces, ASIO delivers an extremely powerful, comprehensive and flexible maritime patrol solution, enabling efficient detection, tracking and interception of any suspicious activity at sea.
Ronen Factor, Co-Chief Executive Officer and Founder at BIRD Aerosystems: “BIRD’s ASIO Maritime Task Force Solution, including the Cessna Citation CJ3 aircraft, will be used to defend the customer’s territorial waters, with an emphasis on detecting illegal fishing, oil theft, and smuggling. Rapidly deployed in multiple configurations, ASIO enables even small crews to deliver detailed and comprehensive surveillance information covering large geographic areas.”
Blighter Surveillance Systems is a world-leading designer and manufacturer of best-in-class electronic-scanning ground-based radars, surveillance solutions and Counter-UAS systems. Blighter’s solid-state micro-Doppler products are deployed in more than 35 countries across the globe, delivering consistent all-weather security protection and wide area surveillance along borders, coastlines, at military bases and across critical infrastructure such as airports, oil and gas facilities and palaces. Blighter radars are also used to protect manoeuvre force missions when deployed on military land vehicles and trailers, and its world-beating multi-mode radar represents a great leap in threat detection technology and affordability for use in a variety of scenarios.
The Blighter range of radar products are used for detecting a variety of threats, from individuals on foot to land vehicles, boats, drones and low-flying aircraft at ranges of up to 32 km. Blighter Surveillance Systems employs 40 people and is located near Cambridge, UK, where it designs, produces and markets its range of unique patented solid-state radars. Blighter prides itself on being an engineer-led business committed to providing cost-effective and flexible solutions across the defence, critical infrastructure and national security markets.