Sponsored by Blighter Surveillance Systems
15 Jul 21. NATO launches next phase of effort to find AWACS replacement. NATO Airborne Early Warning & Control (NAEW&C) has launched a new phase in its effort to find a replacement for its Boeing E-3A Airborne Warning And Control System (AWACS) aircraft that are set to be retired in 2035. The NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) announced on 15 July that it had launched a new risk-reduction and feasibility study competition to analyse and develop concepts identified as potential replacements in the first round of its Alliance Future Surveillance and Control (AFSC) that was initiated in 2017.
“The AFSC Concept Stage was initiated by the North Atlantic Council in 2017 to redefine how NATO will conduct surveillance and command-and-control after the AWACS reach the end of their service life in 2035,” the NSPA said. “[The] NSPA is responsible to conduct studies and develop technical concepts that will help inform future decisions by allies for their long-term plans and acquisition of new capabilities. These could include different combinations of systems in the air, land, sea, space, and cyber domains.”
According to the NSPA, six unnamed companies delivered concept studies in March 2020. These were whittled down to three for the NSPA AFSC Project Office and the Strategic Commands to take forward for further analysis through separate risk-reduction and feasibility studies (RRFS). (Source: Jane’s)
14 Jul 21. Greek Laser Weapon Hits Drones Every 2-3 seconds. One of the newest creations that stands out at the DEFEA 2021 Defence Exhibition in Athens is the High Energy Laser Weapon developed by the Soukos Robots company which promises to transfer energy at lightning speed.
Among the revolutionary features of the weapon is that it is not affected by gravity. It also allows passive detection of targets, including drones, naval vessels, missiles and helicopters.
When the inventor and businessman Konstantinos Soukos built the first robot in Greece in 1985, he did not imagine that 36 years later he would supply many military forces across the world.
“It is a laser robotic weapon system that emits photons from 5 to 20 kilometers,” Soukos explained, adding: “It has a stabilisation system.”
“It has an automatic alignment system, while it has the ability to strike each target every two to three seconds. It was built to shoot down drones. Today, war is lost or won by drones. So the future is laser weapons,” he said. Soukos also explained that the strong points of his company is with defence and not offensive weapon systems. (Source: UAS VISION/Greek City Times)
14 Jul 21. NATO surveillance drones dial up flying hours, maritime sensing. Global Hawk drones flown by NATO from their Italian base will soon be racking up 100 hours of flying time per week between them, and boasting a new maritime target tracking capability, alliance officials have said. The ambitious targets for the five drones, now based at Sigonella air base in Sicily, come as the NATO Allied Ground Surveillance program aims for full operating capability status in 2024.
Some 350 staff with the AGS program are already based at Sigonella, a number which will rise to 600 by the time FOC status is obtained. Those staff members will handle data from the drones’ Synthetic Aperture Radar/Ground Moving Target Indicator capability, said AGS chief Brig. Gen. Houston Cantwell.
“NATO AGS receives an unbelievable amount of data during each flight. We will continue to onboard greater numbers of intelligence analysts to handle the increasing amount of SAR images and GMTI data,” the U.S. official told Defense News.
After years of delays, AGS reached initial operating capability in February 2021 after the last of its fleet of five drones arrived in November 2020.
Based on the American RQ-4 Global Hawk airframe, the NATO drones are referred to as RQ-4D Phoenix aircraft.
Owned by a collective of 15 NATO members, the platforms now operate over NATO countries, flying to 60,000 feet with a range of 8,700 nautical miles.
Access to the airspace of NATO partners and other non-NATO nations must be regulated through bilateral or multilateral agreements, officials said.
No sooner had it arrived, one of the five has been flown to California to be equipped with the so-called GMTI-over-Sea capability, allowing it to track moving maritime targets as well as moving land targets.
“NATO AGS looks to support both land and maritime operations,” Cantwell said. “This radar enhancement will improve our ability to contribute to the maritime surface picture in defense of the alliance.”
The data link known as Link 16 is also due to be added to the drones as full operating capability approaches. On the ground, Cantwell said the data-processing operation was now mature enough to handle input from other platforms, not just the five Phoenix drones.
“We already receive raw intelligence data from other platforms and perform analysis in support of NATO commanders and decision-makers,” he said.
Flying hours are also on the rise. Currently, with its initial operating status, just one of the drones, on a rotating basis, is making one 12-hour flight per week. A flight of that length will give a drone 1-2 hours on station in the Baltics.
When full operating capability is reached in 2024, individual flights will see an extension to 30 hours, with the fleet reaching a total of about 100 hours of flight time weekly, according to projections.
Phoenix flights are undertaken at high altitude, above commercial flight paths in regulated corridors.
To reach the right altitude, the drones climb after takeoff from Sigonella out over the Mediterranean Sea. Impact on regular aircraft leaving nearby Catania airport is avoided, as the Italian air traffic control system coordinates the AGS aircraft, just as it also handles U.S. Air Force Global Hawks, which also operate from Sigonella.
There are also designated emergency airfields available should an AGS drone need to make an emergency landing while over a NATO country.
Recent press reports suggested that U.S. Global Hawks flying out of Sigonella were the target of jamming by Russia as they carry out surveillance around the Black Sea, the Crimean Peninsula and eastern Ukraine.
Cantwell declined to say if AGS drones had been targeted, but did note: “Any aircraft operating in the vicinity of adversarial emitters can experience the effects of jamming. NATO AGS takes all threats seriously and monitors the situation closely to best understand any and all risks associated with operating around the NATO alliance.”
(Source: Defense News)
14 Jul 21. EOS’ US subsidiary enters new partnership, opens up new US naval market. Electro Optic Systems (EOS) US subsidiary EM solutions has partnered with MVSEA, with hopes that the partnership will open new export markets for the company. The company expects that the joint collaboration will allow EOS to create a new market with the US Navy, Military Sealift Command and the Coast Guard, especially with EOS’ new array of products, including the tri-band Cobra terminal. EOS plans to leverage MVSEA’s existing relationship across the US’ defence industry and academia to achieve this market expansion.
Currently, EOS has already received confirmed sales of the tri-band Cobra terminal.
Chief executive officer of EM Solutions Dr Rowan Gilmore confirmed that EM Solutions is ready to meet their next challenge in the US.
“We are now ready to serve the US Navy as a valued customer, and we are excited that MVSEA will be supporting us in this engagement,” Gilmore said.
Rear Admiral (Ret’d) Brad Williamson, chief executive officer of MVSEA likewise welcomed the opportunity to work with EOS and supporting leading military technologies.
“We are excited to work with EM Solutions in developing plans to enable their cutting-edge and mature product line of communications equipment to be able to support US Navy platforms.”
EOS’ US expansion comes following the company’s 10th anniversary in Singapore, with EOS originally establishing itself in the country to support the Singaporean government’s R600 remote weapon station.
Henry Heng, who has overseen EOS’ Singapore Defence Systems serving as president for Asia Pacific, said that he was optimistic about the company’s continued future expansion.
“EOS is a company that will create a solid legacy, and I am truly honoured to be part of that legacy.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed the past 10 years with EOS, and I am enthusiastic about the future about the company,” Heng added.
“EOS Singapore would like to extend our deepest gratitude towards everyone who has helped us along the way during these 10 years, and we look forward to many more exciting years ahead.” (Source: Defence Connect)
14 Jul 21. Nigeria commissions Falcon Eye maritime domain awareness system. The Nigerian Navy assists in the rescue of the vessel Tommi Ritscher from pirates in the Gulf of Guinea. Nigeria has commissioned the Israeli-designed Falcon Eye maritime domain awareness system to monitor the country’s territorial waters and track movements within the broader Gulf of Guinea maritime zone. It was commissioned by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on 13 July at the Nigerian Naval Headquarters in Abuja. He said the Falcon Eye system generates real-time situational awareness of maritime activities off Nigeria’s coastline. Falcon Eye is a mass surveillance system that uses a number of radars, electro-optic systems and cameras operated from a command centre. It was designed in Israeli but manufactured by United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based Falcon Technologies. The company also manufactures unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
After a contract was signed in 2014, installation began more than five years ago at strategic points within the country’s territorial waters and the Gulf of Guinea, and was due to be completed in 2016 but the project was delayed.
Osinbajo said Falcon Eye “will enable the Nigerian Navy generate a comprehensive intelligence picture of activities within our maritime environment for further analysis before, in appropriate cases, dispatching a Nigerian Navy Ship for interdiction, investigation, and/or subsequent arrest of erring vessels…It will also enable the Nigerian Navy to effectively combat any maritime crimes that could disrupt the conduct of maritime trade.”
He explained that Nigeria loses around $26bn a year to criminality, particularly piracy and sea robbery, which underscores the need to enhance maritime security architecture.
“The Falcon eye system is a state-of-the-art surveillance facility that incorporates various sensors located along the nation’s enormous coastline, such as radars, long range electro optic systems with thermal or night vision capability, Automatic Identification System receivers, weather stations and marine very high frequency radios for communication,” Osinbajo said.
The system operates observation posts which feed information and real time imagery to a central command centre/fusion cell where information is analysed and shared with relevant stakeholders, including the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigerian Ports Authority and Marine Police, amongst others.
Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo said the Falcon Eye system “translates to complete coverage of Nigeria’s Exclusive Economic Zone. Monitoring and analysis of data from the various sites strategically located along the nation’s coastline is facilitated through the four Falcon Eye Centers in Abuja, Lagos, Yenagoa and Calabar.
“Penitently, the coverage of the satellite aspect of the Automatic Identification System of Falcon Eye extends beyond Nigerian waters to Cote D’Ivoire at the West, Cameroon at the East, and Angola at the South East.
“This significant capability enhances the maritime projection capabilities of the country and enables the Nigerian Navy to maintain strategic partnership on information sharing, especially with navies of the Gulf of Guinea nations, as well as Indian and Italian navies.”
Osinbajo pointed out that NIMASA last month launched its Deep Blue maritime security initiative. “Between these initiatives, we have significantly increased our national capabilities in the areas of maritime surveillance and criminal interdiction within our territorial waters.”
Deep Blue and Falcon Eye will allow Nigerian authorities to monitor all movements and prevent the commission of maritime crimes such as piracy, oil theft, vandalism offshore oil infrastructure and illegal aircraft movements within the Gulf of Guinea. (Source: DefenceWeb)
14 Jul 21. Northrop Grumman’s SABR Radar Goes Agile. AN/APG-83 program harnessing Lean-Agile methodologies for software development for the F-16. Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) has adopted Lean-Agile methodologies in the development and integration of the active electronically scanned array (AESA) AN/APG-83 Scalable Agile Beam Radar software for the F-16 Viper fighter aircraft. The transition to Lean-Agile was achieved in partnership with the U.S. Air Force development teams at Hill Air Force Base, Eglin Air Force Base and Air National Guard Air Force Reserve Command Test Center.
“With this collaborative relationship, we are now able to deliver software updates to be tested on the F-16 in weeks instead of the months it would have taken using the traditional waterfall method,” said Mark Rossi, director, SABR programs, Northrop Grumman. “Agile software development allows us to rapidly and affordably deliver capabilities to our customers – keeping F-16 operators ahead of their adversaries for decades to come.”
The AN/APG-83 features all-weather, high-resolution synthetic aperture radar mapping to present the pilot with a large surface image for more precise target identification and strike capabilities compared to legacy systems. Its design incorporates proven hardware and advanced operating modes from Northrop Grumman’s fifth-generation F-35 AN/APG-81 and F-22 AN/APG-77 AESA radars. The high degree of commonality, shared manufacturing processes and infrastructure drives efficiencies and affordability improvements across all of Northrop Grumman’s AESA radar programs.
The AN/APG-83 is an official program of record for both the U.S. Air Force’s active, Guard and Reserve components. The U.S. Air Force has achieved initial readiness requirements for SABR to meet a U.S. Northern Command Joint Emergent Operational Need (JEON) for homeland defense, and expects to formally declare full operational capability (FOC) after JEON fielding has completed in late 2021.
13 Jul 21. Who is buying Israeli counter-drone systems in South Asia? Israel Aerospace Industries has announced the sale of dozens of counter-UAV Drone Guard systems to an unnamed South Asian country.
The deal, announced in early July, was valued in the tens of millions of dollars. Israeli companies often don’t identify their customers, leaving observers to speculate about who acquired the system in South Asia.
According to a source at IAI familiar with the matter, the company can only go so far as to partly discuss the process involved in selling this technology to South or Southeast Asian countries. “Threats are diverse, and actually what we have to do is show that we have a solution which is very comprehensive and long range, and on that deal we provided extended-range capability, which is not a usual requirement,” the source said.
South Asia generally consists of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Israel doesn’t have diplomatic relations with Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, and has experienced intermittent positive relations with the Maldives.
IAI has previously done business with India: In 2017, the company won $2bn worth of deals. In 2020, it discussed the Drone Guard system at the DefExpo conference in India, The Times of India reported. There has been online speculation that the system was sold to India, with local media platform ThePrint noting July 9 that the Indian Army “is in the process of procuring an unspecified number of anti-drone systems that will detect and jam the communication and navigation signals of a hostile unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or spoof it.” The article did not identify the company or companies providing the systems.
Days before announcing the Drone Guard deal, IAI reported a deal to upgrade Sri Lanka Air Force planes. Sri Lankan media and defense officials have also expressed concern about rising drone threats in recent years.
Given the lack of reported drone threats or incidents in Bhutan, a relatively small country, and in Nepal, the number of potential South Asian countries seeking advanced counter-UAS technology and which have relations with Israel are relatively few. It’s unlikely the customer is the Maldives because it is so isolated at sea and the threats it faces are more limited.
IAI has sold about 200 Drone Guard systems globally amid an increased interest by countries in defending against a plethora of emerging UAV threats. IAI says the multi-sensor, multilayered ELI-4030 Drone Guard system provides “the ability to detect, classify, identify and defeat drone attacks.” (Source: Defense News)
14 Jul 21. Naval Group to serve as technical coordinator for EU USSPs project. The USSPs solution has been developed by Greek company ETME-led consortium, which includes Naval Group and Navantia.
The project consortium, led by ETME, brings together European industrial majors as well as research centres.
Naval Group has been selected as the technical coordinator for the EU Unmanned Semi-Fixed Sea Platforms (USSPs) project.
The USSPS solution will focus on using unmanned semi-fixed sea platforms and building a system that will enhance maritime surveillance.
Greek company ETME will lead the consortium, which also includes defence manufacturers Naval Group and Navantia.
The project was selected late last month by the European Commission through the European Defence Industrial Development Program (EDIDP).
It brings together European industrial majors, as well as research centres.
Applied Intelligence Analytics, Prolexia, Multimedia Workshop, Sener Aeroespacial, SIGNALGENERIX, SMST Designer & Constructors, Techlam, Tecnobit Slu, and Unmanned Teknologies Applications are some of the European industrial players involved in the project.
Research centres, such as the CY.R.I.C Cyprus Research and Innovation Center, Foundation For Research And Technology Hellas (FORTH), and Stichting Maritiem Research Instituut Nederland, are also supporting.
Together, these industrial firms and research centres will create a high-value solution to secure and protect various maritime areas, allowing to cover air, surface and underwater dimensions.
According to Naval Group, the project will develop an ‘unmanned’ highly autonomous, energy efficient and miniaturised oil rig technology-based platform that can integrate various kinds of air, surface and underwater sensors.
These platforms will allow for deployment in any geographical region with meridians, including all types of sea-beds and deep-sea regions. They also enable operation under adverse environmental conditions. (Source: naval-technology.com)
13 Jul 21. Excelitas Technologies Introduces Enhanced Low-Capacitance InGaAs PIN Photodiodes. Excelitas TechnologiesE Corp., a global technology leader delivering innovative, customized photonic solutions, today announced its enhanced product family of low-capacitance InGaAs PIN Photodiodes (C30619GH-LC, C30641GH-LC, C30642GH-LC, C30665GH-LC) for commercial and military LiDAR, laser range finding, laser warning and laser spot tracking applications. Providing high quantum efficiency from 800 nm to 1700 nm, Excelitas’ low-capacitance InGaAs PIN Photodiodes feature a special ultra-low capacitance of only half of the standard type capacitance, therefore exhibiting twice the 3 dB bandwidth, high responsivity, high shunt resistance and low dark current.
Prior to this new design modification, users had to minimize the active area in order to maintain the desired bandwidth. Excelitas overcame this challenge by allowing the same larger active area and associated optics to be used. The products’ low capacitance enables extended bandwidth, while maintaining the legacy high shunt resistance, low dark currents and high sensitivity, better than 1% non-linearity, and uniformity within 2% across the detector active area.
Features and benefits of the new photodiodes include:
- Ultra-low capacitance option, high bandwidth and rise time reduced by half: No tradeoff in responsivity with benefit of detection capability of shorter pulses.
- High responsivity, low dark current and noise: Gives maximum signal enabling better SNR (signal to noise ratio), a key metric for LiDAR and range finders, as well as very high linearity over a large dynamic range.
- Active area diameter from 0.5 mm to 5 mm: The larger the active area, the more photons can be captured and the larger the field of view.
- Spectral response of 800 nm – 1700 nm: Well-suited to commonly available lasers in the 1300 nm – 1600 nm range.
- Customization capabilities: Available in various, robust TO packages, additional TEC options and multi-element options.
“As lasers continue to use higher pulse repetition rates and ever shorter pulses, OEM and ODM design engineers can benefit significantly from the increased speed of high-performance sensors,” said Eric Desfonds, Senior Product Line Manager, Sensors at Excelitas. “The new design modification of our low-capacitance InGaAs PIN Photodiodes does just that. By maintaining the planar diffused configuration and the resulting much reduced capacitance, with no tradeoff in dark current, noise or responsivity, this product family opens the door to a range of next-generation LiDAR, laser range finding, laser warning and laser spot tracking applications.”
Excelitas’ low-capacitance InGaAs PIN Photodiodes are available in sizes from 0.5 mm to 3 mm, with the ability to be modified to provide quadrant options. For additional information, visit: https://www.excelitas.com/product-category/ingaas-pin-photodiodes.
About Excelitas Technologies
Excelitas Technologies® Corp. is a leading industrial technology manufacturer focused on delivering innovative, market-driven photonic solutions to meet the lighting, optical, optronic, and detection needs of our OEM customers. Serving a vast array of applications across biomedical, scientific, safety, security, consumer products, semiconductor, industrial manufacturing, defense and aerospace sectors, Excelitas stands committed to enabling our customers’ success in their end-markets. Our team consists of 7,000 professionals working across North America, Europe and Asia, to serve customers worldwide. Connect with Excelitas on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Visit http://www.excelitas.com for more information.
Excelitas® is a registered trademark of Excelitas Technologies Corp. All other products and services are either trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.
13 Jul 21. Indian Navy Expands Maritime Reconnaissance Capabilities with Delivery of 10th P-8I. Tenth P-8I is the second of four additional aircraft under the options contract signed by the Ministry of Defence in 2016. Indian Navy was Boeing’s first international customer for the P-8 . Boeing [NYSE:BA] is continuing to expand the Indian Navy’s long-range maritime reconnaissance anti-submarine warfare capabilities with the delivery of the country’s 10th P-8I. The patrol aircraft is an integral part of the Indian Navy’s fleet and has surpassed 30,000 flight hours since it was inducted in 2013. This is the second aircraft to be delivered under an option contract for four additional aircraft that the Indian Ministry of Defence awarded in 2016. The Indian Navy was the first international customer for the P-8, which is also operated by the U.S. Navy, the Royal Australian Air Force and the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force. In addition to unmatched maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare capabilities, the P-8I has been deployed to assist during disaster relief and humanitarian missions.Boeing supports India’s growing P-8I fleet by providing training of Indian Navy flight crews, spare parts, ground support equipment and field service representative support. Boeing’s integrated logistics support has enabled a high state of fleet readiness at the lowest possible cost. Boeing is currently completing construction on the Training Support & Data Handling Centre at INS Rajali, Arakkonam, Tamil Nadu and a secondary maintenance training center at the Naval Institute of Aeronautical Technology, Kochi, Kerala as part of a training and support package contract signed in 2019. This new indigenous, ground-based training will allow Indian Navy crew to increase mission proficiency in a shorter time while reducing on-aircraft training time resulting in increased aircraft availability.
13 Jul 21. APC to deliver Australian designed defence-ready GVA smart display. Adelaide-based APC Technology has developed the GVA smart display as part of the company’s commitment to the C4 EDGE (Evolutionary Digital Ground Environment) program led by EOS Defence Systems. APC will deliver three prototypes in July 2021 as part of the program. As part of its contribution to the C4 EDGE consortium, APC Technology brings extensive expertise in design and manufacture of high performing, MIL SPEC communication systems, notably GVA displays.
The current version is a 10.4” smart display is an ultra-rugged smart display capable of hosting C4ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance) application for tactical and combat vehicles.
Designed to process data rich information in real-time, the unit has been engineered to share common CPU and I/Os and is built on a modular system to enable integration with a range of display sizes.
C4 EDGE (Evolutionary Digital Ground Environment) is a defence industry cooperative of C4 subject matter experts leading a communications program scoping the demonstration of a sovereign land battlegroup and below communications environment for the Australian Army. (Source: Rumour Control)
06 Jul 21. Safran opens call for SEA 1000 Optronics and Navigation technologies. Safran Electronics and Defense is seeking Expressions of Interest for the design, provision, integration and support of the navigation and optronics sensors that are a part of the Future Submarine Project Combat System.
The project consists of the design, provision, integration and support of the navigation and optronics sensors forming part of the Future Submarine Project Combat System. The project includes all of the outboard equipment and the supply and integration of elements of the inboard system. The project is a subcontract to Lockheed Martin Australia acting as the Combat System Integrator.
- Electronic Racks
- Radar-Absorbent Material
- Space and Weight Model
- Transport Boxes
To submit an initial ROI for the Work Scopes, companies must have an ICN Gateway company profile. Shortlisted SMEs will be invited to tender Work Packages as needed.
Headquartered in Sydney, Safran Electronics & Defense Australasia Pty Ltd (SEDA) delivers and supports various products including high performance optronics and inertial navigation equipment. (Source: Rumour Control)
12 Jul 21. Thales and Operational Solutions Limited sign a cooperation agreement to further develop and deliver joint opportunities and solutions in the areas of civil counter-unmanned aerial vehicles and systems (C-UAV), as well as unmanned traffic management (UTM).
Under the agreement, Thales and Operational Solutions Limited (“OSL”) will incorporate OSL’s FACETM (command and control software platform) into Thales’ market-leading offerings in civil C-UAV and UTM.
In the area of commercial airport counter-UAV systems, OSL’s FACETM data fusion and command and control platform works with the Thales Eagleshield IDtect solution. FACETM integrates and intelligently fuses data from multiple sensors including the Thales Gamekeeper – an innovative 3D holographic radar. This unique technology provides the ability to monitor the airport’s approach and departure paths out to a range of 7.5km, helping to avoid collisions between drones and aircraft. Fast and accurate detection of rogue drones not only helps to keep passengers safe, but also helps airports and airlines meet sustainability objectives, by reducing the fuel wastage and additional flight stacking caused by unauthorised drones use.
Gamekeeper and FACETM have been acquired for use at several major airports, including as part of a comprehensive C-UAV system provided by OSL at London Heathrow, at Auckland airport in New Zealand, and for evaluation in Brazil.
In the area of UTM, OSL and Thales intend to collaborate on opportunities to accelerate market adoption and establish a leading position in the global UTM market. There is also potential for cooperation in the area of ground-based air defence in the UK.
Christophe Salomon Executive Vice President Land & Air Systems, Thales said, “Thales is delighted to enhance our cooperation with OSL. Further to a key reference and successful trials, Eagleshield IDtect is one of our C-UAV offerings from the Eagleshield family and we look forward to exploring additional market opportunities combining our respective capabilities.”
“We are delighted to expand and deepen our long-standing relationship with Thales in the areas of C-UAV, UTM and UK GBAD”, said Mark Legh-Smith, CEO Operational Solutions Limited. “This strategic cooperation creates a fantastic opportunity for both partners, with our complementary offerings, to extend and develop the range of solutions we provide to airports, air navigation service providers, and to some UK military air defence systems.”
10 Jul 21. EU launches continent-wide EUR15m C-UAS capability development programme. The European Commission has launched the JEY-CUAS – “Joint European sYstem for Countering Unmanned Aerial Systems” programme, involving 14 countries and 38 entities to pave the way for the development of a joint European Counter Unmanned Air Systems capability.
The value of the programme is EUR 15,003,473 with the EU providing a maximum contribution of EUR 13,500,000.00.
According to the Commission: “JEY-CUAS will advance technologies at system and sub-system level to develop a new generation C-UAS system based on a modular and flexible plug’n’play architecture to address the emerging challenge of micro and mini drones increasingly used for defence purposes. The solution will contribute to an improvement of the situational awareness and reaction engagement to overcome the growing resilience of UASs to first generation C-UAS systems keep up with new LSS (Low, Small, Slow) aerial threats and reduce the minimum reaction time. Related PESCO project: Counter Unmanned Aerial System (C‐UAS).
For more information
https://ec.europa.eu/defence-industry-space/system/files/2021-06/EDIDP2020_factsheet_CUAS_JEY-CUAS.pdf (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
09 Jul 21. France trials C-UAS laser defence system planned for 2024 Olympics. According to Reuters, France’s Directorate General of Armaments on July 7 successfully demonstrated a laser counter-UAS weapon that the defence ministry hopes to see fully operational during the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. Designed by the French company Cilas with public funds, the new anti-drone laser system called HELMA-P will secure the bases of the French army in external operations, “but also sensitive sites in France, such as nuclear power plants, or still large public gatherings,” said the report.
CILAS reported the first tests of the HELMA-P laser effector developed in collaboration with the ArianeGroup successfully took place in October 2020
“The French Defense Innovation Agency (AID) and the French defence procurement agency (DGA) supported CILAS in operating the system at the Biscarrosse Centre d’Essais des Landes,” says the company. “HELMA-P convinced from the very first shots with its precision, efficiency and ability to neutralize in-flight targets up to one kilometer away in a matter of seconds. All firings systematically destroyed UAVs capable of speeds above 50 km/h and in difficult target tracking conditions. HELMA-P provides operational units and internal security forces with a new weapon with a technological breakthrough. Effective at greater distances and providing a radical effect, HELMA-P can support other anti-UAV technologies. HELMA-P is therefore the ultimate neutralization solution.
“These first tests at Biscarrosse are a success and must be continued in order to fully characterize the performance of the effector, particularly in terms of range and according to different operational scenarios.”
According to Reuters, the ministry has also launched a call for tenders for the development of an electromagnetic wave cannon and drones. interceptors whose first tests could take place at the end of 2022.
For more information
09 Jul 21. Rheinmetall tests Revolver Gun Mk 3 against UAV swarms. Rheinmetall has recently been testing its 35 mm Revolver Gun Mk 3’s capability to engage unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) swarms. The tests were conducted on the Ochsenboden firing range in Switzerland on 14–18 June. Gerson Jaklin, marketing and sales manager at Rheinmetall Air Defence, said the gun was mounted on a Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles (RMMV) HX2 6×6 truck with an adaptor plate for easy access to the weapon. Rheinmetall Air Defence CEO Fabian Ochsner described it as “a solid truck” but added that “lots of engineering” was required to stabilise it to the same extent as the concrete platforms used by the Skyguard air defence system. With 252 ready-to-fire rounds and a rate of fire of 1,000 rds/min, the Revolver Gun Mk 3 can engage four targets at once. Using a Ku-band tracking radar installed on the turret to align it for greater accuracy, it fired 18 rounds of advanced hit efficiency and destruction (AHEAD) air burst munition at a swarm of eight octocopter UAVs at a range of 800–900 m. The version of AHEAD used was the PMD 428 round with more than 600 rather than the usual 152 subprojectiles. (Source: Jane’s)
12 Jul 21. Thales gave a brief about EagleSHIELD, the company’s new integrated drone countermeasures solution to protect and secure sensitive sites and large-scale events in urban areas, to journalist on July 12th.
- EagleSHIELD is a multi-sensor solution that detects, identifies, classifies and neutralises rogue drones flying at low altitude at ranges of up to 7km.
- Thales provides a graduated, context-sensitive response to the threat of unmanned systems flying in civil airspace.
Drone traffic in civil airspace has increased significantly in recent years. Since there is always a possibility that these unmanned aircraft could be used for malevolent purposes, effective countermeasures need to be available to protect citizens and critical infrastructure.
To address the growing threat of malevolent drone usage, Thales has developed a unique fully integrated drone countermeasures solution designed to detect, identify, track and neutralise drones flying in civil airspace in order to protect sensitive sites such as airports, sports arenas, critical infrastructure and large-scale events in urban areas.
The Gamekeeper holographic radar, the only radar on the market to provide full 3D coverage of airspace surveillance over 90° sector, identifies and tracks all types of air platforms flying at low altitude and medium speed within a radius of 7 km. Complementing the radar, infrared and radiofrequency sensors refine the system’s threat identification and classification performance, using sophisticated real-time data fusion techniques to determine the exact type of unmanned aircraft involved.
The solution EagleSHIELD offers operators a clear, simplified view of the situation to protect the airspace in real time, and provides the security services and armed forces with a comprehensive, cohesive vision of the airspace.
Fully integrated with these surveillance capabilities, a variety of drone countermeasures are available to provide a proportional response to the threat depending on the operational context. If the existence of a threat is confirmed, Thales can incorporate a range of technical solutions, including electromagnetic signal jamming, interception by a swarm of drones and directed energy weapons, to neutralise the rogue drone.
Over the last seven years, Thales has invested heavily in the four key digital technologies of artificial intelligence, Big Data, connectivity and cybersecurity. The company is leveraging those investments today to bring citizens the benefits of commercial drones while countering the threats associated with the malevolent use of unmanned aircraft in civil airspace.
“The EagleSHIELD solution from Thales helps customers deal efficiently with drone incursions in the complex environments around critical infrastructure and sensitive sites so they can assess the situation and make the best decisions in a matter of seconds.” Thomas Got, Thales Vice President, integrated airspace protection.
Part of the Thales solution includes the Interceptor drone.
UAS VISION reported in October 2019, that Anduril Industries, a defense and national security solutions company, has announced the launch of the Interceptor drone as part of its Lattice AI cUAS (counter Unmanned Aerial System) solution. The system is designed to detect and intercept rogue UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) and drones and has been developed for force protection for military personnel and installations or critical infrastructure.
The system has been developed in response to growing security threats from asymmetric drone warfare as consumer drone technology becomes increasingly sophisticated and RF-based counter-drone technology becomes obsolete.
Once targets have been verified, Interceptor drones can be deployed by the Lattice AI system, or launched manually by a human operator. Following confirmation by the operator, the drones can intercept and take down fixed-wing and rotary systems during the day or at night in a wide range of environments.
08 Jul 21. Delta Drone – The Introduction of a Mobile Security Solution.
- A great success at SOFINS 2021
- Called Mobile Human Unmanned Secure Technology, the system is a fully integrated technological solution combining drone and armored vehicle which enables a high level of surveillance and protection during sensitive missions.
- Co-developed by Centigon France and Delta Drone, this solution is designed for different types of mission, military and civilian: securing convoys, protecting bivouac, surveillance of borders and large areas (pipelines, animal reserves, forest and mining areas, nuclear power plants, etc.).
Centigon France and Delta Drone have developed this device for extended and accurate intelligence in mobility situations, while protecting human resources from danger.
This fully integrated technological innovation can be operated in difficult conditions, thanks to a high level of vehicle armor, panoramic vision day and night and accuracy of information transmitted in real time; these advantages allow rapid intervention of units in the field, without compromising their own safety.
Centigon France designs and manufactures vehicle armouring solutions throughout the world. The company enjoys a strong reputation in this particular sector, thanks to the expertise of its teams and the quality of its products and services. With more than 60 years of experience in the fields of armouring and protection of people and goods & values, Centigon France develops and manufactures a wide range of armoured vehicles (protected 4x4s, VIP sedans and armoured limousines, military vehicles, etc.).
Delta Drone is, since 2011, a recognized player in the sector of civilian drones for professional use, present on several continents: Europe, Africa, Oceania (Australia).
Expert in the design of innovative systems, the group manufactures and commercializes high-tech solutions integrating surveillance drones and intended for strategic sectors such as the security of goods and people.
The Mobile Human Unmanned Secure Technology solution was presented for the first time at the 5th edition of SOFINS (Special Operations Forces Innovation Network Seminar), a trade show held at Camp de Souge (33) for 3 days, from June 29th to July 1st 2021.
Organized every two years, SOFINS is a unique event in Europe, which connects start-ups and SMIs with Special Forces and Special Units, and which gives pride of place to French companies and innovation.
For 3 days, small and medium-sized companies and large industrial groups present new solutions adapted to the needs of special operations.
Through meetings, technical demonstrations, and dynamic tests of equipment under real conditions, innovative manufacturers can demonstrate the added value of their equipment for the operator of today and tomorrow.
Within the specific framework of SOFINS, the objective of the two partners was to introduce a new technological solution, which integrates a mobility component and responds to the operational problems encountered by Special Forces in the field. The aim is to ensure a high level of surveillance and protection of operators, as close as possible to sensitive intervention areas.
For Centigon France, this collaboration is part of a strategy of connectivity and integration of communication and surveillance systems.
As for Delta Drone, this approach is in line with the strategy of “dronification” of the security sector, by declining the possibilities of using the ISS SPOTTER® solution. (Source: ASD Network/Delta Drone)
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.