Sponsored by Blighter Surveillance Systems
23 Jul 21. Blighter selected to provide advanced integrated target acquisition radars for fleet of Armoured Fighting Vehicles. Blighter Surveillance Systems (‘Blighter’, www.blighter.com) the British designer and manufacturer of electronic-scanning radars and surveillance solutions, has been selected to provide a minimum of 25 target acquisition radars for a fleet of Armoured Fighting Vehicles (AFVs). The initial contract with a major European defence company will last for approximately 3-5 years, with the possibility to extend, and provide a minimum of another 60 radars in the following phase. Blighter B400 series target acquisition radars, set to be integrated with the defensive capabilities of this fleet, provide long-range, targeting capability for the weapons system and are already in use across the world, including as part of an integrated mobile border security platform deployed in Europe. The B400 radars are versatile by design, and suited to fixed, mobile and portable applications. With extensive defensive and offensive capabilities, the vehicles will be dependent on the accuracy of the target acquisition radars to achieve full operational effectiveness.
Angus Hone, CEO of Blighter Surveillance Systems said: “In an increasingly kinetic environment it is essential that armed forces personnel have full situational awareness and tracking capabilities. Blighter is uniquely positioned to provide the versatile system that is required for this role and pleased to now extend our products to this new and innovative programme of AFVs”.
Blighter is due to exhibit its range of electronic-scanning ground surveillance, coastline security, drone security and target acquisition radars on stand H2-866 at the upcoming DSEI exhibition in London. DSEI 2021 takes place from Tuesday 14th to Friday 17th September at the ExCeL exhibition centre.
21 Jul 21. To afford next-gen combat aircraft, the USAF will make cuts to ISR inventory. As the U.S. Air Force restructures its aircraft inventory to compete with China, the service is taking calculated risks in its intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft portfolio, a top general said Wednesday. In its fiscal 2022 budget request, the Air Force proposed mothballing four of its 16 E-8 JSTARS aircraft, which are used for ground surveillance and targeting, as well as 20 Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk Block 30 surveillance drones. And while the service doesn’t plan to divest any of its General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper drones used for collecting intelligence and attacking targets, it does plan to lower the number of MQ-9 patrols in FY22 as the U.S. military withdraws from Afghanistan, said Lt. Gen. David Nahom, the deputy chief of staff for plans and programs.
“I do believe though that reduction in the combat lines, because of our reduction of our presence in the Middle East, is appropriate,” Nahom told members of the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee. “Now we’ll have the opportunity to look at those platforms differently and use them differently in competition, and in some of these places around the world with less contested environments.”
The service plans to drop from 60 combat lines to 56 in FY22, Air Force spokeswoman Rose Riley told Defense News.
However, it will retain all MQ-9 aircraft — which number in excess of 300 air vehicles — and the manpower associated with MQ-9 crews will stay at current levels, Nahom said.
While the Reaper and the Block 30 Global Hawks are relevant for today’s missions, they are not optimized to survive a fight against a near peer adversary like China, he said.
“The three things that are most important [are] an ISR platform that can survive in the threat, persist in the threat, and then be connected. And the Global Hawk … it was not designed with the threat we’re looking at right now from a resurgent China,” Nahom said. “We have to look to the future, and that’s where that risk with the combatant commanders comes in.”
Meanwhile, the remaining Block 40 Global Hawks will be “very critical” to the Air Force over the next six to eight years, to fill a gap conducting ground surveillance as aging E-8C JSTARS aircraft become less reliable, he said.
Republican Sen. John Hoeven pressed Nahom to provide more details on the aircraft that will eventually replace the Global Hawk and Reaper. A senator from North Dakota, Hoeven represents Grand Forks Air Force Base, where a squadron of U.S. Customs and Border Protection MQ-9s and Air Force RQ-4s operate. The Air Force intends to field a “family of systems” to replace some of its legacy ISR capabilities, Nahom said, but he declined to reveal further information in an unclassified setting. (Source: Defense News)
20 Jul 21. Citadel Defense Secures $4m Contract for Titan C-UAS Solution. Citadel Defense has secured $4m in new government contracts in June as demand for combat-proven counter drone solutions accelerates. Rapid proliferation of small, low-cost drones threatens personnel and critical assets, impacting the military’s ability to conduct successful operations.
Unmanned systems have been used by terrorists to collect intelligence, bypass ground-based physical barriers, and carry out highly effective attacks.
The undisclosed government customer has selected Citadel’s Titan as the preferred radio frequency sensor for both standalone and highly integrated layered defense solutions. The Titan systems will be utilized for pre-deployment training, mobile security, and fixed site protection.
“Citadel’s advanced algorithms, artificial intelligence, and autonomous capabilities serve as a force multiplier when protecting against unmanned system threats in resource-constrained environments,”
explained Christopher Williams, CEO of Citadel Defense.
As the counter drone industry’s market leader in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and adaptive electronic attacks, Citadel continues to deploy multi-domain solutions that address at scale the military’s modernization priorities. Titan uses an automated decision engine to match threats with optimized electronic countermeasures without requiring an operator’s manual response, interpretation of the threat scenario, or expertise in discriminating complex signal characteristics.
Built upon four years of proven AI performance and maturation, Citadel technology delivers smarter, faster, and better decisions while responsibly taking operators out of the loop, allowing them to focus on the core mission.
Williams says, “Artificial intelligence is highly effective in electronic attack missions. Getting the right data and recommendation to operators quickly enables the human-machine teaming that will be necessary to compete in future conflicts.”
The company is aggressively hiring engineers, strategists, and customer success personnel to address the growing demand for Titan systems. (Source: UAS VISION)
19 Jul 21. Russia’s Net-Throwing Drone to Protect Civilian Airports. The Volk-18 (Wolf-18) interceptor drone developed by the Almaz-Antey defense manufacturer will be used to protect civilian airports from intruder drones, Almaz-Antey Deputy CEO Dmitry Savitsky told TASS.
“The Volk-18 is an interceptor drone,” the company executive noted in the run-up to the MAKS air show opening in the suburban town of Zhukovsky outside Moscow on July 20.
“It can use special nets that are thrown over other drones. We are planning to use this system for civilian airports. The Volk-18 will soon be tested in Samara,” Savitsky said.
This innovative drone is designed to eliminate other unmanned aerial vehicles using less lethal and less dangerous means, he stressed.
Elaborating on the Volk-18’s capabilities for autonomous operation, an Almaz-Antey official explained that
“now, the operator only confirms the decision to attack the enemy drone. Search, identification, target selection, manoeuvres and the actual destruction of UAVs are carried out independently. Among Russian drones this is the first system of its kind.”
The drone measures 60×60 cm, has a takeoff weight of up to 6 kg, and a flight time of about 30 minutes. Its armament includes three small rocket launchers that shoot nets at enemy drones, entangling them and bringing them down. If that fails, the drone rams the enemy UAV, breaking it up in mid-air.
The use of the Volk UAVs for the protection of airports from intruder drones is particularly relevant now that this protection is limited to merely legal methods, he explained. (Source: UAS VISION/TASS)
19 Jul 21. L3Harris Technologies Developing Future NATO Surveillance Concepts with International Team.
- Developing data-centric, platform-agnostic concept for Alliance Future Surveillance and Control
- Teaming with European defense and technology companies
- Analyzing potential technological solutions to enhance NATO military advantage past 2035
L3Harris Technologies (NYSE:LHX), with a team of leading international defense and technology companies, is developing surveillance concepts for NATO to replace the organization’s aging Airborne Warning and Control System fleet by 2035. The team is developing “system of systems” options for surveillance and control capabilities for NATO’s Alliance Future Surveillance and Control (AFSC) program.
Led by L3Harris Technologies, the team unifies the expertise across the international stage sharing a vision of a data-centric, platform-agnostic approach. International team members will be announced at a future date.
”L3Harris has the skill and experience to address AFSC program complexities across all domains – air, land, sea, space and cyber,” said Charles R. “CR” Davis, Vice President International, L3Harris. “The team has approached the Risk Reduction Feasibility Study phase with an open mind towards the platforms and digital architectures that will best achieve NATO’s objectives. It is critical to give NATO and the member nations as much flexibility as possible in developing an advanced technology, highly adaptive, cost-effective AFSC concept shaped to meet evolving hybrid challenges.”
The international team will analyze the risks and feasibility of candidate components within its systems of systems to enhance the NATO Alliance’s military advantage to 2035 and beyond. The L3Harris team harnesses the strengths of multiple global defense companies to offer engineering innovation, battle-winning capability experience, and a shared vision to increase the effectiveness of future NATO military operations.
“NATO has made it very clear that its objective is to ensure data and information are placed at the heart of all future AFSC capabilities,” said Dave Johnson, Vice President, Strategy, Integrated Mission Systems, L3Harris. “With our data-centric, platform-agnostic architecture approach and experience building JADC2 capabilities, the L3Harris team is committed to working with NATO, studying all aspects of its flagship program and developing a concept for joint all-domain surveillance and control for the AFSC program.”
L3Harris and international teammates previously delivered a High Level Technical Concept (HLTC) study to NATO in 2020 as one of six suppliers, with detailed support across all business segments focused on data-centric architecture. The HLTC covered all aspects of multidomain surveillance and control over the full spectrum of benign, permissive, contested and denied operational environments. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
13 Jul 21. ERA and Czech Armed Forces test the capability of VERA-NG passive surveillance technology to detect and track UAS. Czech surveillance specialist ERA reports successful testing at Czech military ranges of its VERA-NG passive ESM tracker technology using several types of drones. VERA-NG detected and tracked unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) broadcasting continuous wave (CW) signals. The ability “to see” and track drones from a distance of dozens of kilometres results from ERA’s intensive development in the domain of multistatic surveillance systems.
The Czech Armed Forces used several UAS as targets in the trial and the detection results met expectations. The drones were flown separately and also in collectively. All the drones were detected UAS immediately and tracked for the whole flying period according to the ERA press release.
For more information visit: www.era.aero (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
19 Jul 21. Silent Sentinel build on US expansion plans. British thermal imaging specialist Silent Sentinel (www.silentsentinel.com) has agreed to a partnership with US consulting firm JGW Group to reinforce their presence in the United States.
Having originally been a firm specialising in providing CCTV, Silent Sentinel has moved with demand and is now providing advanced thermal imaging cameras around the globe.
Based in Stanstead Abbotts in Hertfordshire the company is growing rapidly, with further staff members based overseas including the recent opening of Silent Sentinel Inc, with their office in St Petersburg, Florida.
The appointment of JGW Group as their sales partner in the US follows on from notable successes in the US market, including their selection by the Department of Defense as a provider for the ‘Build the Base of the Future’. The programme is focussed on how the US Air Force utilises new installations to analyse and improve the security and defence systems with Silent Sentinel providing Electro-Optical, infrared and tracking for the solution.
Silent Sentinel is a well-established provider of surveillance and security systems, specialising in both cooled and uncooled long-range thermal camera platforms. With the increasing need for threat detection systems capable of addressing the danger posed by drones, Silent Sentinel has already exported its systems to over 50 countries worldwide.
James Longcroft, Sales Director of Silent Sentinel said: “The US market is seeing a high demand for surveillance systems and perimeter protection, and building on our prior successes in the US has always been a key component of our international strategy. The appointment of JGW Group demonstrates the next step of our development in the US, and we are looking forward to working with them to widen our stakeholder engagement and help expand our existing presence in North America.”
Andrew Wilson, President of JGW Group said: “We are proud to have Silent Sentinel join our group of leading-edge technology companies who have come from the UK. We see a strong demand for optical solutions from perimeter protection of high-profile facilities to our US borders where stand-off solutions are so important. Silent Sentinel will be well placed to respond to US DoD, Federal and State/Local requirements utilizing JGW’s 40 years of experience in these markets in combination with their already established and successful operations in Florida”
16 Jul 21. US wants giant radar in UK to track space objects. The US wants to locate a giant new radar system in the UK to track objects in deep space. The US Space Force is developing the global system to identify potential “targets” up to 36,000km away, in areas of deep space where a lot of military satellites are positioned. Other sites would include Texas and Australia. The Ministry of Defence said the new radar capability has the potential to make space “safer and more secure”. It comes amid growing concerns about congestion, competition and even an arms race in space.
Both the US and Britain have accused Russia and China of developing weapons which could be used to take out satellites.
Last year alone more than 1,000 new satellites were launched into space – including 10 by the US military.
The plans to develop the Deep Space Advanced Radar Capability – or DARC – are being developed at the US Space and Missile Systems Center.
It was one of the sites visited by Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and UK defence chiefs this week on a visit to California. They also held discussions with Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
Lt Col Jack Walker of the US Space Force told the BBC the US was “in discussion” with the UK about putting the radars “possibly in Scotland or further south”.
He said the site would house “anywhere from 10 to 15 parabolic antenna (large satellite dishes) for tracking and four to six for transmitting” and cover an area of about 1km square.
Each radar dish will be 15 metres in diameter.
Col Walker said the purpose of the system would be to “detect and track targets which could potentially be threats to our high-value assets”.
“It could be from the Chinese, it could be from the Russians, it could be anti-satellite or it could be debris in space,” he said.
Dark corners of space
The US already operates an early warning system to detect ballistic missiles in space, which includes a service at RAF Fylindales in North Yorkshire.
But the radar systems at the secretive RAF base can only detect objects up to 20,000km (12,400 miles) away.
The new DARC system will be able to see much further.
Col Walker says it will be able to detect an object the size of a football up to 36,000km (22,400 miles) away.
On the US visit, the UK’s chief of the air staff, Sir Michael Wigston, said “right now the UK is focused on understanding what’s going on in the dark corners of space”.
He said the increasing congestion and competition in space “all point to needing to rapidly build our understanding of what’s going on”.
Sir Michael has predicted the next war could be won or lost in space.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said the government would be publishing a space strategy in the autumn.
He said space was under threat and the UK needed to protect its key national infrastructure.
Mr Wallace said he did not think there was going to be “moonraker and Star Wars lasers in space”.
The UK’s military doctrine would not be about “wrecking space but defending and protecting space”, he added.
A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said: “This new radar capability has the potential to make space safer and more secure, helping to protect our satellite system by tracking and monitoring objects.
“We are exploring our potential partnership with the USA on DARC and discussions so far have been positive.” (Source: BBC)
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.