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04 Nov 21. Israel deploys new aerostat radar. The Israeli Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced on 3 November that the Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) is testing an aerostat with a new radar capable of detecting long-range threats.
It said the High Availability Aerostat System (HAAS) was made by the US company TCOM and was recently inflated at a site it has established in northern Israel. The radar has been developed with the US Missile Defense Agency, and Israel Aerospace Industries’ (IAI’s) Elta subsidiary is the prime contractor.
“The elevated sensor system is comprised of the HAAS and an advanced radar designed to detect incoming threats at long ranges when operating at high altitudes,” the MoD said. “It will provide additional detection and early warning capabilities to the existing operational air defence detection array deployed around Israel.”
IMDO Director Moshe Patel said the system “will cruise at high altitudes and provide an exceptional, multidirectional detection capability against advanced threats”. He added that several flight test campaigns had been conducted in recent months that demonstrated the “outstanding capabilities of Israel’s multitier missile defence, including against cruise missiles”.
No further information was provided about the elevated radar system, which the Israeli Air Force (IAF) named as the Tal Shamaim (Sky Dew).
A video released by the MoD showed a tethered aerostat that was marked as TCOM 117 m but not fitted with a payload. The largest aerostat TCOM advertises is 74 m, which can carry 3,175 kg and has an operational altitude of 10,000 ft. (Source: Jane’s)
02 Nov 21. DroneShield Releases 6th Edition of its C-UAS Factbook. DroneShield Ltd has published the 6th edition of its C-UAS Factbook which covers key trends in the C-UAS market. This includes the review of the emerging UAS threat and its key categories, UAS types and capabilities. Key threat categories include:
- Nuisance Activity
- Intelligence, Surveillance and Recognisance (ISR)
- Payload Delivery
The UAS types include Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) and Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USVs).
UAS types range from group 1 (consumer and commercial UAS), all the way to group 5 (Reaper, Global Hawk, and other large sovereign UAS).
The Factbook considers various types of UAS detection sensors, including radiofrequency (RF) sensors, radars, acoustics, optics, and multi-sensor systems. It also reviews and compares various UAS effectors, including jammers (control link and GNSS jamming), spoofing, directed energy, counterdrone drones, other kinetic solutions, and layered C-UAS defeat options.
The Factbook finally reviews types of counter-UAS providers, ranging from start-ups and project companies, across to prime contractors, to established small businesses. The Factbook can be viewed here. https://www.droneshield.com/cuas-factbook(Source: UAS VISION)
04 Nov 21. Hexadrone’s TUNDRA Drone Integrates Ground-Penetrating Radar from SPH. SPH Engineering and France-based Hexadrone partner to integrate TUNDRA drone with a ground-penetrating radar. The trial flight was conducted in Balogi, Latvia and confirmed the compatibility of the drone with a GPR sensor to perform near surface surveys.
The integration was performed to unlock a new type of drone for industrial, hydrographic, urban and environmental data collection with the use of a GPR, magnetometers, methane detectors, echo sounders. The solution consists of UgCS software for mission-planning, UgCS SkyHub hardware (on-board computer) for data accumulation, Radar Systems Zond Aero GPR and Hexadrone TUNDRA drone.
Main advantages of the Tundra drone include a modular and multipurpose body that can be integrated with almost any payloads, accessories and modules available on the market or in development. Available in different configurations, it can fly up to 1 hour without payload, 50 minutes with a 1,5kg payload and 30 minutes with the max payload – 4kg.
‘Within this year we have got a few requests from drone producers who aim at enabling real industrial work in the most challenging terrain. We are open to extending UgCS Integrated Systems portfolio with new partners and satisfied with the TUNDRA integration results. We expect the technology will allow Hexadrone to advance their capabilities with the help of GPR solution,’
Alexei Dobrovolskiy, CTO at SPH Engineering, comments.
“The Tundra drone has been designed as a development hub, a toolholder, in order to meet every need. It embodies the word collaborative as it is meant to be the starting point of each and every conceivable development. It is through partnerships that technologies and applications can evolve, that is why we are so proud to be able to work with foreign companies such as SPH Engineering. We are very happy with the integration of their GPR that opens new opportunities for drone users. We’d like to thanks Cédric Botella and the whole Instadrone network – french official distributor of UgCS – as they introduced us to SPH Engineering.” Alexandre Labesse, CEO of Hexadrone, adds. (Source: UAS VISION)
02 Nov 21. Echodyne Awarded $20m IDIQ Contract from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Agency’s Innovation Team. Five-year agreement enables CBP to expand deployments and explore new uses for high-performance radar. Echodyne, the radar platform company, announced today that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Innovation Team has awarded the company a $20m indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract. The five-year agreement enables CBP to expand deployments of Echodyne’s industry-leading radars and explore new applications for the radars along the country’s land and marine borders and ports of entry.
Echodyne was an early participant in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP). Echodyne provides its technology directly to DHS as well as through an increasing number of integrators that supply systems of systems to DHS and its components.
Radars deployed in field environments enhance agent safety and provide significant intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities not previously available. Echodyne has already completed delivery of thirty (30) Echodyne EchoGuard Radar Systems under the terms of this contract.
“The award of this contract validates our position as a leader in compact, portable ESA radar systems that improve intelligence and surveillance capabilities in the most challenging defense and homeland security applications,” said Eben Frankenberg, CEO of Echodyne. “We look forward to continuing to innovate and deliver our high-performance radar solutions to address the national security needs of DHS and its components including CBP.”
Echodyne serves customers across the defense, national security, and critical infrastructure protection markets worldwide. Its radars are a core component for counter-UAS, border security, and base and perimeter 3D surveillance solutions. For additional details, please visit echodyne.com.
03 Nov 21. £110m upgrade for RAF Shadow fleet. The RAF’s Shadow surveillance aircraft fleet will be increased and upgraded with the latest defensive technology. Awarded to Raytheon UK, the £110m contract will see the current fleet of six aircraft increased to eight, and the integration of the latest UK Sovereign Defensive Aids Systems, ensuring this vital capability continues to provide battle-winning intelligence gathering for years to come.
Supporting 150 highly-skilled jobs at Broughton, including specialist aerospace skills and apprentices, and roles at Raytheon’s sites at RAF Waddington and Harlow, the contract will also sustain around 350 further jobs across the UK supply chain.
Defence Minister Jeremy Quin said: “Our newly upgraded Shadow Mk2 aircraft be equipped with world-leading technology developed right here in the UK. This investment supports vital defence outputs and 150 high-quality jobs in North Wales.”
Welsh Secretary Simon Hart said: “The signing of this contract with Raytheon is huge news for North Wales and testament to the incredibly skilled local workforce whose hard work, dedication and professionalism have rightly been recognised. This is levelling up in action – the UK Government, working with our partners and using our spending power to support jobs and prosperity in every part of the UK. Today that levelling up is happening in Broughton with the signing of this £110m contract.”
Based at RAF Waddington and flown by 14 Squadron, Shadow forms a key part of the RAF’s Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) force by gathering intelligence via its high-definition electro-optical and electronic sensors.
Once the data is gathered, satellite communication links enable the information to be assessed while the aircraft is airborne during a mission. To protect the aircraft from possible attack, the aircraft will be fitted with an improved state-of-the-art Defensive Aids System (DAS).
As part of the contract, the latest DAS will be installed across the fleet of 8 aircraft, increasing its ability to defend itself and operate in unfriendly airspace.
Shadow Programme Senior Responsible Owner, Group Captain Shaun Gee RAF said:
“This investment will enable the Shadow fleet to be increased in size and equipped with the latest technology providing a key capability as part of the RAF’s next generation Air Force.”
It is expected the first upgraded aircraft will be delivered to the RAF in June 2023, with delivery of the eighth Shadow R Mk2 aircraft before the end of 2025”
DE&S CEO, Sir Simon Bollom, said: “This contract is the result of collaborative working between DE&S and industry and ensures the RAF has the world-class capability needed to protect the UK’s interests against ever-evolving threats.”
The investment for an upgraded Shadow fleet forms part of the vision laid out in the Defence Command Paper, which is ensuring that the Armed Forces are prepared for new and emerging threats. This ambition is underpinned by a £24bn increase in defence spending over next four years.
03 Nov 21. Iceni Labs targets SOF operators with ‘sense through the wall’ technology. Iceni Labs is positioning itself to support Special Operations Forces (SOF) with its SafeScan ultra-wideband radar technology system and DUELIST Situational Awareness for Small Units solution, as it looks to improve intelligence for close combat, room clearance and hostage response operations in urban areas.
SafeScan, developed under UK Defence and Security Accelerator Rapid Impact contract funding, is a handheld sensor that uses ultra-wideband radar to detect static and moving individuals through the wall, providing operators with easily understood visuals that allow them to quickly react to developing situations. It can be used as a stand-alone solution, or integrated into the wider DUELIST system.
With SafeScan at its core, DUELIST integrates data visualisation, sensor and user interface technologies into a software platform that can build an integrated visual representation of the dismounted battlespace for small unit manoeuvre elements. SafeScan’s ‘sense-through-the-wall’ radar technology is fused with inertial measurement unit motion detection and occupancy mapping technologies to build a 3D volumetric local map of the users’ track and local environment.
Presented on a connected smartphone or tablet, the map shows the user – in real time – their surroundings, their location within it, the physical makeup of their surroundings, position of friendlies and threats, and provides the ability to detect and interpret target movement patterns to identify threats. Multiple individual tracker units worn by operators, animals or drones, can also be integrated to produce a more comprehensive map of the area, also in real time.
SafeScan has received significant interest within the SOF market since its launch, and is undergoing trials with multiple users throughout 2021.
“We have reached the end of our latest trials cycle and continue to see extremely compelling results from SafeScan, along with strong interest from SOF operators,” Alex Giles, Chief Commercial Officer, Iceni Labs, said. “Together, SafeScan and DUELIST delivers actionable intelligence on the immediate operating vicinity – including what lies on the other side of a closed door or wall – closing a critical surveillance gap for elite SOF forces, counter-terror operators and SWAT teams.”
Iceni Labs demonstrated SafeScan, DUELIST and the combined intelligence output they deliver on stand (#2) at 3CDS on 3-4 November 2021.
03 Nov 21. Tunisia getting Cessna Caravans for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. The Tunisian military will next year receive from the United States two Cessna Caravan aircraft configured for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions.
News of the contract surfaced in 2019, and in response to a defenceWeb query, a US Department of Defence spokesperson said Congress was notified of a Tunisia ISR contract which included Cessna 208 Caravans “as a Section 333 capacity building initiative in support of US Africom.”
The Caravans will not be armed but will be configured for ISR purposes “to aid in Tunisia’s border security efforts.”
Section 333 programmes provide training and equipment to the national security forces of foreign countries for the purpose of building the capacity of such forces to conduct operations such as counter-terrorism.
On 30 September, US company ATI Engineering Services was awarded a $9 690 087 order for a “Tunisia intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance system. This delivery order provides for two aircraft, support equipment and spares. Work will be performed in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and is expected to be completed by 30 November 2022,” the contract notice read.
“Fiscal 2021 Building Partnership Capacity funds in the amount of $9 690 087 are being obligated at the time of award,” the US Department of Defence said.
ATI Engineering in 2020 was contracted to convert two Cessna Grand Caravan EX aircraft for the Rwanda Defence Force under the US military’s African Partnership Flight initiative.
According to Africa Intelligence, the Tunisian aircraft will be equipped with encrypted communications, a data link, night vision system and sensor turret.
Cessna Caravans have been a popular choice of ISR aircraft amongst African countries, acquired either as donations from the United States or purchased outright.
The US Government has previously provided grant aid funding for 14 Grand Caravan EX aircraft procured through Foreign Military Sale cases throughout Africa, with Rwanda being one of the latest recipients. Africom’s intent is to field multiple iterations of this configuration throughout Africa, and to streamline logistics support and enhance partner nation interoperability, both of which will reduce costs to the partner nation and to the US Government.
Africom’s African partners who already possess Grand Caravan EX aircraft include Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Mali, Mauritania, Kenya and Uganda. These countries are co-participants in United Nations (UN) peacekeeping operations, particularly in missions in the Central African Republic and South Sudan.
Tunisia is also scheduled to receive eight T-6C Texan II trainers from Textron Aviation Defence by October next year. It has four AT-6C Wolverine light attack aircraft on order as well. The Wolverines are being acquired with Mk 81 and Mk 82 bombs, Advanced Precision Kill Weapon Systems (APKWS) rockets, L-3 WESCAM MX 15D Multi-Spectral Targeting Systems and 12.7 mm machineguns. (Source: https://www.defenceweb.co.za/)
03 Nov 21. New radar kits abound for the Eurofighter fleet. The first Kuwaiti Eurofighters with new electronically scanned radars onboard took to the skies in Italy in October for test flights, as engineers in the U.K. provided fresh details on the e-scan radar version they are developing for the RAF’s Typhoons. With progress being made on yet another version for Germany and Spain’s fighters, the Typhoon now has not one but three e-scan radars in the works after years of delays.
The Kuwaiti jets were spotted taking off from Leonardo’s Caselle facility in northern Italy on Oct. 15 for their first test flight ahead of year-end delivery, part of an order of 28 Typhoons by the Gulf state which will boast the so-called Eurofighter Common Radar System Mk 0.
Built by the Euroradar consortium teaming Leonardo Italy, Leonardo UK, Spain’s Indra and Germany’s Hensoldt, the Mk 0 will also equip Qatar’s 24 Typhoons.
Hensoldt and Indra are meanwhile working on an upgrade – the Mk 1 version, which will use transmit/receive modules built in Germany to retrofit roughly 130 German and Spanish aircraft in the mid-2020s.
Going it alone, the UK has developed an Mk 2 which features new components and has been offered to possible Typhoon customer Finland, while Italy, which has long held faith with the Typhoon’s current mechanically scanned Captor radar, decided to sign up to Mk 2 in September.
With financing due to be freed up by Rome on a step-by-step basis, 16 engineers from Leonardo Italy will work on secondment in the UK over the next 18 months to learn about the new radar.
They will cross a firewall to work with British colleagues at Leonardo UK, which has been managing the program for the British Ministry of Defence.
What is well known is that Mk 2 will differ from its fellow Typhoon e-scan radars by offering wideband electronic-attack and electronic-warfare features in addition to more traditional radar capability.
Further innovations will include the ability to passively register emissions from targets and threats providing data that can be fused with data received by the Typhoon’s Defensive Aid Sub-System (DASS) and Pirate infra-red sensor.
The radar will also be able to transmit data, something described as “essential” by Ross Wilson, Leonardo UK’s Typhoon Chief Engineer for Fire Control Radar.
Another big change are the Mk 2′s UK-built transmit/receive modules, which Leonardo refers to as circuits, since they are soldered to the face of the radar, as opposed to modules on the Mk 0 and Mk 1, which are screwed in.
“By soldering them to the board performance can be increased, while overall weight is cut and the density and reliability of the circuits is increased. We continue to invest in key componentry to drive down size and weight, allowing us to maximize the power and aperture available in a fast jet environment,” said Wilson.
Another change is the introduction of gallium nitride (GaN) semi-conductors, considered more powerful than previously used gallium arsenide (GaAs) semi-conductors.
“GaN has been seen as the future, set to take over from GaAs, but for Leonardo UK, both have a role in radar development to achieve the best performance balance for a fast jet application and can be used together,” said Wilson.
With Leonardo UK aiming to deliver the first Mk 2 radar next year to BAE, which is integrating the radar on the Typhoon and is expected to fly it for the first time in 2023, Wilson said it would be “the most capable radar ever produced when it enters service.” (Source: Defense News)
29 Oct 21. USAF evaluates TPS-75 primary ground deployable radar. The testing was conducted to ensure the legacy system continues to support controllers with precise information to execute C2. The US Air Force (USAF) 84th Radar Evaluation Squadron’s (RADES) Control and Reporting Center (CRC) team has tested TPS-75 radar system. The legacy TPS-75 system has been the service’s primary ground deployable radar since 1968. It is capable of sending out hundreds of thousands of laser pulses in one second. Deployed worldwide, the mobile, tactical radar system provides long-range radar azimuth, range and height information, as well as identification friend or foe capability. According to 505th Command and Control Wing, 84th RADES Deb Henley, TPS-75 was put through a three-week baseline evaluation and optimisation. The activity was conducted at the Oregon Air National Guard’s 116th Air Control Squadron, Camp Rilea and involved testing, air-traffic analysis, and radar parameters optimisation. In the first week of testing, the team focused on the system’s current performance, setting baseline parameters, and levelling the antenna. During the second week, in-depth testing was conducted to confirm the receivers’ sensitivity and bandwidth using tools within the Radar Analysis Support System for Sites (RASS-S). USAF 505th Test and Training Group commander colonel Adam Shelton said: “The work the 84th RADES professionals do on a daily basis enable our homeland defence mission.
“While newer systems are coming, keeping the existing systems operating at peak performance is a daunting task this team does very effectively. Based on organically developed software and decades of experience, the CRC team is truly the linkage between today’s systems and tomorrow’s innovation.”
The radar will be replaced by the Three-Dimensional Expeditionary Long-Range Radar (3DELRR). (Source: airforce-technology.com)
26 Oct 21. WATMC 2021: the challenges facing DFS in building a network of airport C-UAS systems. Germany’s air navigation service provider (ANSP) DFS has reached a number of conclusions around the effectiveness of counter-UAS (C-UAS) technologies to defend major airports from rogue drone incursions. It is part of a nationwide programme in which DFS is developing C-UAS units at Germany’s 15 busiest airports. In 2019 DFS developed a roadmap for laying down a stepwise concept of operation – as a first step, a market screening of available detection technology was conducted and six manufacturers identified. They have been demonstrating their technical capabilities during trials at Frankfurt and Munich airports.
According to Angela Kies, Head of Unmanned Aircraft Systems at DFS, there is no single industry source who can provide the full suite of specialist sensors, artificial intelligence engines, human machine interface units and track integration systems required for an effective airport C-UAS system. Therefore the task of integrating current industry offerings – while ensuring new technologies can also be integrated when they become available – is the first major challenge.
In the DFS concept of operation, radars are the prime sensor and cameras are used as validation tools. But in the operational version DFS wants to integrate the optical and radar data into a single HMI for a “clean track” along with automated threat levels. Every technology provider has a different HMI – there is an urgent need for standards bodies to develop a standardised data display for these systems, said Angela Kies.
As most technology providers come from the military sector there is very little experience of air traffic management (ATM)/ UAS traffic management (UTM) system integration – so this is something DFS may have to do itself. The level of automation of current systems is also very low, so the ANSP is looking at connecting all 15 airport systems into a single centre. (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
29 Oct 21. Dedrone “adds three new US federal agency customers in 2021.” Dedrone has announced its ninth US federal customer, with three new federal agencies joining in September 2021. In September 2020, Dedrone announced a strategic partnership with General Dynamics Mission Systems, with the objective of equipping the U.S. Department of Defense with complete drone detection and mitigation solutions. In 2021, Dedrone and General Dynamics Mission Systems released the Counter-Unmanned Aerial System Expeditionary Kit, allowing users to rapidly set up CsUAS detection to assess drone threats within an Area of Responsibility (AOR) in less than thirty minutes with no tools required.
According to Robert Campbell, Vice President of Public Sector at Dedrone: “Dedrone’s Open Systems Architecture and use of AI/ML sUAS identification allows U.S. federal government customers to rapidly integrate mission-specific detection and mitigation capabilities.
According to a company press release Dedrone is used by four of the G-7 nation governments and is an active and regular participant in U.S. federally sponsored events, including the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Air Domain Awareness testing events, advancing airspace security offerings alongside DHS Science and Technology Directorate. Dedrone also participated in INTERPOL’s global testing event in Oslo earlier this month. (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
31 Oct 21. CPI TMD Technologies exhibits latest high-performance solid-state microwave power module – plus more advanced products – on Booth 723 at AOC 2021. The TMD Technologies Division of Communications & Power Industries (CPI), a world class supplier of advanced microwave and radio frequency (RF) products, will showcase a selection of its latest products for defense and homeland security systems at the upcoming 58th Annual AOC International Symposium and Convention in Washington, DC. The CPI TMD Technologies products on display will include the new PTS10147 solid state power amplifier (SSPA) for electronic warfare (EW) and radar.
Joint enterprise with CPI
Said Mike Farley, vice president of CPI TMD Technologies, US, “The Association of Old Crows (AOC) International Symposium brings together some 2,000 professionals from more than 30 countries and gives TMD the opportunity to welcome representatives from industry, military and government sectors worldwide to our booth in November. This year, we are pleased to attend the symposium with our colleagues at CPI. We will jointly showcase a broad spectrum of the latest microwave products, illustrating that TMD is now part of CPI’s established design and manufacturing group focused on cutting-edge electronic products and systems for communications and defense customers.”
“Since the last AOC event in the United States, in addition to the PTS10147 SSPA, TMD has introduced three new microwave power modules (MPMs) to our broad range of durable microwave products; namely, the PTXM9754, PTX8808 and PTX8811,” continued Mr. Farley.
13 Oct 21. Sweden to formally decide on GlobalEye buy in coming weeks. Approval looms for a key Swedish air acquisition programme. Shephard understands the Swedish government will decide in the next few weeks whether to place an order with Saab for the GlobalEye Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft. Approval for the procurement looked to be a foregone conclusion since 16 February, when Swedish defence minister Peter Hultqvist revealed during a media briefing that the country intends to buy GlobalEye as a replacement for a fleet of Saab 340 AEW aircraft. The acquisition was not subject to a competitive tender process. Under the terms of the Lisbon Treaty, Sweden can purchase combat air systems without requesting individual bids from industry. (Source: Shephard)
29 Oct 21. KAI and KAL eye RoKA’s future division-level reconnaissance UAV programme. South Korean aerospace companies are positioning to meet a potential Republic of Korea Army (RoKA) requirement for a next-generation, division-level reconnaissance and target acquisition unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Officials from Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) and Korean Air (KAL) told Janes at the Seoul International Aerospace & Defense Exhibition 2021 (ADEX 2021), held from 19 to 23 October, that RoKA desires a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capability along with high-speed level flight performance. KAI exhibited a model of a tiltrotor reconnaissance UAV known as the Night Intruder 500 Vectored Thrust (NI-500VT), which has a maximum take-off weight of 450 kg and is 4 m long and 4.3 m wide. According to the company, the air vehicle features a hybrid-electric propulsion system that enables it to carry a 40 kg payload and stay aloft for up to five hours. A KAI official told Janes that the wing can be disassembled for road transportation. (Source: Janes)
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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.