Sponsored by Blighter Surveillance Systems
15 Feb 22. World Defense Show to feature Blighter’s multi-mode radar solution as part of Defence & Security expo tour. Blighter Surveillance Systems (‘Blighter’, www.blighter.com), the British designer and manufacturer of electronic-scanning radars and surveillance solutions is set to exhibit at upcoming international defence exhibitions to showcase the recently launched A800 Multi-Mode Drone Detection Radar, as well as other cutting-edge radar platforms. Following the first appearance of the A800 3D radar at DSEI 2021, Blighter’s first round of exhibition visits for 2022 will include the World Defense Show in Saudi Arabia, Security and Policing in the UK, and Border Security Expo in San Antonio, Texas.
Blighter’s A800 radar offers an innovative ground-based solution to threat detection, utilising multi-mode surveillance capability usually reserved only for large-scale radar systems and packaging it into a smaller, more flexible radar with a maximum range of 20km. The A800 3D multi-mode radar is ideally suited to border and perimeter surveillance, capable of being mounted to fixed towers and masts, as well as to land vehicles and mobile surveillance trailers.
The World Defense Show will take place from 6-9 March 2022. The event focuses on interoperability across air, land, sea, security innovative defence technologies and satellite defence systems and will be held in Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh. Located at Stand G15.4, Blighter’s showcase will highlight the B400’s applications for border security as a vehicle-mobile or fixed-tower solution capable of high performance in extreme heat conditions.
Security & Policing, the official Government global security event, returns as a live event for its 40th anniversary between 15‐17 March 2022 at the Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre in the UK. Visitors will find Blighter’s stand at A54.
The Border Security Expo is an annual international trade fair with accompanying conference on border security, taking place from 29-30 March in San Antonio, Texas. Blighter will be exhibiting on Stand no. 733. Alongside the A800, visitors will also find a trailer-mast mounted A400 series radar.
Last year the Cambridgeshire-based manufacturer was selected to provide advanced integrated B400 series target acquisition radars for a fleet of Armoured Fighting Vehicles, demonstrating the company’s agility in providing the versatile systems required for such a demanding and mobile role. In July 2021, Blighter’s US partner JGW Group also delivered demonstrations of the highly mobile A400 series radars’ ability to detect and track sUAS targets. Most recently, Blighter won a contract to provide surveillance for offshore and onshore oil facilities in West Africa.
Angus Hone, CEO of Blighter Surveillance Systems said:
“This is an exciting time for our industry as key calendar events for national security, such as Security & Policing and Border Security Expo, are set reconnect our community. We also could not miss the inaugural World Defense Show which will be an excellent opportunity for us to showcase our cutting-edge radar technology to a wider audience. We look forward to joining our partners and customers at these shows and exhibiting Blighter’s game-changing detection capabilities.”
17 Feb 22. Echodyne and Northrop Grumman Expand Partnership on Defense and Security Applications. Echodyne, the radar platform company, announced today a new strategic agreement with, and minority investment from, Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) that expands upon existing efforts to integrate Echodyne radars into select Northrop Grumman advanced defense and security solutions. The initial collaboration area is focused on counter-UAS, where Echodyne’s radars offer performance and SwaP advantages that are expected to bring immediate mission value. Under the scope of the Agreement, the companies will work to identify additional applications for Echodyne’s line of commercially developed radars.
“We continue to embrace disruptive technologies that enhance our solutions and are easily integrated into our open architecture approaches,” said David Jacobs, vice president strategy at Northrop Grumman. “This strategic partnership enhances our ability to meet the mission needs of our customers with speed and agility, specifically in the area of C-UAS.” The companies began collaborating in early 2020 when they integrated Echodyne’s radar onto Northrop Grumman’s Bushmaster® Gun Truck, a lightweight strike vehicle ideal for air defense operations. The combined technology solution has proven its performance against small drones in numerous live-fire demonstrations and offers Northrop Grumman’s domestic and international partners a reliable and economical answer to this increasing air defense threat. This agreement expands upon that success and focuses on new opportunities to integrate Echodyne’s commercially priced radars into Northrop Grumman’s advanced platforms and solutions.
“The collaboration with Northrop Grumman is another significant milestone for Echodyne, which underlines the clear message that our radars excel in the most challenging applications and demanding environments,” said Eben Frankenberg, CEO of Echodyne. “Northrop Grumman’s investment and selection of our radars for counter-UAS solutions further validates the advantages of our proprietary technology and our best-in-class radars.”
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.
Echodyne, the radar platform company, designs and delivers high-performance compact, solid-state, patent-protected metamaterials ESA technology. Ideally suited for defense, security, machine perception, and autonomy, Echodyne’s commercially priced electronically scanned array radars are used by defense and government agencies, autonomous developers, and security integrators for counter-UAS, borders and perimeter security, critical infrastructure protection, unmanned aerial vehicles, and autonomous vehicles. Privately held, the company is based in Kirkland, Washington, and is backed by Bill Gates, NEA, Madrona Venture Group, Vulcan Capital, Vanedge Capital, and Lux Capital among others. For more information, please visit: Echodyne.com.
16 Feb 22. ECS and TCI Upcoming Events 2022. Enterprise Control Systems Ltd. (ECS) and TCI International Inc. (TCI) of SPX Corporation will be exhibiting our latest technologies, capabilities, and solutions for Tactical Datalinks, Communications Intelligence and Counter-Drone applications at the following upcoming events during the next few months, where we are looking forward to meeting our customers and partners again in a face-to-face environment. Please note the following events in your diary and we look forward to meeting you there:
- Security and Policing 2022 from 15th – 17th March in Farnborough, UK
- DSA 2022 from 28th – 31st March in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- AOC Europe from 10th -12th May in Montpellier, France
The combined ECS and TCI teams will be available to provide demonstrations, discuss CONOPS and schedule meetings at the individual exhibitions.
Our combined solutions meet the most challenging COMINT, DF and RF Inhibition requirements, and our integrated roadmap provides a new, fully-integrated Counter-Drone Platform: BlackTALON. The new solution provides combat-proven capabilities for threat detection, location, identification, tracking and defeat in a single solution.
BlackTALON’s ‘Open Platform’ architecture allows customer specific integration requirements, e.g. integration of preferred and/or additional EOIR and Radar sensors, to be easily incorporated allowing the system to meet discrete mission requirements.
Detect and Locate – The next generation BlackSWIFT platform delivers combat-proven, fully automated drone and controller RF detection and geolocation. BlackSWIFT may be operated manually by an operator or automatically for unattended operation. Using the drone’s RF signature and radio controllers, the BlackSWIFT platform geolocates its target and alerts as directed. Controllers can be detected before a UAV is airborne, and detection events are recorded and may be replayed.
Defend – If the detected threat must be defeated, the Claw directional RF Inhibitor is a self-contained system combining the RF transmitter with a high-gain multi-band directional antenna system. Claw is a compact system with no external signal processing or Power Amplification modules required. Insulated from third party interference, the system is easy to integrate into multiple sensor systems.
Our Data Link offerings include robust, secure, air certified capabilities in the following solutions:
Evenlode is a TDL Technology with superior range performance for real-time video and Internet Protocol (IP) Data solution for Airborne Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR). Evenlode Air Data Terminal (ADT) is an upgradeable lightweight system for larger UAS, light aircraft and rotary wing platforms, with key attributes being:
Custom configured for specific end-user requirements
Lightweight envelope (including antenna) of 4kg
Designed for OEMs, 3rd-party integrators and end-users
Tove, specifically designed for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) and Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) needs, provides low profile, lightweight data downlink that is DO-160 (RTCA) certified. Tove packs in comparable functionality to the EVENLODE data link but is significantly smaller and lightweight and is an ideal UAV payload.
Both Airborne solutions seamlessly integrate into the Evenlode ground infrastructure, static and mobile, which can be used to view and distribute the ADT data in a number of configurations.
ECS and TCI leverages 85+ years’ combined experience to provide innovative solutions meeting the most challenging COMINT, DF, Geolocation and RF Inhibition requirements. Our solutions are field-proven and mission ready to meet evolving threat scenarios.
17 Feb 22. Silentium targets passive radar opportunities on airborne platforms. Australia-based Silentium Defence has said it is planning to start trials for integrating its passive radar systems into airborne platforms with an initial focus on small to medium unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and unmanned aerial systems (UASs).
Dr James Palmer, CEO of Silentium, told Janes that the development activity necessary to translate the company’s existing mobile passive radar capability into an “on-the-move” capability for airborne platforms has already commenced.
He said the company is “in discussion with leading drone manufacturers to identify the right partner for trials” and expects to initiate these trials in the latter part of 2022. He added that Silentium foresees the application of its radar on any surveillance-focused UAS that has a payload capacity of 5 kg or more. The company plans to first do proof-of-concept trials on readily available commercial UASs and thereafter move to military systems, Palmer explained. “We are already in discussions with a range of military UAS suppliers who have shown a keen interest,” he said. (Source: Janes)
16 Feb 22. Now Shipping: SIG SAUER Electro-Optics ROMEO2 Red Dot Sight. SIG SAUER Electro-Optics is pleased to announce the ROMEO2 Red Dot sight is now shipping – a mil-spec reflex sight, built for maximum durability and tested to withstand the extreme environments of every mission. The ROMEO2 is a Red Dot Reflex Sight that features a molded glass aspheric lens with high-performance coatings for superior light transmittance and zero distortion, a selectable circle dot reticle available in 3 MOA, 6MOA, or 10MOA, and offers D.A.R.C. (Dark Adaptive Reticles and Coatings) technology to provide ideal reticle brightness and target clarity while using a Gen3+ night vision device, MOTAC™ (motion-activated illumination system) and MAGNETAC™ (magnetic activation) that automatically turns the optic off when holstered and on when drawn. The sight has a 7075-aluminum housing and comes with two (2) steel shrouds for three (3) different optic configurations, to include fully enclosed and sealed. The ROMEO2 will fit all SIG pistol slides with the PRO slide cut and many other slides cut to accept the DPP. A spring-loaded side battery tray with push-button release allows a battery change without the need to remove the optic from the firearm. The ROMOE2 was designed, developed, tested, and assembled in the U.S.A.
ROMEO2 Red Dot Sight:
Reticle: Circle Dot / 3 MOA / 6 MOA / 10 MOA Red Dot
Adjustment: 1 MOA (per click)Clear Aperture: 30mm
Illumination Settings: 12 Daylight, 3 NV
Overall Length: 1.84 inches
Overall Width: 1.32 inches
Overall Height w/o shrouds: 1.12 inch
The SIG SAUER Electro-Optics ROMEO2 is now shipping. To watch the product video or learn more about the ROMOE2 and the complete SIG SAUER Electro-Optics line of products visit sigsauer.com.
15 Feb 22. Singapore air force reviews maritime security requirements. The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) has upgraded its fleet of Fokker-50 maritime patrol aircraft (MPAs) and is working with the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) to review the country’s security requirements in the maritime domain. The matter was revealed by RSAF chief, Major General Kelvin Khong, in a written reply to questions that have been sent to the service in the run-up to Singapore Airshow 2022. The RSAF operates a fleet of five Fokker-50 airframes in the maritime patrol configuration, while a further four aircraft have been configured for general utility roles. The aircraft were first delivered in 1993 and all airframes are based with the RSAF’s 121 Squadron. When operated as a maritime patrol aircraft, the Fokker-50 is typically crewed by two pilots and a loadmaster from the RSAF, and three system operators from the RSN. Meanwhile, the utility transport aircraft variants can accommodate up to 39 fully equipped paratroopers or 21 casualties on stretchers with two attendant medics. (Source: Janes)
15 Feb 22. USAF retires first E-8C JSTAR. The US Air Force (USAF) retired its first Northrop Grumman E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System on 10 February. The Georgia Air National Guard’s 116th Air Control Wing at Robins Air Force Base (AFB), in co-operation with the 461st Air Control Wing, announced that the aircraft (serial number 92-3289), which was the first to arrive at Robins AFB in 1996, left on that day for its final flight with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona. The aircraft arrived at AMARG on 11 February. This marks the beginning of the divestment of the E-8C JSTAR fleet, which had been officially signed off in late 2021. A total of four aircraft will be retired in fiscal year (FY) 2022, leaving 12 E-8C in service. (Source: Janes)
15 Feb 22. MARSS to showcase NiDAR CUAS C2 at World Defense Show. MARSS announce its attendance at the World Defense Show (WDS) in Riyadh, from 6-9th March 2022. The company will be showcasing a range of capabilities including NiDAR CUAS in a C2 and expeditionary C2 set up, RADiRguard, and a new product launch, aimed at the CUAS market. These solutions currently help protect over three million lives around the world.
Located at stand G16.1 (UK Pavilion), MARSS will emulate a Command and Control (C2) room. The C2 is operated through MARSS’ intelligent AI enabled surveillance and security system, NiDAR, to automatically detect, track, classify and respond to asymmetric threats. Showcasing multi-dimensional situational awareness, delegates and press will be able to experience first-hand the unique capabilities of a NiDAR operator in a variety of scenarios. In addition to this, MARSS will also have a fully operational C2 setup in the outdoor display area where delegates and press can view NiDAR in action, while understanding how the system works in an operational environment. Also on stand will be the RADiRguard; a multi-sensor perimeter detection system. RADiRguard represents a modular and scalable all-in-one perimeter surveillance solution, reliably detecting and classifying threats before reaching a perimeter. Each self-contained RADiRguard unit combines built-in radar, CCTV, IR and radio frequency monitoring, plus intelligent threat classification to detect and classify objects in advance of reaching a fence line.
Johannes Pinl, CEO and founder of MARSS Group, commented: “MARSS is proud to hold a strong partnership with KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia). For 10 years, we’ve been supporting customers in the region by delivering defense technology to protect critical infrastructures and people. We’re fully immersed in the culture and development of Saudi and look forward to continuing to play an important role in keeping it safe.”
Andy Forbes, Managing Director, MARRS KSA, concluded: “By having two fully operational C2 display’s, visitors will be able to understand the simplicity and seamless integration NiDAR has within a complex operational environment. WDS is a pivotal event for MARSS to showcase current and future capability into Saudi and the broader region. With an HQ in Saudi itself, we are continually investing in localisation in this region. We’re increasing employment, training and support, and we’re fully committed to encouraging Saudi’s 2030 vision. We welcome all delegates to our stand during the show and look forward to demonstrating our range of intelligent surveillance and security solutions.”
14 Feb 22. UK and Japan to work together on world-leading fighter jet sensor.
The UK and Japan have today signed a Letter of Arrangement (LOA) to jointly conduct cooperative research on a world-leading fighter jet sensor
- Partners will acquire cutting-edge sensor technology to detect lethal threats
- 75 UK jobs to be created, including 40 engineering jobs in Scotland
- Part of UK’s Combat Air Strategy, backed by £2bn of funding during the next four years
The universal radio frequency sensor technology, known as “JAGUAR”, could enable the Armed Forces to better detect future threats from air, land and sea, quickly and accurately locating targets and denying surveillance technology operated by our adversaries.
With joint work on the project scheduled to start in April, JAGUAR is expected to create 75 jobs across the UK, including 40 highly skilled engineering jobs at Leonardo’s Edinburgh site.
Minister for Defence Procurement, Jeremy Quin said: “We are proud to work ever closer with our partners in Japan to ensure both our Armed Forces remain at the forefront of military innovation. This crucial relationship will see us acquire truly advanced technology to protect our nations for decades to come whilst creating significant investment and highly-skilled jobs in the UK and Japan.”
Designing, building and evaluating the JAGUAR system will take around five years, involving input from Leonardo UK and Japanese industry. Two demonstrators will be built within the project, one in each country, with the work and learning shared to maximise national expertise.
Chair and CEO Leonardo UK, Norman Bone said: “As the UK’s combat air electronics champion and a founding member of Tempest, we’re keen to work with our international allies where their industry has similarly advanced capabilities, bringing together the best of both partners. Japan has a strong and growing combat air industry which is a natural fit for Leonardo. Under JAGUAR, our highly-skilled scientists and engineers based across the UK will work with their Japanese counterparts to advance technology that will benefit both of our nation’s future combat air endeavours.”
This cooperative research comes after the UK and Japan signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) in December last year, enabling both nations to pursue joint technologies. In December, the two countries also announced an intention to develop a future fighter jet engine demonstrator as part of their partnership.
International partnership remains at the heart of the UK’s approach to combat air, as set out in the Combat Air Strategy published in 2018. During the next four years, the UK is investing more than £2bn into its major national and international endeavour to design a world-leading Future Combat Air System. The work with Japan is taking place alongside the UK’s growing partnership with European nations.
This news delivers against plans announced in the UK’s Defence Command Paper, published in March 2021, to deepen and expand defence industrial relationships in the Indo-Pacific region, including with Japan. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
14 Feb 22. Epirus debuts high-power microwave pod for drones. Venture capital-backed startup Epirus unveiled a high-power microwave system capable of deploying on a drone, the California-based company announced Feb. 14. The Leonidas Pod makes the company’s ground-based system, designed to protect forward operating bases from incoming threats, mountable on a variety of other systems, according to a company statement.
The system is designed to address drone swarms rather than singular drone threats. These swarms are a growing problem for the U.S. military as it develops counter-unmanned aircraft systems capability.
“The newly introduced Leonidas Pod enables a range of mission capabilities and, with multiple mount options to maximize portability, can advance directly to the threat environment,” the statement said. “With Leonidas deployed alongside a drone-mounted Leonidas Pod, the systems work in unison to achieve greater power and range and create a layered defense forcefield.”
Leonidas is intended to be a cost-effective solution to countering electronic threats when compared to using expensive kinetic means to take out cheap drone threats. Leonidas can fire rapidly on targets with “near-instant effects” without overheating, the company said, and the system eliminates the need to reload.
The system is able to power up and down in minutes and has extended battery life, allowing the Leonidas Pod to move to the threat in any domain and then return to base. The pod has a standby mode and the system can be activated without draining battery power.
The company unveiled its ground-based version of the system in 2020. Through three field demonstrations in 2021, the system demonstrated it can counter both rotary and fixed-wing drones, and at its most recent demonstration, the system disabled an outboard ship motor, proving possible maritime applications.
Epirus recently won a multimillion-dollar contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to develop software to more accurately predict the behaviors of electromagnetic waveforms. Last month, Epirus was one of four companies selected to the Army Applications Laboratory Soldier Power Cohort to develop intelligent power management solutions.
The company has also partnered with larger defense contractors. Epirus announced in October 2021 it was teaming with General Dynamics Land Systems to integrate Leonidas on vehicles like the Stryker combat vehicle and other manned and unmanned ground vehicles to provide Short-Range Air Defense (SHORAD) capabilities.
The Army recently fielded its first platoon of Stryker-based SHORAD systems to Europe. The service is also building four SHORAD 50-kilowatt-class directed energy-capable Strykers.
Epirus launched in 2018, jumping into the $2 bn-and-growing counter-drone market
Leigh Madden, who heads the company, was general manager for Microsoft’s national security business before joining Epirus. Its chief financial officer, Ken Bedingfield, previously was the CFO at Northrop Grumman. Former defense secretary Mark Esper is on the company’s board of directors. The counter-drone market is so dense that the Pentagon founded a Joint Counter-Unmanned Aircraft Systems Office, tasked with identifying enduring systems and rapidly integrating new technology to address the problem. (Source: Defense News)
14 Feb 22. Liteye Systems, Pratt & Miller C-UAS collaboration provides mobile unmanned capability. Counter drone company Liteye Systems has announced a collaboration with Pratt & Miller to develop Unmanned Counter Unmanned Aerial System (C-UAS) capability on the EMAV unmanned ground vehicle. The EMAV vehicle from Pratt & Miller provides a mobile platform for the integration of Liteye’s new SHIELD C-UAS payload. The pair creates an autonomous drone detect, track, identify, and defeat capability that can be pushed forward into the battlefield, keeping the operator out of harms’ way. The first system is due delivery to the military later this year and Liteye and Pratt & Miller, plan continued collaboration, testing, and fielding in 2022. For more information visit: www.liteye.com (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
13 Feb 22. Canada invites C-UAS companies to join national technology assessment trials later this year. Counter-UAS (C-UAS) companies from around the world have been invited to apply to join the Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC)-led “CUAS” sandbox trials taking place in Suffield, Alberta between 12 September and 7 October 2022.
“Applications are open to individuals, academia, not for profit organizations, and industry of any size, as well as provincial, territorial, and municipal organizations…. Foreign companies can apply. Sandboxes are not exclusively restricted to made in Canada products/solutions; however, the level of Canadian content within each application will be given consideration during the evaluation process…”
The Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC) is leading the CUAS effort, coordinating with the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), and Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM). The information presented in this sandbox represents a blending of requirements and characteristics of interest to one or more of the services, as well as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
“At a minimum, at the time of application your solution must have already successfully completed the work and validation testing associated with refining the integration of the solution’s components (Solution Readiness Level 5 or higher). This ensures that solutions are ready for the near-end state demonstrations and testing in a simulated environment that DND/CAF expects in a Sandbox.”
Interested companies have until 13 April 2022 to apply.
For more information: https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/dnd-mdn/documents/ideas/CUAS%202022%20PDF%20Applicant%20Guide%20EN.PDF (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
10 Feb 22. Greece explores counter drone technology in response to Turkish flights over navy ships. A report by the Athens news source Hurriyet Daily News says the Greek government is looking for ways to counter Turkish drones. The country is concerned about Turkey’s unmanned aerial vehicles and armed drones, according to Greek media outlets. Bayraktar TB2 drones are capable of executing three to four flights a day at low, medium and high altitudes, observing the movements of the Greek navy ships and defenses on the Greek Islands, according to retired general Evangelos Yeorgusis. The Greek Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos visited Israel in January to explore options to acquire anti-drone technologies from this country, according to the Greek daily To Vima. It said the government is also looking at exerting diplomatic pressure on Germany to stop selling some parts which are used in the production of Turkish drones For more information visit: www.hurriyetdailynews.com (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
10 Feb 22. Black Sage demonstrates counter drone technology at US Army DiDEX event. Black Sage has showcased its Sawtooth Mesh Network to the US Army and other military organizations at Defense-in-Depth-Experiment (DiDEX) 3. The event is designed to demonstrate counter Unmanned Aerial Systems (CUAS) in a real urban environment. According to Black Sage, its Sawtooth Mesh Network is designed to integrate CUAS sensors and effectors deployed at numerous locations into a unified mesh network addresses obstacles present in a dense urban environment, such as urban canyons and complex line-of-sight challenges.
According to the press release: A key element of the demonstration was Black Sage’s data fusion capability. Instead of a confusing Common Operating Picture (COP) showing detections and tracks in relation to multiple sensor locations, Black Sage’s Sawtooth Mesh Network fuses data from all sensor locations and presents detections and tracks in relation to a single location selected by the operator.
For example, if a customer is looking to protect a senior government official standing at a podium outdoors in an urban environment, the customer will require that all detection and track data gathered from different sensor locations should correspond to the official’s location. Black Sage’s Sawtooth Mesh Network fuses the data from different sensor “nodes” to meet this requirement.
“Without a mesh network capability, it is impossible to provide Counter UAS protection in urban environments,” said Trent Morrow, Black Sage’s Chief Strategy Officer. “Our Sawtooth Mesh Network comprises sensors and effectors mounted on quad-pods at different locations with user friendly threat management software displayed on a computer. This complex system transforms into a simple solution allowing for easy, rapid deployment and operation.”
Black Sage’s DefenseOS threat management software platform and Sawtooth modular hardware platform are the cornerstones upon which the Sawtooth Mesh Network has been developed. The company’s open architecture software and hardware platforms deliver an automated, end-to-end Counter UAS system, including AI, automated target recognition and threat evaluation, ISR functionality, and kinetic and non-kinetic effectors.
For more information visit: www.blacksagetech.com (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
10 Feb 22. USAF’s latest sensor pod on F-15C Eagle achieves IOC. The Legion Pod leverages infrared spectrum to help pilots to track enemy aircraft in radar-denied environments. The US Air Force’s (USAF) Air Combat Command (ACC) has announced that its latest sensor pod on the F-15C Eagle has reached initial operating capability (IOC). The infrared search and track (IRST) pod, known as the Legion Pod, is a sensor system that leverages infrared spectrum to help pilots to track enemy aircraft in radar-denied environments. The Lockheed Martin-developed pod also enables the pilots to identify and monitor enemy aircraft from extended ranges.
According to a statement, Legion Pod will bolster the effectiveness of the F-15C aircraft in battlespace.
ACC F-15 requirements branch chief Major Daniel Hermanski said: “In today’s warfighting environment, not only do we have the capability and technology to jam and counter radar, but our enemies do, too.
“This pod is the next step for countering jamming technology and allowing our warfighters to fight and track the enemy in contested environments.”
The Legion Pod can also accommodate additional sensors, a feature that allows the integration of new capabilities with minimal aircraft modifications. The pod can also be integrated with other fighter aircraft such as the F-16 and F-15EX.
ACC F-15C program element monitor Todd Mathes said: “It’s a game-changer. The capabilities this pod provides are critical to the way we provide combat power and keep us at the leading edge of the fight.”
The Legion Pod is expected to achieve full operational capability later this year with remaining systems being delivered to tactical F-15C squadrons.
Last month, two Legion Pods-equipped GA-ASI Avenger uncrewed aircraft systems (UASs) performed a two-hour flight demonstration over the southern Californian desert. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
11 Feb 22. Russian A-100 complex completes first flight with activated radar. Russian A-100 aircraft can identify and tracking aerial and other adversaries. Russian state-owned conglomerate Rostec has announced that the A-100 long-range airborne early warning and control aircraft has completed its first flight with activated radio equipment.
The test was conducted by the specialists of Vega Concern of Ruselectronics Holding and Beriev Aircraft Company (TANTK) of PJSC ‘UAC’. Both the entities are part of Rostec State Corporation.
During the flight, the onboard radio equipment and other systems functioned normally in a high-intensity radiated environment.
The specialists also assessed the aircraft’s aerodynamic performance, avionics and some specific parts of the radio equipment.
The systems are expected to undergo further tests.
Beriev Aircraft Company (TANTK) test pilot crew commander Sergey Parkhaev said: “The flight was in a routine mode. All systems and equipment worked correctly.
“The crew fully completed the flight task, having checked the stability and controllability of the aircraft in required flight regimes, as well as the operation of the equipment installed onboard the aircraft.”
The new aircraft is based on the IL-76MD-90A aircraft. It carries a radome with a unique antenna system and special Vega Concern-developed radio equipment.
The A-100 aircraft can identify and track aerial and other adversaries. It can also be used to guide fighter and assault aircraft to destroy air, ground and naval targets.
Vega Concern chief designer Vladimir Verba said: “An important stage of testing the A-100, an aviation complex that includes our most advanced developments, has begun. Scientists and designers have confirmed that Russia has technologies to create AEW&C aircraft that are on par with global peers.
“During [the year] 2022, we plan to complete the cycle of preliminary flight tests and hand the complex over for state joint tests.”
In December 2021, Rostec delivered a modernised A-50U long-range air surveillance/control aircraft to Russian Aerospace Forces. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
01 Feb 22. EDA study calls for stronger focus on AI-supported detection & recognition of targets. EDA has accomplished a two-years study (2020-2021), called ARTINDET, into how Artificial intelligence (AI) applications can be used to improve the automatic detection, recognition, identification and tracking of small, fast-moving targets in a complex battlefield environment. In such a hostile and difficult context, high-performance electro-optical (EO) imaging systems together with high spatial resolution radars seem to be best solution to efficiently detect and mitigate these new threats. One of the main conclusions of the study, is that AI significantly enhances the performance of those two technologies related to image pre-processing, fusion and inference. Another finding of the study points to the future: additional research efforts should be put into these promising technologies which can make a difference for defence capabilities. Hence EDA’s proposal to launch a dedicated project in 2022.
The study developed and analysed new image processing techniques of imaging systems relying on AI based on deep learning paradigm. For that purpose, images captured by high-resolution cameras and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) operating with Wide Field of View (WFOV) fed the different algorithms tested. The different techniques implemented and tested are designed to be integrated in a dedicated HW/SW architecture for an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). ARTINDET analysed all the required steps for the deployment of this kind of system.
Urban area & open sea
Concretely, the study used two scenarios for object identification: one in an urban area and one focused on ship detection/recognition at open sea. For each of the two scenarios, two data sets were created, composed of both EO and radar images, and two AI algorithms were developed: one for the segmentation in urban scenario (mainly critical building identification) and one for the detection/segmentation of ships. New AI-based image fusion and resource management techniques were also developed.
The study revealed that the usage of the new AI-based algorithms leads to a considerable improvement of the identification and detection performances, also due to the automatic and ‘intelligent’ choice of the images supported by machine learning and neural networks.
Additional work to be done
The study also highlights the necessity of further work on topics such as:
- The creation of an EU military image data base for AI-based system training and testing;
- Further algorithm developments;
- Standardisation, certification and validation of AI algorithms;
- Hardware architecture implementation;
- Extended measurement campaigns for AI processing performance analysis and validation.
EDA project in the starting blocks
That’s why the Agency has proposed to Member States to launch a dedicated EDA Cat B project, called AIDRIT (Artificial Intelligence for Automatic Detection Recognition, Identification and Tracking of Difficult Target) which, if accepted, could start in 2022. Along others, it would look into the afore-mentioned additional work highlighted in the ARTINDET study. Both the study and the potential AIDRIT project idea are perfectly aligned with EDA’s action plan on AI. There is also realistic possibility that this topic could be the subject of one of the next calls for proposal under the European Defence Fund (EDF).
Small targets coming from different directions and new intelligent and sophisticated weapons operating in complex scenarios represent nowadays the new asymmetric threats in the battlefield. In this hostile and difficult context, the new high-performance electro-optical (EO) imaging system allows to efficiently detect and contrast these new threats. High resolution multidimensional (multiband/multispectral, hyperspectral, multiresolution) EO sensors are designed to have enough diversity for improving detection, recognition, identification and tracking (DRIT) of difficult targets. The main challenge stems from the huge quantity of data produced. On the one hand, this is good because it gives a certain level of completeness in the information; on the other hand, it represents a raising of computational costs and an increase of the image processing complexity. Low contrast distributed targets make their identification and visualization by the operators still really demanding and sometime impossible. Against this backdrop, automatic processing would be helpful with a drastic reduction of reaction time for decision, often crucial in military missions.
New techniques based on AI making use of deep learning and/or machine learning, seem particularly useful for image processing of high-resolution camera, when operating with wide field of view (WFOV) for the detection of difficult targets (low contrast, low signature, small size and operating in degraded visual environment). Moreover, applications on camera mounted on unmanned air vehicle (UAV), where full images cannot be streamed to the ground station, or when multiresolution imagery is needed, are new challenges where AI can also help. AI can have applications and provide benefits on data fusion coming from homogenous or heterogenous sensors, particularly from imaging radar and cameras, for a better situational awareness picture, and on the implementation of aid decision making tools and missions’ planning. AI can also be efficiently exploited in modelling and simulation for data generation and user training. (Source: EDA)
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