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22 Feb 22. Kineco Kaman achieves MCW Console delivery milestone. The console is used in the Boeing-built P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft. Kineco Kaman Composites India has delivered its 600th Mission Crew Workstation (MCW) Console to BAE Systems USA, marking a milestone. The company is a joint venture between Goa-based Kineco and Kaman Aerospace Group, which is a subsidiary of the US-based Kaman Corporation. The MCW Consoles are deployed onto the P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft built by Boeing.
Kineco Kaman chairman and managing director Shekhar Sardessai said: “Delivery of the 600th MCW Console to BAE is a momentous occasion for the Kineco Kaman team. The support of BAE as a very collaborative customer and Kaman Composites, Vermont as a technology partner has been truly outstanding.
“We owe the extraordinary success on this programme to this three-way partnership. The MCW Console and the relationship with BAE Systems are important to the Kineco Kaman team and its partners, Kineco and Kaman. We will strive to build on our past success and work to further cultivate our relationship with BAE Systems.”
BAE Systems provides mission computer system for the P-8A, which is a long-range intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft. Kineco Kaman produces advanced composite modules and assemblies for aerospace and defence customers. Manufacturing activities take place at its aerospace and defence composites centre in Pilerne Industrial Estate, Goa, India. The firm also supplies parts for India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Advanced Light Helicopter programme and the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) satellite and launch vehicle programmes. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
22 Feb 22. Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) has been selected to provide the U.S. Marine Corps with the Next Generation Handheld Targeting System (NGHTS). This compact targeting device provides unparalleled precision targeting and is capable of operation in GPS-denied environments.
“NGHTS will significantly enhance the ability of Marines to identify ground targets under a wide range of conditions,” said Bob Gough, vice president, navigation, targeting and survivability, Northrop Grumman. “Connected to military networks, NGHTS can provide superior situational awareness and accurate coordinates for the delivery of effects from beyond the line of sight.”
Northrop Grumman’s NGHTS is capable of performing rapid target acquisition, laser terminal guidance operation and laser spot imaging functions. Its high-definition infrared sensors provide accuracy and grid capability over extended ranges. Additional features include a high-definition color display and day/night celestial compasses.
22 Feb 22. DroneShield and Allen Vanguard Partner across C-UAS and C-IED sectors. DroneShield Limited (ASX:DRO) (“DroneShield” or the “Company”) an Australian/US provider of Artificial Intelligence based platforms for protection against advanced threats such as drones and autonomous systems and Allen-Vanguard, a US owned provider of Counter Improvised Explosive Devices (C-IED) solutions with facilities in the UK & North America, have today announced a partnership between their companies.
Both companies are respective global leaders in their fields. DroneShield’s Counter Unmanned Aerial System (C-UAS) solutions include a variety of multi-mission AI-powered C-UAS platforms such as RfPatrol body-worn sensor, DroneGun portable countermeasure, DroneSentry-X on-the-move system and DroneSentry base protection system. Allen-Vanguard have an extensive C-IED history and portfolio of solutions that has been bolstered in recent years by their ANCILE C-UAS system, an operationally proven and highly effective RF Countermeasure.
Oleg Vornik, DroneShield CEO, commented, “Many of our customers have mission sets that require both C-UAS and C-IED solutions. By combining our solutions, both from technical and commercial distribution point of view, we can provide a more complete offering to the existing respective customers of both companies, as well as collaborate on channels to market. There are presently a number of active combined opportunities that we are excited to be pursuing.”
Michael Dithurbide, Allen-Vanguard President, commented, “Allen-Vanguard comes from a rich, multi-decade C-IED heritage, providing scores of Tier 1 militaries globally with effective and robust capability solutions. With C-UAS a rapidly rising and often overlapping threat, we are pleased to partner with DroneShield, a leader in this space, to collaborate from a technical and commercial perspective to meet the exacting needs of our global customer base.
22 Feb 22. A prototype spy plane is tracking Russian force movements for the US Army. ARTEMIS “has both electronic collection and ground scanning radar so it could for example see the movement of tanks in real time, and collect RF [radio frequency] signals emitted by adversaries,” said Tom Spoehr of the Heritage Foundation. “Its sensors can go hundreds of miles out, so with the route it is flying it can see well into Belarus, Kaliningrad, and perhaps even into the Donbas region.”
As the world waits on Russia’s next move in its slow-rolling invasion of Ukraine, US military aircraft continue flights over Eastern Europe, searching for changes in Russia’s posture along Ukraine’s border that could give clues about its next moves.
Flying in the region among the US military’s submarine hunting planes and surveillance drones is a novel intelligence-gathering aircraft prototype known as ARTEMIS — a Bombardier Challenger 650 that’s been souped up with military-grade sensors for tracking ground troops, flown on behalf of the US Army by defense contractor Leidos.
ARTEMIS, which stands for Airborne Reconnaissance and Target Exploitation Multi-Mission System, has been conducting operations over Eastern Europe since the beginning of the month, logging 14 sorties between Feb. 1 until Feb. 21, according to Amelia Smith, a hobbyist plane-spotter who has been using flight data to track ISR missions over Europe.
And although the crisis in Ukraine appears to be worsening, it doesn’t seem like ARTEMIS flights will be slowing down anytime soon, as open-source flight tracking sources showed the aircraft flying near Poland’s eastern border earlier today, just hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russian forces would be moving into Ukrainian territory claimed by two would-be independent republics.
Flight data shows that ARTEMIS tends to make the same flight path every day, first taking off from Romania and flying through Slovakia and Hungary, where it can get a quick glimpse of Ukraine. From there, it moves along Poland’s eastern and northern borders — a route that allows ARTEMIS to project its sensors into Belarus, where Russia has staged troops, as well as Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave.
ARTEMIS “has both electronic collection and ground scanning radar so it could for example see the movement of tanks in real time, and collect RF [radio frequency] signals emitted by adversaries,” said Tom Spoehr, director of the Heritage Foundation’s center for national defense.
“Its sensors can go hundreds of miles out, so with the route it is flying it can see well into Belarus, Kaliningrad, and perhaps even into the Donbas region. The route is probably the closest that the US would want to take this plane to Russia and Belarus, while keeping the plane safely in NATO airspace.”
In a statement to Breaking Defense that did not specifically reference ARTEMIS, US European Command acknowledged that it routinely operates aircraft in the region in support of US intelligence objectives.
“We conduct these types of flights with allies and partners routinely, and only with prior approval from and full coordination with respective host nations. These missions demonstrate our continued commitment to safety and security in the region,” a EUCOM spokesperson said. “In accordance with longstanding DOD policy, we will not comment on capabilities, further operational details or possible future operations.”
The US Army also declined to comment on ARTEMIS operations in Eastern Europe.
ARTEMIS Takes To The Skies, But Its ‘Ultimate Enemy’ Still Awaits
ARTEMIS is a high-speed, ISR-gathering demonstrator built by Leidos in response to a nascent US Army requirement to replace its aging RC-12X Guardrail planes used to provide signals intelligence. The service is evaluating a number of fixed-wing ISR prototypes, and could announce a program of record further in the future.
Currently, the sole ARTEMIS aircraft in existence is owned and operated by Leidos, with contractors both flying the aircraft and managing the sensor suite, with data transferred in real time to the Army.
ARTEMIS was first deployed in July 2020, just 18 months after Leidos pitched the concept to the Army. It was sent to Europe in summer 2021 ahead of the Army’s Defender exercise and was supposed to head back stateside for a Project Convergence demonstration that fall, Defense News reported last year.
However, ARTEMIS ended up staying in Europe to monitor Russian troop movements near the border, reported National Defense Magazine in November.
One major advantage of ARTEMIS compared to the turboprop RC-12X is added range and endurance at high altitudes. It can fly 4,000 nautical miles or loiter for more than 10 hours with an operational altitude of 41,000 feet, giving it time for its sensors to penetrate into enemy territory over a significant amount of time.
Depending on what kind of mission the Army wants to fly, it can be configured with different sensors, including payloads for electronic intelligence, signals intelligence, imagery intelligence or radar.
According to previous press reports, the ARTEMIS aircraft carries a potential future sensor payload called the High-Accuracy Detection and Exploitation System (HADES), which is a research and development program under the service’s Multi-Domain Sensing System program. Fiscal 2022 Army budget books show HADES sensors include signals intelligence capabilities, including electronic intelligence and communications intelligence, as well as synthetic aperture radar (SAR)/moving target indicator in its first increment. Future plans include cyber/electronic warfare (EW) systems as well as air-launched effects (ALE) to extend sensing ranges, enabling ground commanders to detect, locate and target enemy assets on the ground, with an eye toward enabling long-range fires.
Experts were mixed on whether ARTEMIS’s operations in Eastern Europe could pave the way for a program of record.
“The Army has what I call this ‘primordial soup’ of potential technologies across the board, including ISR, and they are trying to figure out which of those technologies to pull forward as programs of record,” said Mark Cancian, a defense expert with the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “This is one of those technologies that they’re looking at.”
Although ARTEMIS is not yet a program of record, Cancian said that it’s a positive sign that the Army is operating it on a near-daily basis in Eastern Europe. And with the Pentagon’s FY23 budget topline expected to be more than $770bn, Cancian said it’s possible that the service could have the funds necessary to invest in ISR aircraft procurement this upcoming budget cycle.
But Richard Aboulafia, an aerospace expert with AeroDynamic Advisory, joked that the Army would have to beat out “the ultimate enemy, which of course is the US Air Force” before it gets the chance to buy ARTEMIS or any other fixed-wing, jet-powered ISR aircraft.
Historically, the Army has flown propeller driven aircraft — such as the Beechcraft RC-12 Guardrail — to conduct ISR and pick up signals intelligence. Meanwhile, the Air Force has dominated the realm of jet-powered ISR, operating a suite of special mission aircraft like the E-8C JSTARS aircraft that collects information about ground targets or the RC-135V/W Rivet Joint signals intelligence plane.
In the past, the Air Force has rebuffed Army attempts to field jet-powered ISR platforms, arguing that collecting tactical intelligence from the air is the job of the Air Force, and the Army could face similar pushback during this go-around, Aboulafia said.
“No service has ever voluntarily relinquished a mission,” Aboulafia said. But if the Army gets serious about buying jet-powered ISR aircraft, it could force the Air Force to get serious about replacing aging platforms like JSTARS, he added.
Other ISR planes still flying
Over the past two months, the United States ramped up ISR flights over Eastern Europe, seeking answers to questions about Russia’s intentions as it gathered forces around Ukraine’s border.
From Feb. 9 to Feb. 16, the US, NATO and key partner countries such as Ukraine and Sweden flew ISR sorties in the double digits, according to Smith’s data. So far, operations peaked on Feb. 10, when at least 22 NATO and Swedish ISR assets took to the skies, according to Smith’s data.
Tensions between Russia and Ukraine reached a high on Monday, when Putin announced that Russia would recognize the independence of Donetsk and Luhansk — two territories in Ukraine’s Donbas region, which have been under control by Russian-backed separatists. This morning, Russia’s upper house of parliament granted Putin the permission to use military force outside of Russia — increasing fears that a wholesale invasion of Ukraine could be imminent.
Despite worries about an escalating conflict, the US military has carried on with surveillance flights in Eastern Europe, and ARTEMIS isn’t the only US military ISR plane continuing to patrol the skies. In recent days, the Air Force has often tasked its RQ-4 Global Hawk surveillance drones to fly over Ukraine for long periods of time, sometimes upwards of 20 hours, allowing the US military a view of developments on the ground in Ukraine’s disputed territories. This appeared to be the case even this morning, when a Global Hawk circled just west of Donetsk. Another plane has that been frequently dispatched to the region over the past several months, the Air Force RC-135W Rivet Joint, was sighted over the skies of Poland this morning. The Rivet Joint is used to locate and identify electromagnetic signals, which could provide information about how Russia is positioning equipment like air defense systems. Meanwhile, a WC-135 Constant Phoenix “sniffer” plane, which collects radioactive particles and debris from the atmosphere, flew a path over the Baltic Sea this morning. Although not yet spotted over Eastern Europe today, Navy P-8s have flown daily missions this month, with the exception of Feb. 19. Depending on the day, they can be found over the North Sea, Norwegian Sea or Black Sea searching for submarines and tracking other activity. The Army’s RC-12X has also been active in recent weeks, collecting signals intelligence during flights over Lithuania and Latvia. (Source: Breaking Defense.com)
21 Feb 22. Sentient Vision Systems to enhance ViDAR for dust, smoke and haze. Melbourne-based Sentient Vision Systems plans to adapt its unique Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning technology to Short-Wave Infrared (SWIR). The program is designed to provide the company’s proven stand-off ViDAR (for Visual Detection and Ranging) optical radar capability in the most challenging optical environments. Haze – basically, smoke, dust or moisture particles suspended in the air, or all three – reduces visibility, and defies attempts to see through it using the Electro-Optic and Infrared (EO/IR) sensors that are in common use aboard airborne platforms over the sea and inland. The company will blend a SWIR sensor with AI derived from its proven ViDAR system to create a sensor imagery analysis capability that has never existed before. ViDAR is a software-based imagery analysis system that examines every frame in a sensor’s high-resolution imagery feed and detects targets that would be invisible to a human operator, or very hard to spot. It offers up to 96% probability of detecting a target and enables a patrol or SAR aircraft to cover a designated search area up to 30 times faster than one without a ViDAR sensor. A SWIR sensor operates in the 1-3 micron waveband which gives it a unique ability to ‘see’ through atmospheric haze, whether moisture, dust or smoke. By contrast, Medium-Wave IR (MWIR) in the 3-5 micron waveband is well suited to night vision and poor visibility and is used by most ViDAR operators. Long-Wave IR (LWIR) in the 8-15 micron waveband is the traditional ‘thermal imaging’ wave band and LWIR sensors detect temperature differences with great sensitivity, but are attenuated by haze, dust and smoke. Whereas a conventional EO/IR sensor might have a range of up to 20nm in good atmospheric conditions, in a hot, humid and hazy environment its range could fall to as little as 1nm in thick haze, and even less than this in dense smoke or dust. Using SWIR sensors this range increases considerably, and the ViDAR-derived AI and Machine Learning technology means that difficult to spot targets within the sensor feed can be detected autonomously in exactly the same way as a conventional, MWIR ViDAR system. ViDAR simply puts a thumbnail on the operator’s screen that provides the range and bearing of the target for closer investigation by the platform’s primary sensor. This enhanced detection capability offers significant advantages in Search and Rescue (SAR) missions, aerial firefighting, Law Enforcement (LE) and maritime surveillance. The advantages of SWIR and ViDAR to the operator are clear: it’s a passive capability, so undetectable, unlike radar. A SWIR sensor provides an EO-like image of the target, which is much easier to interpret than a radar image. The combination of SWIR and ViDAR is especially good for detecting small objects, unlike radar: ViDAR’s combination of AI and Machine Learning enables the sensor to detect and classify targets smaller than 1 pixel in size. So, a SWIR/ViDAR-equipped aircraft or UAV is far more productive than an aircraft without this system, says Sentient Vision Systems. However Sentient Vision Systems says this capability will augment, not replace, its existing, proven MWIR ViDAR system. Sentient Vision Systems is still exploring the technology and defining the right architecture for the system, but early indications are good. With the worst effects of the COVID-19 pandemic expected to pass soon, the company plans to verify and validate the SWIR/ViDAR combination in real-world conditions this year. (Source: http://rumourcontrol.com.au/)
22 Feb 22. iRayUSA, a Texas-based designer, manufacturer and distributor of premium thermal night vision devices announces the US availability of a new series of multi-function thermal imaging devices, the MICRO Series, from InfiRay Outdoor. The MICRO Series was purpose built to be the most versatile thermal imager offered on the consumer market. Weighing less than a pound, the MICRO will fit in the palm of your hand, can be used with standard helmet mounts, or be rifle mounted as a standalone optic. Additionally, the RH25 can also work in tandem with your day scope to act as a clip-on optic. InfiRay Outdoor is blazing a new trail with features never-before-seen in helmet mounted thermal. The MICRO’s onboard recording, onboard video playback, and an HD OLED display are all firsts for helmet mounted thermals. The MICRO also features InfiRay’s latest high performance 12 μm sensor technology, MATRIX III processing, and a manual focus f/1.0 objective lens to create an image that is unlike anything in it’s class.
“Hunters now have the option to use a single product to fill multiple roles on a hunt.” stated Angelo Brewer, Director of Operations, iRayUSA. “Seamless switching between a helmet mount or a weapon mounted solution with the MICRO is now even easier with our all new PICTAIL system.” Added Brewer.
In addition to the MICRO’s optical performance and mounting flexibility, the MICRO also features iRayUSA’s all new PICTAIL mounting system. PICTAIL is the combination of the standard dovetail shoe, commonly seen on helmet mounted optics, and the MIL-STD-1913 picatinny rail. This synergy creates a mounting system that is more accurate and versatile on a rifle, yet still maintains all dovetail capabilities on a helmet. By partnering with American Defense Manufacturing to adapt the 2 mounting systems into 1, iRayUSA delivers ADM’s gold standard picatinny mounting solution with an innovative lighter and faster dovetail design. The MICRO comes in two versions, a 640×512 resolution RH25 ($5999) and a 384×288 resolution RL25 ($2999), with both versions available for purchase now through the authorized iRayUSA dealer network. As with all iRayUSA products, the MICRO Series thermal imagers come with a 5-year warranty, with a 1-week turnaround process. A full list of MICRO Series specifications and an authorized dealer locator can be found on the iRayUSA website, www.irayusa.com.
21 Feb 22. Hezbollah Drone Evades Israel’s Iron Dome. The Israel Defense Forces fired an Iron Dome interceptor missile at a small unmanned aircraft that entered the country from Lebanon Friday, but missed it, the military said. The infiltration and failed interception attempts triggered air raid sirens across wide swaths of Israel’s north. The IDF said it also scrambled fighter jets and attack helicopters to deal with the aircraft, which entered Israel a day after the army shot down two other drones that entered its airspace, one of them from Lebanon.
“A drone was spotted flying from Lebanese territory toward Israel. The drone crossed into our territory and its flight path was tracked by detection systems. Helicopters and fighter jets were activated, an Iron Dome interceptor was fired without a successful intercepting it, and sirens were activated on the home front. After a few minutes, the drone returned to Lebanon,” the IDF said.
The military said the unmanned aircraft was a “glider” variety, but did not immediately comment further on the exact model of drone. It was not immediately clear if it had been armed. The drone infiltration from Lebanon triggered sirens in communities throughout the Galilee and the lower Golan Heights, including the towns of Rosh Pina, Mishmar Hayarden, Kfar Hanasi and others, the military said. Moments later a second round of sirens was set off by the launching of the Iron Dome interceptor missile at the drone, an IDF spokesperson said. On Sunday, Israeli troops accidentally opened fire on an IDF drone near the Lebanese border, after suspecting it was an enemy aircraft. (Source: UAS VISION/The Times of Israel)
21 Feb 22. US military partners with Oklahoma State University to create C-UAS centre of excellence. The Unmanned Systems Research Institute (USRI) at Oklahoma State University has announced the formation of a Department of Defense (DoD) Counter-UAS (unmanned aerial systems) Center of Excellence (COE). Created in partnership with the US military and industry leaders, the centre will elevate USRI’s capacity to develop state-of-the-art technology and a highly-trained workforce equipped to sustain growth well into the future, says the university press release. The newly formed centre of excellence aims to provide a collaborative environment to rapidly develop and test counter-UAS capabilities, and bolster the U.S. military’s ability to attract a skilled, security-cleared workforce to develop and test this technology. It will utilize resources across the state, working with industry and federal agencies to coordinate and evaluate technology to ensure the U.S. retains the lead in UAS and counter-UAS technology for the foreseeable future. The centre will have a formal grand opening in fall 2022. Although the centre’s work will be performed predominantly at the EXCELSIOR lab on OSU’s Stillwater campus, the footprint of the centre’s reach will extend to OSU’s facilities in Oklahoma City — such as the Hamm Institute for American Energy at Oklahoma State University — and to the US Army facilities at Fort Sill. USRI, housed in OSU’s College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology, will provide expertise on unmanned systems, autonomy, advanced materials and navigation solutions, as well as potential workforce candidates that will now have extensive, hands-on experience with systems and technologies developed through the COE. For more information visit: www.okstate.edu (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
15 Feb 22. Dedrone and Carahsoft partner to bring counter drone solutions to commercial sector. Counter drone company Dedrone and IT solutions provider Carahsoft Technology have announced a strategic partnership to market commercial anti-drone security solutions. As part of the agreement, Carahsoft will serve as Dedrone’s Master Government Aggregator, making Dedrone’s smart airspace technology available through Carahsoft’s Illinois Learning Technology Purchase Program (ILTPP) and NJSBA Technology & Cybersecurity contract, as well as through Carahsoft’s network of reseller partners.
“We are thrilled to be Carahsoft’s counter-drone solution partner and leverage Carahsoft’s Public Sector expertise to expand the availability for our complete airspace security solution within the Federal market,” said Rob Campbell, VP North America Public Sector, Dedrone. “Through this partnership, Government customers now have simplified access to complete counter-drone solutions to protect their people, property and information from malicious drone threats.”
Dedrone is deployed by US Government agencies both within the continental U.S. and abroad to detect, identify, track, analyze and mitigate small, unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS). Dedrone’s C2 platform, DedroneTracker, is built on an Open Systems Architecture (OSA), allowing for easy integration to any third-party sensor, stovepipe CsUAS capabilities, alternative mitigation solutions, and common Department of Defense’s (DoD) C2 systems. For more information visit:www.dedrone.com, www.carahsoft.com (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
18 Feb 22. US Army maintaining September IVAS fielding date, plotting production start. US Army soldiers will test out upgrades to Microsoft’s militarised HoloLens 2 augmented reality (AR) system in March to help the service determine if hardware and software fixes are adequate.The service said its revamped development plan is on track and soldiers may begin receiving the technology later in 2022. In mid-2021 the army postponed plans to field its Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) after it discovered problems with the device that caused soldiers to experience a range of physical ailments, from headaches to nausea, and they were not able to complete essential combat tasks. As a result, the service has been working with Microsoft to improve the heads-up display clarity – reducing the field-of-view from 80º down to 70º – while also working to get rid of ‘bugs’ that would ‘crash’ the system, and fixing a humidity problem with a single component inside the display. (Source: Janes)
18 Feb 22. In Singapore, Boeing touts P-8 Poseidon multi-sensor pod, for more ‘multi-mission’ uses. The new pod takes the P-8 “and further expands it to be truly multi-int and multi-spectral,” a Boeing rep said. They won’t say who they’re in talks with in Asia, but Boeing is clearly eager to sell the P-8 here and is touting a multi-mission pod that the company says increases the aperture of the plane’s sensors. When Boeing executives were repeatedly asked about prospective sales to Asia, they — as is often the case with international weapons sales — answered with a polite variation of “we’re not going to share our order book with you.”
The best version: “We haven’t missed a Singapore Air Show because of the interest in our region, but we just can’t comment specifically,” Sean Liedman, Boeing’s lead on P-8 international sales, told Breaking Defense. A P-8 was on the ground in the static display area of the show, complete with a regular crew trained and ready to discuss with visitors the plane and its capabilities — within the limits of classification. Back to the pod. It’s a 20 ft.-long module, designed to accept modular payloads. Those sensors can include what Liedman called “a variety of multi-sensor, multi-spectral, multi-intelligent capability.” This takes the P-8, which he notes “was born as a multi-mission maritime aircraft,” and “further expands it to be truly multi-int and multi-spectral.”
The standard sensors on the P-8 offer much smaller apertures than the pod can make available, simply because of its size. As space experts know particularly well, physics drive capability, particularly where optics and radar are concerned.
Now a larger pod will generate much more data, which could be a challenge in itself. But Liedman noted that the P-8’s crew of specialists alleviated any overload of data pipes. “They do first-pass analysis and take snippets of interest to reduce the amount of data that needs to be extracted from the airplane,” he said. By contrast, an unmanned aircraft has to dump all its data to a ground station. Boeing has reason to be eager for more P-8 sales. The most recent contract signed with Germany for five aircraft keeps the production lines open “until the end of 2024.” (Source: Breaking Defense.com)
18 Feb 22. Singapore Airshow 2022: Leonardo optimistic on prospects for Malaysian maritime patrol aircraft contest. Leonardo has confirmed its participation in Malaysia’s maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) contest and is confident that the company has submitted the best proposal for this requirement. The Malaysian Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) issued a tender notice seeking two MPAs for the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) in August 2020. The notice was published in the country’s daily newspapers and was also dispatched to the embassies of selected countries. Leonardo has proposed its ATR 72MP twin-turboprop aircraft, which is a variant of the ATR 72-600 that is in service with several regional airlines based in Malaysia and Indonesia. The ATR 72MP is being marketed as a low life-cycle cost, high availability maritime patrol platform that can also be configured for anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (AsuW), and electronic intelligence (ELINT) missions. The aircraft is equipped with an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, an electro-optical sensor turret with colour and monochrome cameras, an automatic identification system (AIS), and an airborne search and rescue system direction finder (ASARSDF). (Source: Janes)
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.