Sponsored by Blighter Surveillance Systems
14 May 22. Optronic mast destined for RAN’s Collins-class submarines. French defence company Safran has been selected to provide a search optronic mast for the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN’s) Collins-class submarine life of type extension (LOTE) project.
Speaking at the Indo-Pacific 2022 exhibition in Sydney, Rear Admiral Peter Quinn, the RAN’s Head of Navy Capability told AMR that as part of a plan to ensure there is no submarine capability gap between the Collins-class and the introduction of the new nuclear-powered submarines, the former would undergo a series of spiral upgrades to add new capabilities as well as avoid obsolescence.
He said that Safran had been working on the mast system for some time because it was supposed to be a common system with the now defunct Attack-class boats, but the RAN still wants to keep this capability for the Collins-class.
A spokesperson for Safran told AMR that the company was “very recently” chosen as the “preferred supplier” and would provide its Series 30 SOM system to replace the existing CK043 search periscope fitted to the boats that were supplied by Pilkington Electronics (now Thales UK).
Raytheon Australia is the combat ystems integrator for the LOTE project and Safran will perform its work under them as the prime contractor for this part of the work on the Collins-class submarine
The Series 30 SOM is a non-penetrating optronic mast system that has the benefit of using just a single cable through the submarine hull. It is used for surface search including navigation safety and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR). It also has the capability to conduct communications and electronic warfare. It has four digital optronic channels by using a cooled high-definition 3-5 μm thermal camera, a low-light tv channel, HDTV colour camera and a laser-range finder.
The periscope can perform panoramic detection and identification with a Quick Look Around feature to reduce detection.
The spokesperson said that the contract is expected to be signed this year. (Source: AMR)
19 May 22. Kongsberg Geospatial Provides 3D Operator Visualization for Iris Automation’s Casia G. Kongsberg Geospatial, developer of the TerraLens Geospatial Software Development Kit, has partnered with Iris Automation to enhance its Casia-G ground-based DAA system.
Casia G is a ground-based surveillance system that continually monitors the airspace using a 360-degree optical solution to ensure UAS operation is safe from intruder aircraft.
Kongsberg Geospatial now offers an operator situational awareness display fully integrated with Casia G that will provide visual cues, alerts and warnings as Casia G detects an intruder or if loss of separation occurs.
Iris Automation pioneered Casia I and Casia X, the first on-board, autonomous commercial collision avoidance safety systems for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). Casia G leverages the same AI and computer vision technology – but stationary – to detect aircraft as they approach your UAS operation. In achieving the FAA waiver, Iris Automation had to prove a performant sensor solution for conducting safe BVLOS operations, which will be unlocking the full potential of drones. This revolutionary sensor capability is combined with the decades of Kongsberg Geospatial display experience in airspace management. The joint capability will allow for an “electronic observer” vs a human observer.
“We are so pleased to partner with one of the premier airspace visualization software providers globally and utilize the situational awareness capability that they designed specifically for our product, Casia G.” Said Jason Hardy-Smith, CTO of Iris Automation.
“We are excited to be partnered with Iris Automation and assist with drone flights in the National Airspace. The ground-based optical DAA is a proven cost-effective solution relative to other ground-based DAA systems,” said Jordan Freed, President of Kongsberg Geospatial. “We look forward to commencing BVLOS flights in Reno this summer.”
(Source: UAS VISION)
19 May 22. Fortem Technologies Deploys Man Portable Counter-UAS Solution in Ukraine. Fortem Technologies has announced a new, smaller portable counter-UAS system in direct response to the crisis in Ukraine. Working closely with the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, Fortem provided Ukraine with a number of the Fortem SkyDome man-portable counter-UAS solutions, as well as on site training and support.
The solution includes the Fortem DroneHunter, which removes drones from the sky autonomously day and night.
Ukraine has a dire need for portable counter-drone technology to detect and disarm Group 1 and II enemy surveillance drones. Recognizing this, Fortem took its pre-existing portable counter-UAS system and further miniaturized and simplified it for use as an expeditionary rapid deployment system.
“Fortem creates the world’s best drone interceptor. We work everyday to keep venues, campuses, and entire cities protected from rogue drone incursions,” said Fortem Technologies CEO Timothy Bean. “When our predictions came true – that drones would be relied upon heavily in the next major conflict – we knew we had to act quickly to arm our allies with the technology necessary to keep themselves safe from drone surveillance and attacks.”
The Fortem SkyDome man-portable counter-UAS solution sets up very quickly with an off-power grid without connection to power networks or generators. This allows expeditionary forces to operate at the border of a conflict with no dependency on an operating infrastructure or heavy and noisy support equipment. The solution is very safe for the operators, as the operator can be stationed far away and can stop transmissions across ground radios to avoid electronic detection. The detection sensors operate at a very high beamwidth and low power so that it’s extremely hard to detect the solution with electronic counter measures.
“It’s evident that the new weapon of war is drones, and countries must be prepared to protect their people and infrastructure from such attacks,” said a Senior UKR MOD official. “Fortem’s SkyDome system allows for detection and mitigation of attacking drones, which helps Ukraine in its fight against Putin’s forces.”
Currently, Fortem Technologies is deployed in the U.S., the Middle East, Asia and, most recently, Ukraine. Additionally, Toshiba recently chose Fortem as their counter-drone partner worldwide. (Source: UAS VISION)
19 May 22. Laser weapons against drones – Rheinmetall conducts successful trials for the Bundeswehr. Rheinmetall has successfully tested the technology demonstrator version of a laser weapon built on behalf of the German Bundeswehr. The first trials with the laser testbed were conducted at Rheinmetall’s proving ground in Unterlüß as part of a Counter-Unmanned Aircraft System (C-UAS) campaign.
The laser testbed serves not only as a technology demonstrator laser weapon, but also as the basis for future R&D work at Unterlüß in Lower Saxony. It is designed so that all components of a future laser weapon system can be examined modularly. Every interface to the sensors – the radar, for example – or to the energy supply and laser source are “open” designs. This makes it possible to test every conceivable combination iteratively and then to compare the results.
The objective of current studies in the laser testbed is to produce a suitable configuration for a mobile technology demonstrator with a laser output of over 10 kW for integration into a Boxer fighting vehicle by the end of 2022.
At present, the laser testbed consists entirely of subassemblies made by Rheinmetall. But open interface architecture makes it possible to integrate and test components from other manufacturers also.
The laser testbed consists of a 20-foot container divided into three compartments: laser, operator and infrastructure. Encompassing five 2 kW-fibre laser modules, the laser source is installed in the laser compartment. Bundled via spectral coupling, the individual laser modules achieve a total output of 10 kW, producing excellent beam quality. Rough orientation of the laser weapon station is based on data from the suite of electro-optical sensors in the weapon station. This is ready to operate around the clock. For fine tracking, the reflection of the target irradiated by the illumination laser is evaluated in the beam guidance system and transformed into corresponding guidance signals for tracking the target. Furthermore, under conditions of functional safety, all subassemblies necessary for target engagement, e.g., beam status monitoring and target point control, were achieved for the first time within the optical beam path.
During the C-UAS campaign conducted in Unterlüß, a variety of drone types were optically tracked and neutralized at ranges of engagement of up to one kilometre.
The results obtained were more than satisfactory. A demonstration was subsequently carried out in compliance with corona safety measures at Unterlüß for representatives of the Federal Ministry of Defence and the Federal Office for Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-service Support. The outcome met the expectations of all participants.
18 May 22. Nearmap and Carahsoft Partner to Provide Geospatial Content and Location Intelligence Services at Scale to U.S. Federal Government Agencies.
Nearmap, a leading aerial imagery and location intelligence company, and Carahsoft Technology Corp., the Trusted IT Solutions Provider®, today announced a partnership that will make it easier for Government customers to obtain geospatial data.
Under the agreement, Carahsoft will serve as a distributor of Nearmap products to U.S. government customers, making Nearmap aerial imagery and geospatial data available to the public sector through Carahsoft’s network of reseller partners, NASA Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement (SEWP) V, Information Technology Enterprise Solutions – Software 2 (ITES-SW2), National Cooperative Purchasing Alliance (NCPA), and OMNIA Partners contracts.
Through Carahsoft, government agencies in the U.S. will more easily and efficiently be able to purchase geospatial content and location data from leading location intelligence company Nearmap with access to preferred government customer pricing.
These contract vehicles will also provide U.S. Federal Government customers with streamlined access to some of the world’s most current, accurate and scalable location data and tools. Applications for this powerful location data include national security, military and civil asset management, infrastructure management, environmental studies, and natural disaster response, resilience response and recovery missions.
Executive Vice President and General Manager of North America at Nearmap, Tony Agresta, said, “Our successful track record with U.S. government agencies, including the Army National Guard, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and United States Army Corps of Engineers, drove our decision to pursue these contracts. The stamp of approval Nearmap has received validates our world-leading capabilities and cost-effective solutions. This ensures Nearmap can continue to deliver high-quality aerial imagery and location data to support the myriad of critical services that government agencies provide for their citizens.”
Nearmap is widely recognized as a top location intelligence provider for State and Local Government organizations wishing to improve their workflows and save taxpayer resources. Most notably, Nearmap technology and content is now used in 42 of the 50 U.S. states for a variety of use cases. The announcement of Nearmap’s new U.S. government distribution channels further demonstrates the growth and importance Nearmap places on supporting government agencies in the U.S.
“Nearmap’s offerings allow agencies to streamline workflows, make better informed decisions through reliable intelligence and strengthen their digital transformation strategy,” said Lacey Wean, Director for Geospatial Solutions at Carahsoft. “We are pleased to leverage our expertise in the government realm and that of our reseller partners to include Nearmap’s solutions in our growing geospatial solutions portfolio and to make them available to the public sector.”
Nearmap is now available through Carahsoft’s SEWP V contracts NNG15SC03B and NNG15SC27B, ITES-SW2 Contract W52P1J-20-D-0042, NCPA Contract NCPA01-86, and OMNIA Partners Contract #R191902. For more information, contact the Nearmap team at Carahsoft at (703) 673-3645 or .
Nearmap provides easy, instant access to high resolution aerial imagery, city-scale 3D content, AI data sets, and geospatial tools. Using its own patented camera systems and processing software, Nearmap captures wide-scale urban areas in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand several times each year, making current content instantly available in the cloud via web app or API integration. Every day, Nearmap helps thousands of users conduct virtual site visits for deep, data-driven insights—enabling informed decisions, streamlined operations and better financial performance. Founded in Australia in 2007, Nearmap is one of the largest aerial survey companies in the world and is publicly listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX:NEA). (Source: PR Newswire)
18 May 22. Special operators need counter-drone, counter-IED tech in a smaller package. U.S. special operations forces need a tool that can both jam radio frequencies to stop roadside bombs from exploding as well as neutralize drone threats by land, air and sea — and it has to be small.
That’s what Special Operations Command officials said Tuesday at the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference, hosted in Florida by the National Defense Industrial Association. A lieutenant colonel who serves as the command’s program manager for counterproliferation said SOCOM is seeking a next-generation multimission electronic countermeasure device. (Under rules of the conference, individuals at the paygrade of O-5 and below were not to be identified in press reports.)
But an O-6, Army Col. Anh Ha, who leads the command’s warrior-focused office, said a major initiative is ensuring an operator working in an isolated area — far from command infrastructure and with limited resources and power — can still have a shared, common operating picture with higher headquarters.
“Contested comms, this one always scares everyone,” Ha said. “What happens when we can’t talk?”
Marine Cpl. Emilio Vasquez, an electronic warfare operator, uses a Modi II electronic warfare system to disrupt radio signals during a communications field testing exercise at Naval Air Station Point Mugu, Calif., on Apr. 22, 2021. (Cpl. Thomas Spencer/U.S. Marine Corps)
For its part, the Army’s research budget last year emphasized tactical architecture for electronic warfare, C4ISRNET reported. That included a request to increase spending for the Multi-Function Electronic Warfare effort, the Terrestrial Layer System—Brigade Combat Team program, the Electronic Warfare Planning and Management Tool, and the Terrestrial Layer System—Echelons Above Brigade effort.
Big Army also pumped up its budget request last year to nearly triple its EW personnel.
The counterproliferation Army lieutenant colonel at SOFIC is focused on a smaller package. “Counter-unmanned systems: This consumes the bulk of our energy in the program office,” the O5 said.
The office stood up the counter-UAS program this past fall, he noted, and although the current focus is on aerial threats, the office is looking for ground and maritime counter-drone options, too.
His team wants to find portable, dismounted and fixed expeditionary site options for the next-generation multimission electronic countermeasure gear. The Marine Corps and SOCOM have an existing system called Modi, made by the Sierra Nevada Corporation and used by the Army and Marines.
The next-gen version needs to hit those other domains and be more portable. The current dismounted system weighs 40 pounds.
The program manager said “ideally” the office expects to select a system by fiscal 2024 and begin production in fiscal 2025. And SOCOM would like to run these systems as smoothly as they can in order to “reduce burden to our operators and incentivize autonomy as much as possible,” the O5 said. (Source: Defense News)
18 May 22. Spec ops optics: US forces seek new sights and ways to defeat fog. Having eyes on the battlefield can mean the difference between hitting the right or wrong target, or even hitting the target at all, which is why U.S. special operators are looking to upgrade a host of optics items.
Those include a new close-quarters scope, clear glass that can display data and a solution to the vexing problem of fogged-up lens. More specifically, Special Operations Command wants to replace its SU-231 and SU-231A enhanced close-quarters weapon sights, a lieutenant colonel with the command’s lethality office said Tuesday at the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference in Florida.
Per media coverage rules at this conference, names of representatives at or below the rank of O-5 cannot be identified due to the sensitive nature of their work.
The Su-231 technology is a holographic sight that projects a dot into the shooter’s field of view on the weapon’s sight glass, but it’s not visible on the actual target. The sight is a quick-target and aiming-point device, and it’s a substantial improvement on open sights and traditional scopes.
But the bearded door kickers want more, and they’re going to release details to industry in either July or August. For now, the command is willing to publicly say it wants to “incorporate some of the visual augmentation, being able to display data in a see-through screen,” the O-5 said.
The officer added that SOCOM wants the shooter to be able to see relevant data such as range to target or an azimuth for better situational awareness. “You won’t have to raise your eyes from your reticle to get the range to your target,” he said.
“And it will obviously have to be configurable because not every operator wants stuff in his glass,” the officer added. “Lots of operators hate that.”
In other words, the user must be able to turn that feature on and off.
The sight would hopefully be available in the near term. The Army recently contracted with Vortex Optics and Sheltered Wings to provide the Next Generation Squad Weapon-Fire Control, Army Times reported.
That weapon sight will feed ballistics calculator data, directions and networking to other devices on the Army’s newest rifle and machine gun combo, the NGSW.
The command is also looking to add visual augmentation in a clear glass during daytime. Current and forthcoming night vision as well as items such as the Army’s Integrated Visual Augmentation System offer a lot of digital data in the sight at night.
The command also wants it thin enough to fit under existing night vision tech. That’s because SOCOM just bought a lot of night vision devices, and its personnel won’t be getting anymore for at least a few years, the officer said.
That “Google Glass”-type proposal is going out to industry by the end of this year or early next year, he added.
Another representative from the command’s survival, support and equipment systems office, said they’re looking for a lens solution of a different kind. That individual cited a perennial problem: fogging.
“There’s been no real gamechanger in anti-fog,” he said. “Every lens, every coating that we’ve ever tested at some point always fogs.”
The representative did not share a specific request for proposals item or schedule, but did ask for industry solutions in open submission.
(Source: Defense News)
19 May 22. Gurutvaa delivers ‘Dronaam’ C-UAS to Indian Air Force.
Indian firm Gurutvaa Systems has delivered the first set of the indigenously developed ‘Dronaam’ counter-unmanned aircraft systems (C-UASs) to the Indian Air Force (IAF).
Harshad Dave, director of Gurutvaa Systems, told Janes that an undisclosed number of Dronaam C-UASs were delivered to the IAF earlier in May under a contract signed in August 2021. The system was delivered within nine months.
Dave said the system underwent design review in October 2021 and the first prototype trials were conducted in December 2021. A second trial of a production standard system, which incorporated suggestions from the first trial, was conducted by IAF in February 2022.
Dave further added that the Dronaam system is developed completely indigenously and has proved effective at disrupting the GNSS (global navigation satellite system) navigation and jamming radio frequencies of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
10 May 22. India appoints central agency to strengthen counter drone capabilities in face of rising incidents. India’s security ministry has designated the National Security Guards (NSG) as the nodal agency for anti-drone capabilities, reports The Hindu Times. NSG is tasked with equipping state police departments and other organisations with anti-drone capabilities and providing training, says the report.
The newspaper says: “States are reaching out to the NSG for training of its policemen in counter drone measures which are still evolving in India. NSG, which has acquired specialised skillsets domestically, has already trained police forces from Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab in anti-drone warfare.
“Indian security establishment woke up to the serious threat posed by drone when two bombs were dropped through the aerial platform at a Jammu airbase last June. Other than that, Pakistan has been using drones to air drop consignments of arms and contraband mainly in Jammu and Kashmir, and Punjab.”
The report goes on to say India’s armed forces “are developing their own capabilities and have lined up to purchase counter-drone systems essentially developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)”.
For more information visit: www.thehindubusinessline.com (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
16 May 22. Raytheon Intelligence & Space and Kord team-up to defeat multiple mortars and large drones with Stryker-mounted high-energy laser.
In four weeks of continuous live-fire exercises, an industry team led by Raytheon Intelligence & Space, a Raytheon Technologies (NYSE: RTX) business, and Kord, a wholly owned subsidiary of KBR, defeated multiple 60mm mortar rounds with a 50kW-class high energy laser integrated on a Stryker combat vehicle.
The directed energy weapon system — part of the U.S. Army’s Directed Energy Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense, or DE M-SHORAD — acquired, tracked, targeted and defeated multiple mortars and successfully accomplished multiple tests simulating real-world scenarios.
Continuing to put the DE M-SHORAD system to the test, the recent operational assessment at White Sands Missile Range also included defeating several small, medium and large drones.
“Soldiers in the field face increasingly complex threats, and our combat-proven sensors, software, and lasers are ready to give them a new level of protection,” said Annabel Flores, president of Electronic Warfare Systems for Raytheon Intelligence & Space. “The Army gave us our toughest challenge yet — countering rockets, artillery and mortars — and we took an essential step on the path to providing the maneuverable, short range air defense Soldiers need.”
The DE M-SHORAD effort is aimed at protecting soldiers against various aerial threats, including unmanned aircraft systems, rotary-wing aircraft, rockets, artillery and mortars. Kord serves as the primary integrator of the system on the Stryker combat vehicle, while Raytheon Intelligence & Space provides the 50kW-class high energy laser weapon module, a specialized radar acquisition system, a beam control system and targeting sensor.
“This team once again showed that the HEL system is fully-integrated and ready to provide protection against complex threats,” said Byron Bright, President of KBR Government Solutions. “With an effectively infinite magazine and near-zero cost per shot, HEL is now the proven answer to asymmetric threats like drones and mortars.”
The joint industry team, which includes Rocky Research for power and thermal management, General Dynamics Land Systems for the Stryker platform, and Applied Technology Associates for additional sensors, is preparing to deliver four DE M-SHORAD units to Army Brigade Combat Teams in 2022.
RI&S’ high energy laser weapon systems, built in McKinney, Texas, works on land, in the air and at sea, providing 360-degree coverage that can protect bases, airports, stadiums and other high-value military or civilian assets. Open architecture, scalable power, and ruggedized design adapts to the demands of the mission. HEL weapons can be used as standalone systems or rapidly installed on a variety of platforms. Major suppliers for the system are based in Huntsville, Alabama; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Portland, Oregon; East Granby, Connecticut; and Los Angeles, California.
16 May 22. Silent Sentinel provides advanced threat detection systems to Rheinmetall Mission Master SP Unmanned Ground Vehicle. British threat detection specialist Silent Sentinel (www.silentsentinel.com) has been awarded a contract to provide a unique multi-sensor electro-optical platform for Rheinmetall Canada’s Mission Master SP Autonomous Unmanned Ground Vehicle (A-UGV), as part of the UK Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Robotic Platoon Vehicles (RPV) programme.
Silent Sentinel will be equipping the Mission Master SP with a range of sensors, some of which have been designed specifically for this contract, which Silent Sentinel is able to do as a true end-to-end manufacturer with in-house design and engineering resources. Silent Sentinel’s platform will have full integration capabilities for the Rheinmetall Mission Master SP and provides leading-edge threat detection, recognition and identification at long ranges and in all weather and lighting conditions.
The contract forms part of an order placed by the British Army for the final phase of the RPV programme, known as Spiral 3. The RPV programme is a three-phase experiment to determine the extent to which unmanned vehicles can boost the combat effectiveness and capabilities of dismounted troops at platoon level.
This is not the first time that Silent Sentinel has partnered with Rheinmetall Canada, having been awarded a contract to provide electro-optics for the Mission Master in 2020. This new contract is a testament to the Silent Sentinel’s expertise in providing advanced and easily integrated vehicle-mounted systems for use in a wide range of operational scenarios.
James Longcroft, Sales Director at Silent Sentinel said: “We are pleased once again to be partnering with Rheinmetall Canada in providing our best-in-class electro-optical platforms to the Mission Master. This contract represents yet another step in our mission to be a provider of advanced technology as standard on our products, and is proof of our agility in supplying easily-integrated platforms for vehicle-mounted operations.”
11 May 22. Focus Corrected SWIR Lenses Intro’d By Resolve Optics. Resolve Optics has developed SWIR lenses that benefit from a novel design that maintains maximum performance throughout the Short Wavelength Infrared spectral range (900 – 1700nm) without the need for refocusing.
Traditionally most lenses available for SWIR applications have been lenses designed for the visible but have AR coating for the 900 -1700nm region. However, using the latest generation of higher resolution SWIR sensors the shortcomings of these lens (poor resolution and poor color correction) is noticeable.
Resolve Optics focus corrected SWIR lenses deliver unmatched resolution and color correction (900 -1700nm) ensuring that you get the best possible image from your sensor or camera. In addition, these lenses offer the benefit of removing the need for constant refocusing to achieve optimized, high resolution images at all SWIR wavelengths. (Source: Satnews)
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.