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26 May 22. RAF pushes ‘really big contract’ for Typhoon radar upgrades.
British defense officials are awaiting top leaders’ approval to complete development and production of an active electronically scanned array radar destined to upgrade Royal Air Force Typhoon jets.
“We are putting in place now what is going to be a really big contract,” taking the program through to initial and full operating capability, said a a Ministry of Defence official briefing reporters May 24 here at the combat jet production and development site of BAE Systems.
A spokesman for the Defence Equipment and Support arm of the MoD later confirmed contract proposals had been submitted to ministers.
“A robust financial case has been submitted for investment in ECRS Mk2 and we await a decision from UK Government,” said a spokesman May 25, using shorthand for the European Common Radar System program.
BAE and radar developer Leonardo UK announced a £317m ($400m) deal with the government in 2020 to take ECRS Mk2 to a standard ready for integration on the Typhoon.
That money runs out at the end of the year, which is when the prototype ECRS Mk2 radar should be delivered to the BAE site at Warton and a full system critical design review completed for the production radar.
A Leonardo spokesman said the company “remains on-track to meet those milestones.”
“Further development requires further investment,” the company spokesman added. “Subject to approval, the intent will be to complete the development of ECRS Mk2 hardware and software and then integrate the new radar onto U.K. Typhoon aircraft through a four-nation program called P4E.”
Typhoon development and production is undertaken by a partnership between Britain, Germany, Italy and Spain. The British MoD is currently set to acquire 40 new sensor systems to equip its Typhoon Tranche 3 fleet.
An initial operating capability covering the radar, training, infrastructure and other requirements is set for 2030.
A date for delivery of the first Mk2-equipped Typhoon to the Royal Air Force has not yet been made available publicly.
Numbers and timings may change, though.
At the moment the upgrade is for Tranche 3 aircraft, but British Tranche 2 jets could be upgraded as well if the money can be found.
Initial operating capability “is still subject to ministerial approval as part of that [contractual] process. Our target is to bring the system into service as early as we can, so 2030 is a back stop, if we can deliver earlier we will do that,” said the defense official.
“You can imagine no doors have been closed, and there are all kinds of other bigger strategic choices that will be made that will decide [numbers], so we are giving them options. If they want to go for more Mk2s, they can. Everyone wishes we could get Mk2 even earlier,” added the official.
The 2020 BAE-Leonardo announcement relating to the development phase deal secured by the companies mentioned equipping the Typhoon aircraft with new radar from the mid-2020s.
That timing, though, was driven more by a potential export opportunity in Finland, rather than a RAF commitment to install the radar early.
The Finnish competition was eventually won by the Lockheed Martin F-35.
Typhoon is currently equipped with a mechanically scanned radar.
Germany and Spain have gone ahead with a less capable Mk1 version of the AESA radar to update their Typhoons. While the British opted for the more powerful Mk2 version the Typhoon partners continue to collaborate closely on the update program.
Italy has signaled its interest in joining the British-led Mk2 effort and has recently dispatched Italian engineers to Leonardo’s Edinburgh, Scotland, development site to work on the program.
Britain and Italy have formed what is called the Industrial Joint Team as the first step by the Rome government towards full participation in the Mk2 program.
The update is part of a wider capability improvement program aimed at maintaining Typhoon’s cutting edge, as well as de-risking technology advances ahead of the introduction of the British-led Tempest sixth-generation combat jet scheduled to start replacing the aircraft around 2035-2040.
More powerful computers and mission systems upgrades are among the intended enhancements, and BAE officials showed reporters a new cockpit featuring a single large screen and no head-up display for the Typhoon which they would like to see in service by 2030.
For now, much of the focus for Britain’s air combat industry is on the game-changing ECRS Mk2.
“I can’t stress enough how much of a significant leap Mk2 is going to be for the UK military and industry and what we are proposing to do,” the defense official said.
The first radar hardware is on track to be delivered to Warton later this year. The first test flight also is expected in 2020, according to the MoD. (Source: Defense News)
26 May 22. Schiebel CAMCOPTER S-100 Performs Maritime Surveillance for Royal Danish Navy. The Royal Danish Navy (RDN) is operating the Schiebel CAMCOPTER S-100 for maritime surveillance. The Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) service is delivered by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA). Stationed in Denmark’s northernmost town Skagen, the CAMCOPTER® S-100 is supporting the RDN alongside other national authorities in carrying out various maritime surveillance tasks, including detecting, verifying and providing information on potential oil spills and discharges at sea. All data gathered from the flights is shared live through the EMSA RPAS Data Centre allowing users to monitor any unusual activity at sea with a potentially harmful impact on the safety and security of persons and vessels in the area or affecting the environment itself. The S-100’s multiple state-of-the-art sensors significantly enhance the maritime surveillance capabilities of the RDN. The UAS is equipped with an L3 Wescam Electro-Optical / Infra-Red (EO/IR) camera gimbal, an Overwatch Imaging PT-8 Oceanwatch and an Automatic Identification System (AIS) receiver.
Hans Georg Schiebel, Chairman of the Schiebel Group, said:
“Schiebel has been successfully working with EMSA in several European countries so far. We are proud that the S-100 is making such an essential impact, now also for the Royal Danish Navy.” (Source: UAS VISION)
26 May 22. DSIT Presents its ASW Protection Suite for Surface Vessels at HEMUS 2022 in Bulgaria. The advanced ASW Suite detects and tracks underwater threats in all bathymetric layers
HEMUS 2022, June 1-4, Plovdiv, Bulgaria, Hall Z, Stand 3-L-3
DSIT Solutions, a leading developer and manufacturer of cutting-edge maritime defense and security solutions, presents its advanced ASW protection suite for surface vessels at HEMUS 2022 in Bulgaria. The Suite detects and tracks underwater threats such as submarines, midget submarines, and torpedoes in all bathymetric layers.
The flexible ASW Suite is configured to precisely meet the customer’s operational requirements. Systems can be installed on vessels of various sizes, including frigates, corvettes, and offshore patrol vessels (OPVs).
The ASW Suite includes the following: The BlackFish™ Hull Mounted Sonar (HMS) or Bow Mounted Sonar (BMS) systems utilize passive, active, and parallel modes of operation. The SwordFishTM Towed Array Sonar (TAS) System, an active and passive variable depth sonar system designed to serve in both littoral and deep waters, has been adapted for use on vessels of various sizes engaged in a variety of mission types. The WhitePointer™ UCS, an underwater communication system, designed for voice and data transmissions between surface ships and submarines.
Mr. Hanan Marom, DSIT’s VP Marketing and Business Development, said, ”All DSIT’s ASW systems are versatile, customizable, and always on. Our systems integrate cutting-edge electronics and acoustic technologies, as well as state-of-the-art machine learning, automation, and signal processing – ensuring exceptional performance in even the most challenging arenas. The ASW Suite was designed to support bi-static and multi-static operations.”
In addition to the ASW Suite, DSIT will also present the ORCA Training System and the powerful, long-range underwater coastal surveillance system, the SeaShieldTM.
A subsidiary of RAFAEL Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., DSIT Solutions Ltd. has, for the last three decades, developed and implemented comprehensive defense and protection solutions against various underwater threats, focusing on six main types of solutions: Underwater Coastal Terrain Dominance systems, Underwater Security systems, Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) systems, Acoustic Analysis & Trainer systems, Sonar systems for Submersible Platforms, and Underwater Communication Systems. Based on DSIT Solutions’ wide range of capabilities, experience, and innovative technology, the company’s underwater systems and technologies have been successfully deployed by many sophisticated customers worldwide for naval defense, HLS, and energy security applications.
24 May 22. The U.S. Army Selects Intellisense Systems, Inc. for a Phase II SBIR Award for Secure Display Data Transfer Technology. The United States Army has awarded Intellisense Systems, Inc., a leading provider of avionics systems and display technology, a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II contract for development of the Secure Modular Architecture for Reusable Transfer of Display Data (SMART-2D) technology. SMART-2D enables pilots to securely upload key data like flight plans, mission data, or display configurations onto the aircraft via a smart carry-on device like a tablet or electronic flight bag.
This system incorporates an open-architecture approach that will significantly expand opportunities for interfacing aircraft displays with carry-on devices. SMART-2D implements Future Airborne Capabilities Environment (FACE™)-conformant data models and innovatively exchanges display data over a secure network backbone that mitigates the impact to and integrity of mission-critical systems.
“We’re very excited to continue development of this new technology,” said Juan Hodelin, Vice President and General Manager of Airborne Systems at Intellisense. “This innovative use of a standards-based approach to achieve a common display solution with severability from federated aircraft systems is critical to supporting platform technology adoption. This includes support for domain separation that decouples the display system from core aircraft avionics, allowing mobile device connectivity to the display.”
In Phase II, Intellisense will develop a fully functional prototype and test it with various avionics vendors to verify interoperability with multiple display implementations and avionics suites. The development effort involves working with avionics prime systems integrators and identifying opportunities to collaborate with the Army’s Combat Aviation Brigade Architecture Integration Lab (CABAIL) to augment Intellisense’s diverse and cutting-edge avionics display offerings.
About Intellisense Systems, Inc.
Intellisense Systems, Inc. is a leading provider of advanced sensing and display solutions supporting a data continuum from acquisition to visualization. We enhance our hardware with software that adds intelligence to our systems and can turn raw data into useful information for improved decision making and process automation. Intellisense Systems offers both off-the-shelf products and custom development services. These services include research and development, requirements analysis, design, systems integration, prototyping, production, testing, field support, and training. Headquartered in the South Bay area of Los Angeles, the company occupies 70,000 square feet within our Torrance campus. Our manufacturing capabilities include electronics fabrication, unit qualification testing, systems integration, and volume production with full quality assurance. Intellisense Systems is qualified across engineering, accounting, and manufacturing to serve government and commercial customers. (Source: PR Newswire)
23 May 22. UK XLUUV trials demonstrate towed array sonar deployment. The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has successfully demonstrated the capability to deploy a thin-line towed array sonar from an extra-large uncrewed undersea vehicle (XLUUV). The trials, held off Plymouth, UK, in the second quarter of 2022, involved the MSubs 9 m S201 XLUUV and SEA’s thin-line towed KraitArray sonar. In an 18 May statement, SEA said the trials “[have] proven the ability to deploy an anti-submarine warfare (ASW) payload from an autonomous undersea vehicle”. The work followed previous trials activity, in late 2021, during which integration of the vehicle and the towed array was demonstrated, alongside development of an array launch-and-recovery process.
The work is part of a UK Royal Navy (RN) programme assessing the potential contribution of XLUUVs in delivering autonomous underwater battlespace capability. The RN is customer and sponsor for the work, with the MoD’s Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) organisation and Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) as programme manager and technical partner, respectively. (Source: Janes)
23 May 22. Axon and Skydio Announce New Integration of Skydio Autonomous Drones with Axon Respond for Public Safety. Axon (Nasdaq: AXON), the global leader in connected public safety technologies, and Skydio, the leading US drone manufacturer and world leader in autonomous flight, today announced that public safety agencies flying Skydio drones and using Axon Respond, Axon’s real-time operations platform, will now have the ability to access drone live-streams to provide more comprehensive views of incidents.
The partnership between Axon and Skydio delivers a paradigm shift in how public safety agencies can leverage small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) for real-time situational awareness and evidence management. The integration with Axon Respond will allow command staff and 911 dispatchers to combine the livestreaming capabilities of Axon body-worn and in-car cameras with the Skydio drone’s aerial perspective — all within the same network.
In addition to wireless livestreaming and digital evidence management, Skydio drone-captured imagery will live alongside corresponding body-worn camera video in Axon’s digital evidence management platform, Axon Evidence and Skydio evidence can be securely and efficiently managed and shared like any other digital asset in Axon Evidence, as announced last year.
“We’ve seen drones create a significant, positive impact for our public safety customers, helping keep first responders and the communities they serve safer,” says Skydio CEO, Adam Bry. “Our integrations with Axon Evidence, Respond and Air culminate an incredibly successful strategic partnership — bringing together market-leading solutions to give our customers even more effective methods of gaining situational awareness and gathering and managing evidence.”
“Drones are rapidly becoming a critical tool for public safety, and this integration of Axon’s software suite into Skydio drones provides agencies with increased flexibility in how they utilize situational awareness,” says Axon Air General Manager, Aydin Ghajar. “This partnership reaffirms Axon’s commitment to ensuring everyone gets home safe by offering first responders a more effective method of gaining situational awareness and gathering evidence.”
As a part of this partnership, agencies will soon also be able to easily manage their drone programs with comprehensive program management platform, including pilots, flight logs, data and hardware all on Axon Air powered by DroneSense. Automated record keeping will make it easy to provide accountability and transparency across the entire organization. This integration will be available to customers later this year. (Source: PR Newswire)
19 May 22. Rolls-Royce powers directed energy extended laser field tests in collaboration with Lockheed Martin. Rolls-Royce has successfully demonstrated ‘deep magazine’ power capability for directed energy applications, powering multiple, extended laser field tests in collaboration with Lockheed Martin as part of the Layered Laser Defense (LLD) project.
Deep magazine power capability is crucial for directed energy applications, which can be limited by battery-only systems that require recharging or replacement of batteries after a short period of operation. The Rolls-Royce ColdFire system includes both battery-powered and near-continuous firing modes, through a compact and fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce M250 gas turbine engine which provides consistent, extended power to operate the laser application.
Powered by the Rolls-Royce system, Lockheed Martin’s laser weapon system successfully shot down flying targets during the recent field tests conducted in partnership with the Office of Naval Research at the US Army’s High Energy Laser Systems Test Facility at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, says the company press release.
Lockheed Martin developed the 100kW-class LLD to demonstrate laser weapon system technologies in an integrated system. Coupled with a Rolls-Royce ColdFire power and thermal system, it provides nearly continuous firing capability to engage more types of targets, in larger numbers, with longer range, than previous systems. Paul Shattuck, Lockheed Martin, Director of Directed Energy Systems, said, “Our industry team worked together in great partnership to bring forward critical knowledge to build this compact laser weapon system with a near-limitless magazine.”
Rolls-Royce developed and tested the ColdFire system for over 10 years with USD50 m in company investment. In addition to providing power to the directed energy system, ColdFire offers effective cooling technology to dissipate the large amount of heat generated by the laser system. For more information visit: www.rolls-royce.com (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
23 May 22. Rheinmetall supplies Austrian armed forces with Counter-sUAS system for evaluation. The Austrian armed forces have selected Rheinmetall’s C-sUAS system for a six-month period of testing and evaluation. In May 2022 Rheinmetall Air Defence AG shipped the latest version of its rapidly deployable counter-small unmanned aerial system (C-sUAS) to the Austrian military. The system comprises two shelter units, enabling rapid deployment on standard trailers and trucks. The sensor unit elevates automatically and can be equipped with various detection technologies, including X-band and S-band radar, passive emitter locator, ADS-B receiver and others if required. An integrated, stabilized 360° electro-optical PTZ sensor provides state-of-the-art verification and tracking capabilities.
Based on the tried-and-tested Oerlikon Skymaster command and control system, the separate C2 shelter is a fully fledged operator workstation. Skymaster delivers an outstanding level of sensor data fusion and multiple operational functions, including scalability to integrated target cueing devices and effectors for different countermeasures as well as links to higher echelons.
The Austrian armed forces will put the Rheinmetall C-sUAS system through its paces at several locations in Austria, gaining valuable expertise and experience by simulating air base protection, integration into other military units and providing C-sUAS protection in urban areas – a wise approach give the proliferation of emerging aerial threats. A major highlight will be a public demonstration of the C-sUAS at the renowned AIRPOWER 2022 air show at Hinterstoisser Air Base, home of the Eurofighter, near Zeltweg, Austria.
Rheinmetall Air Defence will lend its support throughout the next six months to ensure that Austria gets the maximum benefit out of the project.
20 May 22. Taiwan manufacturer NCSIST to install counter drone systems at 45 bases across the country. A report published by Focus Taiwan CNA English News says Taiwan’s military authority has approved a project to install indigenous defense systems against unmanned aerial vehicles. Installed at 45 bases across the country, the counter UAS systems are designed to neutralise hostile drones if necessary.
According to the report: “Under the five-year-project that runs until 2026, the defense ministry will spend Taiwan dollars 4.3 bn (US$146 m) to purchase the UAV defense systems, which were designed by Taiwan’s National Chung Shan Institute of Science & Technology (NCSIST), the source told CNA on condition of anonymity.
“The UAV defense systems will be installed at 45 air, naval, and missile bases throughout the country, including those in remote mountain areas and on Taiwan’s outlying islands, the source said.
“The system is designed to disrupt and neutralize drones engaged in hostile airborne surveillance and other potentially malicious activities, according to the NCSIST. It is capable of remotely detecting, tracking, and classifying small UAVs, before giving the option to disrupt their activities.” For more information visit: www.focustaiwan.tw (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
19 May 22. Pentagon tech chief wants an ‘all in one’ sensor. One of the Pentagon’s top tech officials wants an “all in one” sensor for defense work. It is one of several critical technologies that Heidi Shyu, the undersecretary of defense for research and engineering, included in remarks Wednesday at the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference in Florida.
“I’m interested in pushing the technology toward a single sensor that has the ability to listen, the ability to do jamming, the ability to communicate, the ability to inject, all in one,” Shyu said, without providing specific details of progress on such an advancement.
Some funding for that could come from the next defense budget, for which Shyu’s office requested $377m over the next five years for rapid experimentation projects, Defense News reported in April.
Though that initiative awaits the threshing machine known as the congressional budget cycle, some money from last year is hitting the coffers for new technology.
Shyu said Wednesday that the Pentagon received $100m specifically for “accelerated procurement and fielding” of innovating technology from small businesses. The goal is to help small companies move research work from the phase II to phase III levels in the government research process, she said.
She’s also hopeful about funding another initiative: a push in the budget proposal for $52bn to set up a microelectronics “foundry” in the United States.
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the fact that the majority of the world’s microprocessors are manufactured in Taiwan. That’s a strategic chokepoint for everything from new pickup trucks to advanced satellite systems. An onshore foundry for microelectronics would add another source for such technology.
It would also better allow university researchers and small U.S. companies to experiment with new materials for microelectronics, advancing the state of the art in that field, she said.
But Shyu faces other budgetary challenges. C4ISRNET reported earlier this week that many of the Pentagon’s $5.7bn laboratory wish list will likely remain unfunded in this budget cycle. That’s because, per a report obtained by Defense News that listed 126 high-priority projects, military services’ labs and testing facilities were excluded in the fiscal 2023 budget request for military construction. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
20 May 22. CPI TMD Technologies Division Introduces X-band SSPA Module for Radar Applications. The TMD Technologies Division of Communications & Power Industries (CPI) has added a new solid-state power amplifier (SSPA) to its wide range of innovative products for defence, electronic warfare (EW) and radar applications. Compact and lightweight, the PTS10224 SSPA operates over the 8.5-9.6 GHz X-band frequency range with a typical high power of 400W (greater than 300W minimum) at up to 15 percent duty cycle.
Two models of the PTS10224 SSPA are available with slightly different performances. One operates from a 40V DC supply, and the other from a 50V DC supply. The latter version offers the best overall efficiency and output power – typically in excess of 400W.
At 40V operation, the power added efficiency (PAE) typically exceeds 20 percent.
GaN Technology and Small Footprint
The excellent power performance and compact and lightweight construction of the PTS10224 SSPA have been achieved by employing gallium nitride (GaN) high-power transistors. Furthermore, this design provides the benefit of a power-to-volume ratio that is one of the highest in the market.
The new PTS10224 SSPA weighs just 1.5kg and has a small size of just 197 x 150 x 30mm (excluding connectors). The operating temperature range extends from 0 degrees C to +60 degrees C. These features make the SSPA ideal for land, sea and airborne radar applications. The new SSPA is currently in production for several customers worldwide.
Flexibility of Design
CPI TMD Technologies Division’s PTS10224 SSPA is flexible in layout and architecture, and both electrical and mechanical interfaces can be tailored to meet customers’ specific requirements. The amplifier is normally supplied without a heat sink or any thermal management assembly, but CPI TMD Technologies Division can offer customized heat sinks to suit specific requirements. The product can be operated as a standalone SSPA, or as multiple power modules combined. Interfacing 12C allows monitoring of internal currents, voltages, and temperatures.
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.