Sponsored by Blighter Surveillance Systems
30 June 22. Excelitas Technologies to Showcase Thermal Imaging and Camera Solutions for Military Applications at the Close Combat Symposium.
Excelitas Technologies® Corp., a leading industrial technology manufacturer focused on delivering innovative, market-driven photonic solutions, will highlight its latest thermal imaging and camera technologies for military applications at the Close Combat Symposium.
Products on display include:
- DRAGON-S12 Non-Cooled Thermal Attachment Sniper Sight: DRAGON-S12 uses a state-of-the-art 640 x 480 12μm format, 60Hz uncooled thermal sensor coupled with a near-silent aperture, delivering best-in-class sensitivity and uniformity. As part of the DRAGON family of uncooled thermal products, DRAGON-S12 leverages the latest uncooled thermal imaging, electronics and optics technologies to deliver world-leading performance and reliability.
- DRAGON-C12 Uncooled Sight with Thermal Imaging Camera: The Excelitas high-performance DRAGON-C12 thermal sight features a lightweight and durable body, designed for reliable continuous operation in combat use.
- DRAGON-H12 Handheld Thermal Surveillance and Target Location System: An intermediate range multi-function surveillance and target location system, DRAGON-H12 provides warfighters with the ability to detect, locate and communicate enemy locations and targets of interest on the battlefield. The high-performance sight for medium to long range applications enables 24-hr surveillance and target location capability within a lightweight, rugged platform.
- PHOENIX-S Long Range Thermal Imaging Attachment for Snipers: PHOENIX-S is designed for particularly demanding ground-based sniper missions, delivering field-proven capabilities that enable early and rapid detection, recognition and identification of targets at longer ranges, even in extremely poor light conditions. PHOENIX-S can be easily integrated into a range of firearm systems and optical riflescopes with up to 25x magnification due to its attachment configuration. Its fully digital architecture offers a variety of system settings and configuration options through a simple menu system.
- PHOENIX-H Handheld Thermal Imaging Surveillance Sight: PHOENIX-H utilizes the latest high-resolution MWIR HOT technology to provide a 640 x 512 resolution image coupled with a wide field-of-view range from 2º – 16º. It is ideal for a variety of demanding ground-based surveillance and target location operations applications.
- RaptIR High-Definition, Long Range, MWIR Thermal Cameras: Optimized for the latest generation of small pixel (8 8m) sensor technology using best in class continuous zoom optics, RaptIR provides exquisite thermal imaging capability offering long range performance in a very compact form factor, for a variety of civil and military applications. As the latest addition to Excelitas’ range of medium range thermal cameras covering the MWIR waveband, RaptIR allows quicker target detection, recognition and identification for more timely, informed decision making for counter-UAS, border surveillance and maritime fire-control applications.
29 June 22. Silentium Defence eyes AIR6500 support. The Adelaide-based company is exploring opportunities to integrate its technology into Lockheed Martin’s future JABM solution.
Silentium Defence, an Australian passive surveillance technology provider, has confirmed it is designing and testing capabilities for potential incorporation into Lockheed Martin Australia’s (LMA) future Joint Air Battle Management solution, developed as part of the Royal Australian Air Force’s AIR6500 Phase 1 Project (AIR6500-1).
Over the past 12 months, Silentium Defence has been working with LMA Lockheed Martin Australia to assess whether its MAVERICK passive radar capability can be integrated into an open architecture framework to support concepts and application development for AIR6500.
Dr James Palmer, CEO of Silentium Defence, welcomed the opportunity to work with the prime to develop a “first-of-type” sovereign solution for the Australian Defence Force.
“It is a privilege to work on AIR6500-1 and collaborate with like-minded Australian industry partners, Defence, academia, and government to develop groundbreaking technologies that can be integrated in the program solution,” Dr Palmer said.
“Driven by a sovereign open architecture and tactical cloud, the program design supports Silentium Defence and other Australian industry partners to rapidly add capabilities into the solution to meet evolving operational needs of the Australian Defence Force.
“Lockheed Martin Australia AIR6500-1’s solution is highly secure and flexible, which meant it was a straightforward process for Silentium Defence to fuse our technologies into their systems architecture.”
(Source: Defence Connect)
18 June 22. Excelitas Launches RaptIR. Faster, lighter optics give better long-range infrared vision. Raptors are birds of prey defined by their speed, agility, and exceptional vision, enabling them to locate and identify their target at long-range and then decisively act in a fraction of a second.
The newly launched Excelitas RaptIR family of high-definition thermal cameras emulate the attributes of the Raptor birds of prey, delivering exquisite image clarity in an unsurpassed form factor providing a previously unattainable level of resolution per kilogram.
RaptIR offers the best resolution per kilogram available in the industry today and utilises the latest small pixel, high-operating temperature type II super-lattice (T2SL) mid-wave infrared sensor technology to provide a highly flexible solution for long- range surveillance and targeting applications. RaptIR offers vehicle identification at a range of 10Km in a package weighing less than 4.5Kg.
RaptIR offers the perfect upgrade to legacy camera systems providing enhanced imagery in a significantly smaller and narrow FOV thermal image in a smaller and lighter package. This paradigm shift enables long-range imaging to be deployed without the need for heavy pan and tilt positioners so the system can track fast-moving targets more quickly without compromising range performance.
RaptIR is perfect for border surveillance, counter unmanned air- systems (C-UAS), airborne ISR, maritime surveillance & fire-control and vehicle mounted surveillance & force protection.
Small pitch Type-II superlattice sensors are the latest generation of detector offering unrivalled sensitivity at high operating temperature reducing the cool down time of the camera and increasing the operational lifetime to over 27,000 hours. Cooler operation is also silent making RaptIR an excellent solution for covert applications.
RaptIR uses an 8um, high-definition (SXGA), T2SL sensor with a long-life linear cooler. To obtain the best imagery from the small pitch detector, the camera uses our market leading F/3 continuous zoom optics giving greater image clarity and superior signal to noise with a 100% cold shield efficiency.
The RaptIR camera utilises our proven ‘Veros’ linear drive mechanism which offers incredibly fast zoom transitions with micron precision over a full military temperature and shock environment. This level of precision is essential for optimum imaging, focus retention and boresight performance through the whole 14x zoom range enabling target acquisition and identification to be realised in less than .5 seconds.
RaptIR is provided with a High-Durability Anti-reflection (HDAR) coating as standard but can be configured with an Ultra-durable Diamond Like Carbon (DLC) or Boron Phosphide (BP) coating if required. Our BP coating offers the highest level of salt-fog and sand & dust resistance available in the industry so is particularly well suited to airborne and maritime applications. RaptIR redefines lightweight high-performance thermal imaging.
Enabling the future through light www.excelitas.com
27 June 22. Poland Tests Anti-Drone Browning-Type Machine Gun.
Polish manufacturer Zakłady Mechaniczne Tarnów has tested its anti-drone system built on the RADA multifunction radar and the Browning-type 12.7mm WKLM machine gun. The information became available after the company published a video of the test performed at the Wicko Morskie test site.
It is clear from the distributed video that the “targets” of the Polish system were a civilian drone, as well as at least one drone in a fixed-wing configuration.
The RADA radar has the ability not only to track larger aircraft objects, but also those of the “nano” class or the so-called micro-objects. Depending on the size of the unmanned aerial vehicle, the RADA has a different range: if the drone is from a nano class, the radar “catches” it up to 3 km, if it is a micro BA up to 5 km, and a mini class drone is detected at a distance of at least 10 km.
12.7mm machine gun WKLM is Browning-type. It can make 3600 shots in one minute. The machine gun is connected to both radar and visual and thermal imaging cameras, a laser rangefinder that can automatically point the weapon system if the radar detects a drone 10 km away.
In addition to the aforementioned connected devices, the weapon system has an operator station. In this way, the entire weapon system can be controlled remotely. Another application of the anti-drone weapon system is that, according to some experts, it can easily be used as a short-range air defense system.
Such weapons stations, such as the Polish ones, are often used for defense weapon systems, which aim to protect certain facilities, buildings, sites of strategic national importance, data centers, or other types of communication centers, etc.
After installing a suitable carrier, the system can be a mobile safety umbrella for located units, field workshops, or makeshift airports. After adjusting the design, it is possible to use the system on small ships as an artillery system for direct defense [CIWS – Close-In Weapon System].
Three modes of operation are programmed: fully manual, in which the operator directs the firing agent to the target using a manipulator, semi-automatic, in which the operator’s actions are supported by automatic tracking of the object in the video path and automatic mode in which the target can be captured automatically, and the operator decides to fire at the exact time specified by the system. (Source: UAS VISION/Bulgarian Military)
23 June 22. INTERPOL publishes results of its Oslo counter-UAS exercise: “test in real-world environments.” INTERPOL has published its conclusions of the counter-UAS exercise which took place at Oslo Airport Gardermoen (https://www.unmannedairspace.info/counter-uas-systems-and-policies/interpol-tests-counter-drone-systems-at-oslo-airport-plans-counter-drone-guide-in-early-2022/) during the recent Interpol conference on drones. The results of the study are not being made public, however. According to a 22 June news post from UAS Norway.
“Since September 2021, the part of the drone world that works with antidrone capacities has been waiting for the report after the large exercise at Oslo Airport Gardermoen. The demanding exercise was arranged by Interpol together with UAS Norway, the Norwegian police and Avinor. Systems then tested could detect drones and some also had capacity to stop drones. Today, the report was finally presented at Ides 2022 in Oslo by Madan Oberoi at Interpol and his colleagues. The results are they careful not give too many details about, says Oberoi, who leads Interpol’s investment in drones. He presented the report in a closed session at the conference, with more than 250 participants present….
According to INTERPOL:
“Held in Oslo from 28 to 30 September, the real-life exercise gathered law enforcement, academia and industry experts from Europe, Israel, and the United States to test and assess 17 drone countermeasures to ensure the safety of an airport environment through the detection, tracking, and identification of drones and their pilots. These systems are emerging as essential elements in ensuring the security of airports, airspaces and protecting no-fly zones above cities, prisons, and critical infrastructure. Each countermeasure was assessed and graded against specified criteria. The results will be consolidated to create an INTERPOL Drone Countermeasure Framework which will be available to law enforcement across INTERPOL’s 194 member countries, creating a global focal point for collaboration and knowledge-sharing.
“The exercise was held at the Oslo Gardermoen Airport while it was in active operation. Due to the complexity of the exercise, the event required close collaboration with airport owner Avinor, the Norwegian Communications Authority, the Civil Aviation Authority and UAS Norway to ensure that all systems and tests were held to a required standard and did not affect airport operations.”
According to Jan Otto Johansen, quoted by UAS Norway, who leads the Norwegian police’s work with anti-drone measures, the most important lesson with this report is probably that: “you have to carry out real tests. You cannot discuss and evaluate anti-drone measures only in theory.” He emphasized that there is a big difference between different operational environments. The report will help member states understand how such tests can be carried out and how they can be able to evaluate these C-UAS systems. (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
20 June 22. WATMC 2022: Leonardo exhibits latest drone detection radar, SESAR drone research results. The electronics arm of Italian defence and aerospace company Leonardo is exhibiting its latest Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar technology developed to detect and track drones at World ATM Congress 2022, taking place in Madrid 21-23 June. The company’s Tactical Multi-Mission Radar (TMMR) is designed to locate small targets and highly manoeuvrable targets including hostile drones.
According to a Leonardo press release, the company’s expertise encompasses digital communications, navigation, surveillance and cyber security. The company is investing in the next generation of enabling technologies including artificial intelligence, big data analysis, machine learning and augmented reality.
Another domain Leonardo is highlighting at the show is the progressive integration of uncrewed systems into airspace (UTM) in line with the SESAR U-space roadmap and European standards for remotely piloted aircraft. The company is participating in a series of innovative projects. Among these, the company is demonstrating its ability to manage drones within a national ATM system, maintaining adequate levels of safety and allowing flight in non-segregated areas via the use of satellite services to improve positioning, navigation performance and accuracy.
Leonardo is also presenting results obtained from activities carried out within the SESAR modernisation programme. The work concerns the integration of drones in controlled airspace, and the future communication, navigation, surveillance (CNS) infrastructure.
For more information contact: www.electronics.leonardo.com (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
30 June 22. Indian Army Receives Polish ‘Warmate’ Loitering Munitions.
The Indian Armed Forces have taken delivery of Warmate loitering munitions from Polish firm WB Electronics. The nation has purchased a number of Indian and Israeli unmanned systems in recent months.
The Indian Army issued a Request for Information for 100 man-portable loitering munitions in March 2020, mandating a range of 15 kilometers (9.3 miles), an endurance of 30 minutes, and a maximum weight of 20 kilograms (44 pounds).
The service issued a Request for Proposal later in the year, stipulating that the order be completed within 18 months of the contract signing, Vayu Aerospace Review reported, speculating that Warmate was selected under the request.
The Warmate loitering munition was manufactured under Indian subsidiary WB Electronics India Private Limited, established in October 2020.
Propelled with an electric motor, the Warmate loitering munition is “self-contained” and can be transported over land by special forces units or installed on vehicles.
WB Electronics markets the system as an alternative to anti-tank guided missiles that can be equipped with laser-seeking, high explosive, and thermobaric warheads.
The system can also be equipped with a daylight or an infrared camera and is being supplied to Poland and multiple export customers. The Polish firm is also developing an air-launched version of the weapon system.
Indian Army’s Increased Acquisitions
In recent years, the Indian Army has ramped up its acquisitions of various drones and loitering munitions.
The service placed orders for 100 Elbit Skystriker loitering munitions to be manufactured in India, part of the country’s “Make in India” initiative to develop its domestic defense sector.
The army also ordered a similar number of “swarm-capable armed drones” from Indian firm NewSpace Research and Technologies.
Indian manufacturer Solar Group and startup Z Motion Autonomous Systems also tested loitering munitions to continue the trend of indigenization in the industry. Among them was Trinetra, similar to Warmate. (Source: UAS VISION/The Defense Post; Twitter)
20 June 22. Eurosatory 2022: Nexter outlines next generation C-UAS gun capabilities. Numerous news services report that Nexter presented its ARX 30 and RAPIDFire (a programme with Thales) C-UAV systems at Eurosatory equipped with medium-calibre guns, offering surface-to-surface and surface-to-air capabilities to counter new threats such as drones, missiles or loitering munitions at short and medium range.
According to Global Business Press: “Nexter’s ARX 30 C-UAV will be available by 2025 and can defend against threats that are 1.5 km away. This remotely operated weapon system uses the 30M781 cannon, which equips the Tiger helicopter. This electromechanically operated gun, which uses NATO-standard 30×113 ammunition, is effective on small and medium-sized ground and air targets. It is presented in a C-UAV version, coupled with a MATIA radar.
“Nexter’s RAPIDFire in its land version can defend against targets that are 4 km away and is a 1/10th scale model identical to the naval version that will equip the new French Navy’s supply ships (BRF) by the end of 2022. This remotely operated multi-role artillery system, armed with the JAGUAR’s 40CTA gun, is equipped with its own tracking and pointing systems designed by Thales. Accurate and ergonomic, RAPIDFire offers a close-in self-defence capability against surface and air threats, from the smallest civilian drone to rockets, missiles, helicopters and aircraft. “
RAPIDFire is a weapon system which offers high precision thanks to its optronic fire control system integrated on the turret, its advanced algorithms, powerful gun and automatic ammunition management system allowing the best reactivity and efficiency for the operator, said a Thales press release. “RAPIDFire incorporates a 40 mm gun developed by CTAI, the international subsidiary of Nexter Systems and BAE Systems, to equip latest-generation armoured vehicles for the French, Belgian and British land forces. The system is compatible with the full range of ammunitions developed for land forces programmes as well as the new smart Anti Aerial Airburst (A3B) rounds.” (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
24 June 22. US Navy tests new applications for Lidar and 3D ship models. The models will be used for battle damage assessment, repair and other fleet applications. The US Navy has tested new applications for light detection and ranging (lidar) and 3D ship models aboard a decommissioned frigate. A static detonation training event and subsequent evolution was conducted in March this year.
The event was conducted as part of a lidar-focused megaproject funded by the Naval Innovative Science and Engineering (NISE) programme.
The cross-warfare centre collaboration, called megaproject, involves Naval Surface Warfare Center’s (NSWC) Philadelphia Division (PD), Port Hueneme Division (PHD) and Carderock Division (CD).
Together, the warfare centres are working to develop 3D models of entire ships from lidar scans.
The 3D models will be used for battle damage assessment, repair, installation, modernisation, and for other fleet applications.
With the use of Lidar technology to develop 3D ship models, the megaproject partners aim to minimise the need for engineering teams to travel to the ships.
It will allow additional remote support including virtual ship checks, reduced response times to casualties and maintenance issues faced by fleet at the sea. Lidar scans objects in 3D by striking laser beams on it and measuring the duration of their return.
This technology can be used for capturing broad network or cloud of data points and stitch together scans from different perspectives to create precise 3D representation of the object.
The warfare centres will also conduct static detonation and test evolution abroad an amphibious transport dock in Hawaii this summer during Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022.
The upcoming evolution will test the concept of generating 3D data sets using aerial imagery.
NSWC PHD research manager Jason Bickford said: “If successful, the concept will demonstrate value of 3D scanning for battle damage assessment and repair and assess the ability for operational uncrewed aerial systems (UAS) in theatre to fill critical scanning role.” (Source: naval-technology.com)
24 June 22. ILA 2022: German Navy recommits to MAWS for long-term airborne maritime patrol requirement, interim P-8A programme on track. The chief of the German Navy’s aviation component has reiterated his commitment to the Maritime Airborne Warfare System (MAWS) that is earmarked to be the long-term airborne maritime patrol solution following confirmation that the service is on course to receive the first of five interim Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime multimission aircraft in 2024.
Speaking at the ILA Airshow on 23 June, Kommandeur Marineflieger, Sea Captain Thorsten Bobzin, said he is pleased that the P-8A programme is within the timeframe first set out by Boeing but that it remains an interim solution with the Franco-German MAWS set to come online from 2035.
“P-8A deliveries are due to begin in October 2024 and run through to mid-2025. That is within the indicated timeline, and I am very happy with that,” he said. “This is an interim solution between [the current Lockheed] P-3C and the MAWS. We will have the interim solution for a gap of about 10 years, from 2025 to 2035,” he added. (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.