Sponsored by Blighter Surveillance Systems
07 Jul 22. Boeing Delivers 150th P-8 Maritime Patrol Aircraft.
First deliveries to New Zealand, Korea and Germany scheduled for 2022, 2023 and 2024 respectively.
The newest Boeing [NYSE:BA] P-8 maritime patrol, reconnaissance aircraft took to the skies over Puget Sound bringing the total number of P-8s delivered to 150. The 150th multi-mission P-8 will be operated by Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) One based at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland.
“There are now 150 P-8s around the world delivering confidence and an unmatched capability to our global customers,” said Stu Voboril, vice president and program manager, P-8 Programs. “Our focus has been, and will be, on delivering the world’s best maritime patrol aircraft.”
Amassing more than 450,000 mishap-free flight hours, the global P-8 fleet includes 112 aircraft delivered to the U.S. Navy, 12 to Australia, 12 to India, nine to the United Kingdom and five to Norway. The aircraft are designed for anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface warfare; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and search and rescue.
The 150 P-8s in service do not include six test aircraft provided to the U.S. Navy during the initial stages of the program. Boeing tested those aircraft during development to assess capabilities and performance. As development of system enhancements and new technology continues, the test aircraft perform a critical role in ensuring Boeing provides state-of-the-art capabilities to global P-8 customers.
07 Jul 22. Greece Deploys Israeli Systems to Counter Turkish Drones.
Turkey’s vaunted domestically-built drones pose a significant challenge for Greece, a challenge Athens has recently begun addressing with Israeli know-how.
Greece has secretly implemented a “veritable umbrella against enemy unmanned aerial vehicles” over islands and other important sites across the country during the past two months, Vassilis Nedos wrote in the Greek daily Kathimerini.
The system uses Israeli technology to blind drones and disrupt their flight plans.
“It is basically a version of an anti-UAV system that has features similar to those of Israel’s Drone Dome, but adapted to the specific needs of Greece and the geographical terrain of the islands and other border areas,” Nedos wrote.
Built by Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, the Drone Dome, as the name suggests, specializes in countering enemy drones. It can neutralize drones by jamming their communications and GPS. For fully autonomous drones, it uses an invisible 10-kilowatt laser that can down drones up to two miles away.
Rafael offers its clients customized versions of the system, as it has most likely done in this case for Greece.
Greek-Israeli defense ties have recently expanded. In 2021, the two countries signed a $1.68 billion defense deal, the largest in their history, which included acquiring M-346 trainer aircraft and establishing a flight school in Greece. It is, therefore, unsurprising that Athens has acquired the Drone Dome and possibly other similar Israeli systems.
(Athens wanted to keep the Drone Dome acquisition under wraps, and Israeli arms manufacturing companies do not publicly disclose who their customers are as a matter of policy.)
As detailed here, Greece’s ongoing acquisition of 24 4.5-generation fighter jets from France, its upgrade of 84 F-16s to the latest Block 72 configuration, and a possible, if not likely, future acquisition of at least 20 fifth-generation F-35 Lightning II stealth jets will give the Hellenic Air Force (HAF) a substantive technological edge over its Turkish rival by the end of this decade.
On the other hand, Turkey already has a much larger and more advanced drone fleet.
In February, retired Greek General Evangelos Yeorgusis wrote an article outlining how Turkish drones making regular flights from the Evros River to the Greek islands of Kastellorizo and Meis are causing a “headache” for Greece. He noted that Turkish Bayraktar TB2 drones can carry out three to four flights per day to closely monitor the movements of Hellenic warships and defenses on Greek islands.
Constantly scrambling F-16s to intercept these drones poses a major challenge for HAF.
“It is already not easy for Greece to deal with this and it will become even more difficult if Turkey increases the number of drones and the number of flights,” Yeorgusis warned.
Around the same time Yeorgusis’s article came out, the leader of the nationalist Greek Solution party, Kyriakos Velopoulos, questioned the usefulness of high-performance fighter jets such as the Rafale against large numbers of Turkish drones.
“What difference would it make if we buy 200 Rafale jets?” he asked. “Turks will surround us with 400 drones.”
Athens is cognizant of the challenge Turkish drones pose. If it’s not already doing so, it may use the Drone Dome’s powerful sensors to make it more difficult and dangerous for Turkish drones to routinely observe its military movements. It may even use the system’s hard-kill capability in the event of a confrontation.
Denying Turkey effective usage of its clear advantage in drone power will help Greece consolidate its emergent advantage in airpower in any future confrontation. Its acquisition of these Israeli systems is a good start.
Photo: Components of the Rafael Advance Defense Systems Ltd. DroneDome System at the IDEaS CUAS Sandbox. September 9 to October 4, 2019 – Janice Lang, DRDC
(Source: UAS VISION/Forbes)
06 Jul 22. Boeing signs agreement with Lufthansa Technik, ESG for German P-8A fleet. The first deliveries of P-8A aircraft to Germany are expected in 2024. Boeing has expanded its partnership with Lufthansa Technik and ESG Elektroniksystem und Logistik for P-8A Poseidon aircraft sustainment programme in Germany.
The three companies signed a three-party agreement to work together to support the German Navy’s new P-8A multi-mission maritime aircraft fleet.
Boeing Government Services Europe & Israel senior director Indra Duivenvoorde said: “We are expanding our partnership with ESG and Lufthansa Technik in the form of a three-party agreement that will allow us to best support our German customer and the operational needs of the German Navy.
“This partnership demonstrates our commitment to directly supporting our customer locally with German industry primes.”
In 2021, Boeing signed two separate memorandums of understanding (MoU) with the two German companies ESG and Lufthansa Technik.
This was followed by the latest three-party agreement that outlines the additional details about the role of each company in the German Navy’s P-8A programme.
In addition to supporting the aircraft sustainment in all the areas, the new industry partnership will also provide associated training to add highest operational availability to the German P-8A fleet.
According to Boeing, the P-8A programme will employ up to 250 people in Germany. Delivery of the first batch of P-8A aircraft to Germany is expected in 2024.
ESG CEO Christoph Otten said: “This agreement underlines our joint performance promise and our commitment to provide the Bundeswehr with urgently needed capabilities.
“At the same time, we see this as a special obligation to proactively contribute our capabilities and competencies to the programme as a long-standing technology and innovation partner of the German Armed Forces and Naval Aviation Command, particularly in the areas of systems integration, aviation certification or secure communication.” (Source: naval-technology.com)
05 Jul 22. Small UAVs, Big Challenges. A Ukrainian soldier stands by the wreckage of a destroyed Russian UAV. Electronic warfare has a valuable role to play on the battlefield engaging such threats alongside kinetic fires.
IQPC’s Full Spectrum Air Defence conference, held in London on 28th and 29th June, saw valuable discussion on the role of electronic warfare within the wider air defence domain.
The ongoing war in Ukraine was very much on delegates’ minds. A prevailing theme was the increasing complexity of the air environment and implications therein for air defenders. This deepening complexity is hallmarked by emerging capabilities like weaponised Uninhabited Air Vehicles (UAVs).
Small UAVs pose unique challenges for air defenders. They have a low Radar Cross Section (RCS) of circa 0.05 square metres according to figures in the public domain. To put matters into perspective, a mortar shell has an RCS of 0.01 square metres. The small size of these small UAVs makes them difficult to detect and engage.
Electronic Warfare (EW) plays an important role in the Counter-UAV (CUAV) battle. UAVs rely on Radio Frequency (RF) links connecting the aircraft to its Ground Control Station (GCS). In the civilian domain, these links use frequencies of 2.4 gigahertz/GHz and 5.8GHz. They send and receive flight information and commands between the UAV and GCS and may also carry imagery from the UAV to the GCS.
Alongside this link, UAVs rely on Global Navigation Satellite Signals (GNSS). GNSS uses frequencies of between 1.1GHz and 1.6GHz. Both the GNSS signals and the RF link can be disrupted through electronic attack. This can break both links causing the UAV to return to its launch site, land harmlessly or crash. Usefully, detecting the RF link can reveal where the UAV and GCS are located. This is invaluable for engaging either the UAV and/or the GCS.
Speakers from the US Army said the force has several EW capabilities which intercept and manipulate protocols and waveforms used by the UAV-GCS RF links. This lets air defenders take control of the UAV and take it out of the fight. These same systems can jam the link or disrupt GNSS signals.
While the majority of CUAV interceptions performed by the US Army in wartime have been kinetic, EW has a role. EW is useful when fratricide and collateral damage is a worry and when the use of kinetics could be risky. For this reason, electronic warfare is vital to the army’s CUAV force balance.
To this end, emerging capabilities like the US Army’s Tactical Electronic Warfare System family of products have utility. EW also has a role supporting the wider ground-based air defence battle, US Army speakers continued. This involves using EW to attack the radar and radio communications airpower depends on. Electronic and communications intelligence can be employed to help detect and locate hostile aircraft. This helps populate the recognised air picture when shared with air defenders in a rapid and cybersecure fashion.
However, use of EW as a CUAV capability triggers concerns over electromagnetic fratricide. Questions were asked on the use of electronic effects against UAVs while ensuring unimpeded blue force use of the electromagnetic spectrum. Troops at the tactical edge will send a ‘check fire’ message if artillery is falling too close to their positions, but having this message blocked by blue force jamming could have disastrous results. US Army speakers argued there is no silver bullet to address this quandary. Instead, they emphasised the need to integrate kinetic and electronic effects, including cyber effects. These must be integrated in planning and targeting processes at the operational and tactical levels as early as possible.
At the tactical level, one speaker remarked that electronic attack is useful in forcing a UAV to hover making it an easier target for kinetic effects. After all, it is much easier to hit a stationary target than a moving one especially when that target is small.
That electronic warfare has a useful role to play in assisting the counter-UAV fight is not in doubt. Nonetheless, it must be used judiciously in a well-coordinated manner alongside kinetic effects. Future ground-based air defence conferences will no doubt discuss such questions in more detail. (Source: Armada)
06 Jul 22. Indian MoD plans to purchase night sights for assault rifles. The ministry issued an RFP under the ‘Buy Indian-Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured’ category. The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has issued a request for proposal (RFP) to procure night sights (Image Intensifier) units for the Army’s assault rifles.
As per the RFP, the MoD plans to purchase 29,762 night sights (II) with Autogating facilities for 7.62x51mm assault rifles.
It also intends to acquire accessories including lens covers, eye guards, cleaning kits, and batteries.
The tender was issued under the ‘Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured (Buy Indian-IDDM)’ category.
As part of the ‘Make in India’ objective, the overall IC content requirement is a minimum of 50% for the Night Sight (II) Assault rifles and a minimum of 30% for the II tubes.
The government has invited bids from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and authorised vendors for this purpose.
The deadline to submit bids for the tender is 27 September this year.
According to production criteria, the night sights and related accessories should be manufactured after the date of contract.
In-service life of the Night Sight (II) should not be less than 10,000 hours of operation or ten years, whichever is earlier.
The tender also requires the deliverables to have a warranty for 24 months.
Under the finalised contract, the selected bidder will provide product support, including maintenance, for ten years.
The equipment will be subjected to field evaluation and maintainability evaluation after delivery. Training will be provided to quality assurance personnel, operators, and maintenance personnel. The RFP will be followed by a pre-bid meeting on 16 August 2022. (Source: army-technology.com)
06 Jul 22. Rheinmetall Electronics UK awarded contract to supply drivers vision system for Challenger 3 programme. Rheinmetall Electronics UK Ltd are pleased to announce their contract award from Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) to supply the Driver Vision System for the Challenger 3 Programme for the British Army.
The contract is Rheinmetall Electronics UK’s second UK contract to provide their TRAILBLAZER Driver Vision Aid for the UK Ministry of Defence, following the announcement of their Boxer contract award last year.
The scope of the programme will be delivered over the next seven years and will create and sustain jobs the local community and beyond, with sub-contract awards located throughout the UK.
Trailblazer is designed, built and tested at Rheinmetall Electronics UK’s headquarters on the Isle of Wight where the company opened a dedicated production facility in 2019, specifically to enable in-house development, production and testing of all products.
RBSL’s upgrade solution for Challenger 3 incorporates state-of-the-art electronic architecture, lethality, survivability, surveillance and target acquisition capability enhancements. Rheinmetall Electronics UK are proud to supply Trailblazer into this programme that will provide the British Army with the most capable tank in NATO, made in the UK.
Rheinmetall Electronics UK will operate as the lead contractor for supply of the Driver Vision System for Challenger 3. The solution has three key components: the Rheinmetall Electronics UK delivered Trailblazer Camera System with front and rear mounted units, allowing the driver to safety navigate the vehicle, both forward and in reverse. These are complemented by a novel display solution: a high performance, low latency Embedded Image Periscope meeting the demanding use-case of the Challenger 3 driver and finally, a Remote Control Panel providing intuitive control of the system functions. These key items are sourced from UK business partners and all parties use a largely UK-based supply chain.
Trailblazer acts as the eyes of the armoured vehicle, delivering functionally safe manoeuvrability to the driver. TRAILBLAZER is the chosen Driver Vision System for hatches-down driving, extending visibility beyond the normal daylight spectrum with high performance electro-optics and featuring the most modern processing technology.
Trailblazer’s software defined capability ensures that the system can be continuously updated throughout its lifespan, extending longevity of service and adaptability to requirements as they evolve over the life of the contract and beyond. Trailblazer is designed in accordance with the UK Generic Vehicle Architecture (GVA) standards.
Richard Streeter, Rheinmetall Electronics UK’s Managing Director said:
“The Trailblazer system was developed directly to meet the requirement set of Challenger 3. Arguably, it is the most advanced Driver Aid on the market today and sets the benchmark for Driver Vision. In the Challenger 3 solution, we have coupled our class-leading sensors with a novel Embedded Image Periscope, allowing the Driver to seamless shift between Direct and Indirect Viewing, without changing pose or posture. This supports the vehicle mission and reduces Driver fatigue. This is a unique capability, being developed to address the demanding requirement set of this formidable vehicle. We look forward to working closely with RBSL and the UK Army to bring this capability into service.”
Wayne Cranwell, Head of Sales said:
“The whole team at REUK are both proud and excited to support RBSL in the delivery of this step change in mobility to the Challenger 3 crew, and to the UK MOD. Delivering common capability to Challenger3 and Boxer enhances Rheinmetall Electronics UK’s engineers’ ability to develop new and advanced features, keeping the British Army in a position of overmatch against its adversaries for many decades to come.”
28 June 22. Saab and Robin Radar collaborate to expand opportunities in drone detection market. Saab AB and Robin Radar Systems have signed an agreement to collaborate on global business opportunities. The purchase agreement provides Saab access to Robin Radar’s complete portfolio of drone and bird detection radar systems for a range of international clients within the aviation and security sectors.
Robin Radar develops and sells fully 3D radar systems with the primary function of detecting, classifying and tracking small objects, including birds and drones, providing 24/7 actionable data to mitigate and counter the operational threat posed by each. The parties have entered into this agreement to assure the products’ supply for purchase by companies within the Saab Group. Saab provides products, services and solutions within the fields of defence, aviation and civil security.
Urban Lennheimer, Vice President and Business Development and Strategy at Saab´s business area Surveillance, said “We are looking forward to evolving a successful partnership with Robin Radar Systems to deliver a joint solution across a spectrum of global operations. Their innovative range of counter-drone and bird detection radars helps consolidate the capability of our systems portfolio and will provide critical support for our customers’ domestic and overseas functions.”
For more information contact: www.robinradar.com (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
30 June 22. Ukrainian company Kvertus Technology develops long-range anti-drone rifle. Ukrainian company Kvertus Technology has developed a long-range anti-drone rifle according to an article published by The Register and reported in UAS Vision. The Antidron KVS G-6 uses radio signals to interrupt control, remotely disabling them, with a reported range of 3.5 km (2.17 miles). The gun can disrupt 2.4GHz and 5GHz remote control and video transmission, GPS L2 (and L1) and GLONASS signals, according to the maker. It also has disk, amplified, and directional antennae. Kvertus has manufactured more than 80 KVS G-6s, with over 100 on order, says the article. For more information contact: www.theregister.com; www.kvertus.com (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
30 June 22. US DoD will equip Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All-Terrain Vehicles with C-UAS capability. The US Department of Defense has asked US industry for proposals to mount its Mobile, Low, Slow, Unmanned Aircraft Integrated Defense System (M-LIDS) onto a single combat vehicle. The DoD wants to equip vehicles with a M-LIDS Counter UAS (C-UAS) capability to provides soldiers with an ability to detect, identify, track and defeat Group 1, 2 and 3 UAS with kinetic and non-kinetic defeat technologies.
“M-LIDS is a two-vehicle solution utilizing Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All-Terrain Vehicles (M-ATV) and hosts numerous Government and industry-provided technologies. M-LIDS Inc. 2 includes a remotely operated turret with multiple kinetic effectors for vehicle protection and C-UAS kinetic defeat, a high-quality Electro-Optical/Infra-Red (EO/IR) sensor to identify and track threat UAS, Electronic Warfare (EW) for Counter Improvised Explosive Device (CIED) and C-UAS protection, a masted on-board radar for long-range detection and tracking, data transfer radios, operator workstations and a Mission Data Recorder (MDR). The two-vehicle capability is fully integrated with the Forward Area Air Defense Command and Control (FAAD C2) network.”
“The Government intends to transition M-LIDS while retaining mission effectiveness and enhancing system ease of use and reliability. Therefore, Offerors must be able to perform all tasks expected of a Lead Systems Integrator (LSI) and provide a fully integrated C-UAS Mission Equipment Package (MEP) onto a single-vehicle. In addition, an LSI should have demonstrated successful results of collaborating with Government Program Offices and industry partners to integrate MEP technologies. Offerors shall have recent and relevant integration experience. Recent is defined as within the past five years. Relevant is defined as delivering fully integrated C-UAS technologies on an Army platform, including, but not limited to, the Stryker Infantry Carrier Double V Hull (ICVV), M-ATV or similar prime mover vehicle. The Government is not requesting responses for individual technologies.”
For more information: https://sam.gov/opp/6ad64d65ae944217816a7ce7621361fa/view (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
30 June 22. Textron Aviation Delivers Special Mission-Configured Cessna Citation Longitude in Support of JCAB Flight Inspection Mission. Textron Aviation today announced it has delivered a special mission Cessna Citation Longitude jet fitted with flight inspection calibration equipment to be operated by the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB). The aircraft will conduct flight validation and flight inspection operations to ensure the integrity of the airways that constitute the national airspace of Japan.
The Cessna Citation Longitude is designed and manufactured by Textron Aviation Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company.
“Textron Aviation is honored to, once again, be selected as the aircraft provider of choice for the JCAB,” said Bob Gibbs, vice president, Special Mission Sales for Textron Aviation. “The Longitude continues the legacy of Cessna Citation flight inspection jet aircraft in service by the JCAB. The performance, large cabin and capabilities of the Longitude provide the JCAB a new level of efficiency and productivity in maintaining the operational integrity of its airports and airways.”
The JCAB Longitude is outfitted with the UNIFIS 3000-G2 flight inspection equipment to perform critical verification of navigation aids such as Instrument Landing System Category I, II, and III (ILS Cat I,II,III) approaches, Ground Based Augmentation System (GBAS), Very High Frequency Omni-Directional Range (VOR), Tactical Air Navigation System (TACAN) and much more.
In addition to the Longitude, the JCAB also operates five Citation CJ4 jets in a similar flight inspection capacity. (Source: ASD Network)
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.