Sponsored by Blighter Surveillance Systems
18 Feb 21. Black Sage Solution Neutralizes Drone Threat in Middle East. A Civil Defense Authority based in the Middle East Utilized Black Sage’s Counter Unmanned Threat Solution to Detect and Defeat a Drone During a Major Public Event. An illegal drone was detected and neutralized at a major public event in the Middle East by a Black Sage mobile counter unmanned aircraft solution (CUAS) featuring Black Sage’s DefenseOS® command and control software.
Due to the rapid response by the local civil defense authority, no one attending the event was injured. The event continued without disruption. The safety and security of all those attending the event was assured by the civil defense authority and the Black Sage CUAS solution.
18 Feb 21. “Black Sage is proud to work with our partners across the Middle East to protect their citizens and visitors at major public events,” stated Trent Morrow, Black Sage’s Chief Strategy Officer. “Our Counter UAS solutions are deployed with civil defense authorities, militaries and airports worldwide defending people and critical infrastructure.”
Drones pose an increasing threat at major public events worldwide. The number of illegal drones entering the airspace above and near public events is accelerating.
Black Sage is a Systems Integration Partner (SIP). We made the strategic decision to not manufacture CUAS sensors and effectors. This means we are not tied to specific technologies, which allows our company to offer each customer a unique solution featuring industry leading components tailored to their requirements.
Black Sage’s DefenseOS® open architecture command and control software orchestrates a layered defense network comprising radars, EO/IR cameras, Passive RF sensors and effectors. DefenseOS® features an operator friendly interface and solution automation to reduce operator burden.
About Black Sage
Black Sage is a CUAS solutions provider and systems integration partner, serving civil defense authorities, military organizations, and airports worldwide. Our mission is to protect civilian and military personnel from unmanned threats. Black Sage’s open architecture DefenseOS® command and control software integrates and orchestrates industry-leading sensors and effectors required for a modular, layered air defense network. Our Sage Work’s Innovation Lab coupled with our three research facilities representing urban, rural, and remote environments enables rapid prototyping, testing, and integration. These resources enable Black Sage’s solutions to defend against the constant evolution of UAS threat capabilities. (Source: PR Newswire)
18 Feb 21. Numerica Announces Spyglass, a New 3D Radar for C-UAS & Short-Range Defense Missions. In response to gaps in the short-range air defense radar market, Numerica, a leader in designing and deploying best-in-class defense technology, announces the development of a new US-made, 3D radar solution for Counter Unmanned Aircraft Systems (C-UAS) and other short-range defense missions – introducing Spyglass Short Range Surveillance Radar.
Designed to fill the need for exceptional C-UAS detection and tracking performance, Spyglass from Numerica will be available soon for a broad set of applications including facility security, border surveillance, convoy and vehicle protection, air space monitoring and more.
“Spyglass was born out of our first-hand experience with gaps in the short-range radar market,” Nate Knight, vice president of air and missile defense at Numerica, said. “The rapidly-growing autonomous drone threat presented an opportunity to turn our attention to building a new radar from the ground up that would leverage our decades of experience solving critical air and missile defense problems and applying our proven radar processing and tracking technologies in new ways.”
Spyglass will offer advantages including:
- Superior precision: Spyglass utilizes Ku-Band Phased Array technology to provide high-precision measurements, improving targeting and classification performance at longer ranges and providing critical time for decision making and threat mitigation.
- See farther + react faster: Advanced signal processing algorithms and autonomy extend the detection range of the 3D radar allowing users to see farther and faster.
- Close the gap: Traditional pulse-doppler radar designs leave users blind up close, Spyglass’ simultaneous transmit-and-receive design ensures threats are not missed at close ranges.
- Deploy anywhere: With a rugged, solid-state design, low power consumption and low transmit power, Spyglass is built to be deployed anywhere needed.
- Any mission covered: With embedded C2 and AI software, Spyglass is designed to enable broad- area autonomous sensor networks. Software-defined operating modes enable rapid customization to specific mission requirements.
- Trusted U.S. partner: Designed and manufactured in the U.S. by trusted defense partners.Spyglass is designed to detect and track small, autonomous, UAS beyond three and a half kilometers with precise measurements to support a range of mitigation techniques. With a high degree of configurability and out-of-the-box support for distributed operations, Spyglass’ software-driven control capabilities will enable seamless integration into layered defense systems.
“We carefully selected partners for this effort who could support the delivery and integration of Spyglass to key military customers and also leverage the best in U.S. manufacturing talent,” Jeff Poore, president of Numerica, said. “We have collaborated with respected partners including Liteye Systems and NEOTech to bring to life this 3D radar solution urgently needed by the U.S. Armed Forces.”
Liteye Systems, a world leader and technology solutions provider and integrator of military and commercial solutions based in Centennial, Colo., will be the exclusive distributor of Spyglass for Numerica. As an industry expert, Liteye will provide seamless sales support, qualified field service and expert maintenance to ensure the best performance and experience for Spyglass end-users. In collaboration to bring Spyglass to market, both Numerica and Liteye have built a solid foundation for delivering the next generation of C-UAS solutions.
“Numerica has developed an extremely advanced radar solution that comes from deep-rooted experience working with the U.S. military since 1996,” stated Kenneth Geyer, CEO of Liteye Systems. “This 3D radar is uniquely designed from the warfighter’s standpoint and Liteye is excited to be part of this program.” (Source: UAS VISION)
18 Feb 21. NATO’s first operational UAS flying unit is providing increased security and persistent regional deterrence for the Alliance. Northrop Grumman Corporation’s (NYSE: NOC) RQ-4D Phoenix Global Hawk has recently enabled NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) Force to achieve a declaration of initial operating capability (IOC) from Supreme Allied Commander Europe, giving NATO commanders the ability to perform uninterrupted in-theater operations 24/7/365. The RQ-4D Phoenix Global Hawk variant provides cutting-edge intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) in support of global security.
“NATO AGS will help the Alliance with persistent regional defense and deterrence,” said Jane Bishop, vice president and general manager, autonomous systems, Northrop Grumman. “The commitment of the entire AGS team partnership – both government and industry – has shown incredible dedication, working across cultures, time zones and languages, all aiming toward one goal – providing the Alliance with this critical capability.”
The NATO AGS system is comprised of five aircraft, ground and support segments, along with advanced sensor technologies. The Phoenix aircraft has met the rigorous standards required for the first large unmanned aerial vehicle – military type certification and approved by the Italian Directorate of Aeronautical Armaments and Airworthiness (DAAA). Companies from across NATO member nations, including Leonardo, Airbus and Kongsberg, comprise the Northrop Grumman-led industry team that developed the NATO AGS capability.
The wide area surveillance of the RQ-4D Global Hawk and the fixed, mobile and transportable ground stations will support a full range of missions, including protection of ground troops and civilian populations, border control, crisis management and humanitarian assistance in natural disasters. The platform’s high-altitude, long-endurance capability delivers sustained, uninterrupted in-theater operations providing an unprecedented amount of ISR data to the Alliance. With the state-of-the-art main operating base at the Italian Air Base, Sigonella, Italy, data can be rapidly disseminated to allied forces, providing an unmatched advantage.
Northrop Grumman’s family of autonomous HALE systems, including Global Hawk, are a critical component of networked, global ISR collection for allied nations and mutual defense organizations around the world. Global Hawk collects ISR data that enables decision makers to act with the right information at the right time.
18 Feb 21. Camero-Tech – an SK Group member, a world leader and pioneer in developing, producing and marketing of pulsed-based UWB micro-power radar ‘Through Wall Imaging’ systems – is launching its groundbreaking XaverTM LR80 (XLR80) system, which enables detection of live objects behind walls, at distances of over 100 meters. This new capability provides a breakthrough operational advantage in a hostile environment.
Special forces and law enforcement teams conducting urban and rural operations require reliable information regarding hidden live objects to determine the most suitable approach to ensure successful missions and life-saving. Penetrating through walls from a remote location, the XLR80 creates an unprecedented, real-time situational awareness picture of whether there are people present beyond the wall, and if so, how many, their exact distance and their direction of movement. The system is also highly sensitive for detecting unseen micro movements of static live objects. Being able to achieve these capabilities and the high sensitivity, is a game changer in various operational scenarios.
Controlled by a tablet with a simple user interface for intuitive interpretation, the XLR80 features integrated data recording and playback for post-mission analysis, training and debriefing. A dedicate sight is used for accurately directing the narrow beam of the system to the target. The system can be operated by a single user and it is ready for use by a push of a button.
“For the first time, the operator in the field has the ability to see through walls at such long distance,” says Amir Beeri, CEO of Camero. “We have developed unique technology on which the XLR80 system is based on. An innovative Ultra-Wideband (UWB) sensor supported by patented algorithms and signal processing, provides the user with real time situational awareness while staying safe at more than 100 meters away from the target.”
The new XLR80 system is the latest addition to Camero’s XaverTM family of products, which includes the XaverTM 100, 400 and 800 and has been successfully deployed by elite customers around the world in military, law enforcement, intelligence and search & rescue applications. The XaverTM family delivers significant capabilities in information gathering, anti-terror activities, hostage rescue, anti-narcotics operations, and many other urban operations and missions.
The XLR80 is completely radiation safe by meeting international standards for human exposure.
17 Feb 21. Saab reveals first product made in UAE. Swedish company Saab is to unveil its first product developed in the United Arab Emirates at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference, taking place Feb. 21-25.
The Rugged Camera Module-Infrared, or RCAM-IR, is a “rugged camera platform, designed to withstand the harshest environments,” according to Anna-Karin Rosén, a managing director at Saab. She added that the real-time camera was specifically built for driver’s vision enhancer technology, which is used to improve situational awareness.
The camera is the first of many such products Saab hopes to develop in the UAE as part of the company’s objective to support the nation and regional manufacturers with advanced electronic products, according to a Feb. 17 company statement.
“The RCAM-IR is the result of an important collaboration with Marakeb Technologies,” Rosén told Defense News, referring to a UAE-based manufacturer of manned boats and unmanned land, naval and aerial systems. “Saab is committed to work with local partners to create world-class Emirati defense and security solutions for national needs and for the global market.”
The RCAM-IR can be used on platforms ranging from four-wheel drive vehicles to main battle tanks, Rosén added.
The increased situational awareness provided by the camera is meant to be part of a larger self-protection suite designed to mitigate threats to crews and armored vehicles.
According to Saab, it first began business in the UAE in the 1980s. But the company’s footprint notably expanded in December 2017 when it set up a development and production center in Abu Dhabi’s Tawazun Industrial Park. The facility initially focused on sensor systems but has since expanded to other defense and security products. (Source: Defense News)
16 Feb 21. New Plane Key to Special Ops Vision for Africa, General Says. Air Force Special Operations Command is planning flight demonstrations in coming months. A new aircraft that can fly reconnaissance missions and bomb enemy forces is key to U.S. special forces’ future in Africa, the head of Air Force Special Operations Command said Tuesday.
Lt. Gen. James Slife spoke as the Biden administration reviews the U.S. military’s global footprint and prepares to advise Congress on reorienting American forces for future conflicts.
“I would suggest to you that if we want to maintain pressure on those violent extremist organizations that pose a threat to the United States — that pose a threat to the homeland — we may need to remain engaged in portions of Africa against very specific threats and not just broadly, anywhere where there’s an extremist, but specifically where those that pose an external threat are,” Slife said Tuesday during a Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies Zoom event.
Called Armed Overwatch, the new planes are the Air Force’s latest attempt to field counterinsurgency aircraft that are cheaper to fly than high-performance fighter jets. But lawmakers aren’t sold on the project; they’ve cut millions of dollars that would have allowed the Air Force to start buying planes this year.
“Ultimately, I believe that SOCOM will be able to demonstrate to the Congress that this is a viable program, and it’s required for the future operating environment,” Slife said.
U.S. Special Operations Command plans to conduct flight demonstrations of “a handful of aircraft” in the coming months. The results of those trials will determine the path ahead, but the general said he hopes to “be in a procurement” of a commercial aircraft that doesn’t require a lengthy development in fiscal 2022.
“I think we can do that at relatively low risk based on what we’ve seen from the vendors who have indicated that they intend to bring platforms to demonstrate for us in the coming months,” he said.
The new armed plane is envisioned to replace an aging fleet of unarmed U-28 reconnaissance planes. U.S. Special Operations command is planning to hold a demonstration of commercially available planes that could be used for the missions “in the coming months,” Slife said.
“We need to get through this demo to see what industry can produce at low risk in a short order,” he said.
Air Force Special Operations Command flies unarmed U-28s, militarized Pilatus PC-12s, and MC-12Ws, militarized Beechcraft King Air 350s for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. It also flies armed MQ-9 Reaper drones. Special ops leaders are planning to retire the U-28 when the new Armed Overwatch aircraft arrives.
For years, the Air Force has considered buying a fleet of propeller-driven light-attack planes, but never moved past the demonstration phase. The latest effort is different, Slife said.
“This is not a rehash of the Air Force light-attack program,” he said. “SOCOM envisions this as more of a multi-role platform that can perform level delivery of precision munitions.”
The general said the planes are not likely to have ejection seats, like those included in more expensive attack aircraft.
“If we’re trying to fly airplanes that require ejection seats, we’re probably focused on the wrong thing as the Air Force component of SOCOM,” Slife said.
His comments would seem to exclude the Sierra Nevada/Embraer Super Tucano, Beechcraft AT-6B, Textron/AirLand Scorpion and Leidos/Paramount Bronco II, which are all considered light-attack planes and all have ejection seats. That could leave planes like the Air Tractor AT-802U or Cessna AC-208 Armed Caravan as options. The Iraqi Air Force flies single-engine Cessna Caravans armed with Hellfire missiles.
During the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, fighters, bombers, electronic attack aircraft, intelligence planes and refueling tankers would fly over a target in a “stack” over one another between 10,000 and 25,000 feet. This “is not viable for the future [and] it’s not cost-effective” for combating violent extremist organizations, Slife said.
“We need to collapse the stack…into a smaller number of platforms,” he said.
That means a plane that can gather intelligence and strike enemy targets on the ground.
“It’s really a multirole airplane that’s capable of operating with a very light logistics footprint in small disaggregated teams…in very austere regions,” Slife said. (Source: Defense One)
15 Feb 21. The drone defense dilemma: How unmanned aircraft are redrawing battle lines. First there was the video from Libya of a Turkish drone destroying a Russian Pantsir missile defense system.
Next came the veteran S-300 air defense system — also Russian — being taken out in Nagorno-Karabakh by an Israeli-built Harop loitering munition.
In the conflicts in Libya and Nagorno-Karabakh last year, unmanned platforms often made short work of the ground-based systems designed to neutralize them, paving the way for easy attacks on vulnerable troops.
What is more, experts say, is that the balance of power between drones and air defense systems is shaping up to be a key to global wars in the near future.
“Libya, Nagorno-Karabakh and also Syria have just showed us that if a fielded force cannot protect its airspace, then the large scale use of UAVs can make life extremely dangerous,” said Justin Bronk, an air force research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in England.
Turkey’s Bayraktar TB2 armed drone grabbed the headlines during the Libya conflict last year, which saw Turkey deploy the platform to defend the U.N.-backed Tripoli government against strongman Khalifa Hifter, who relied on Russian Pantsir systems.
Able to fire their Roketsan munitions from outside the range of the Russian systems, the TB2s scored hits, helping stop Hifter’s advance.
“Turkey also sent in engineers who improved the software of the drones on the fly, while there was no similar learning curve with the Chinese UAVs operated by the UAE to assist Hifter,” said Jalel Harchaoui at the Switzerland-based Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime.
“The bold and effective use of TB2s in Nagorno-Karabakh in October was made possible by the previous success in Libya,” he added.
An enclave belonging to Azerbaijan but governed by breakaway ethnic Armenians, Nagorno-Karabakh has been a flashpoint between Azerbaijan and Armenia for years. It exploded in a brief and bloody war between September and November.
Turkey, which backed Azerbaijan, reportedly sent in UAV trainers ahead of the conflict. TB2s alongside Israeli loitering munitions were soon racking up successes, with Dutch warfare research group Oryx reporting 134 Armenian tanks destroyed compared to 22 lost by Azerbaijan.
“Turkey built up its UAV expertise after leasing Israeli UAVs, then put that expertise to use building its own after frustrations over the limits placed on its use of the Israeli systems,” Bronk said. “The TB2 has a similar aerodynamic profile to the Heron, while the Turkish Anka UAV is similar to the Hermes 450.”
Manufacturer Bayraktar has sold the TB2 to Qatar and Ukraine, while Serbia is eyeing a purchase, raising the TB2′s profile as a competitor to the Chinese Wing Loong II, 50 of which have been exported.
“China and Turkey are vying for sales, which begs the question: Why doesn’t Russia have the equivalent of a TB2 to sell? I am very surprised they are almost absent in this market,” Harchaoui said.
The drone’s contribution to the hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh came with a price, as Canada suspended arms exports to Turkey amid claims the TB2 contained Canadian parts, while a U.K. firm supplying parts to the drone also canceled its contract.
A number of nations, including the U.K., are meanwhile beefing up their defenses for ground forces, said Bronk.
“In light of this threat, the British Army has recently ordered a short/medium-range [surface-to-air missile] system called Sky Sabre. If deployed forward in significant numbers, it should dramatically reduce the Army’s vulnerability to both surveillance and attack by hostile UAVs in situations where friendly air cover is unavailable,” he said.
Drones are not, however, invulnerable, he added. “U.S. and British Reapers and Predators in Syria had lots of problems with Russian electronic warfare. Since the Reaper can be targeted, you can imagine that less sophisticated platforms can be more easily affected,” he said.
Bronk expects that more militaries will spend more money on air defense to balance out the drone threat — “particularly countries which don’t have strong air forces.”
“One option is the Russian SA-17 system, which has a 75-kilometer range compared to the 10 kilometers of TB2 missiles, or the cheaper and more contained SA-15 with a 10-kilometer range. Western products include the [National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System] NASAMS, which already helps to defend Washington, D.C., with a roughly 15-kilometer range and the NASAMS 2 with a 30- to 40-kilometer range,” he said.
Peter Roberts, the director of military sciences at the Royal United Services Institute, said the world is waking up to the reality of modern warfare. “For a while there was the romantic view that either drones or tanks or missiles would win wars on their own,” he said. “There is no silver bullet on the battlefield, and this is an era which is rediscovering that.”
Roberts added that urban warfare is also undergoing a revival, as is the art of deception in war. “Whether it’s the Russians in Ukraine or the Iranians, the use of decoys is back — something we once knew about, then forgot in the 1990s.”
The world is also returning to an era of proxy wars, he said, from Libya to Nagorno-Karabakh to Yemen.
“That means wars fought on the edge of great powers using mercenaries and sponsored guerilla groups and insurgents,” he said. “It also means more sophisticated weapons in the hands of smaller, nonstate groups like the Houthis in Yemen using cruise and ballistic missiles and drones. It is potentially very nasty.” (Source: Defense News)
16 Feb 21. Sweden commits to future GlobalEye buy. Sweden will procure the Saab GlobalEye airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) platform to replace its ageing Saab 340 Erieyes, the country’s defence minister disclosed on 16 February. Speaking during a Saab media briefing on Finland’s HX fighter replacement programme, Peter Hultqvist, committed the Swedish Air Force (SwAF) to the GlobalEye for the first time, while noting opportunities for Finland should the Finnish Air Force (FinAF) select the platform alongside the Gripen E.
“There has been no formal Swedish decision on GlobalEye procurement, but that should be taken as our intent,” Hultqvist said. “GlobalEye is a very interesting alternative, and a Swedish product. In a formal way, we are not there yet.”
The minister’s comments came some four weeks after he laid out his government’s defence plans as part of a wider increase in national defence spending by more than 40% between 2021–25. In January, Hultqvist highlighted SwAF plans to replace its two Saab 340 Erieye platforms that have been in service since 2004. At that time, no details for a possible replacement were disclosed, though it was considered highly likely that it would be based on the GlobalEye that features the latest Erieye Extended Range radar technology. (Source: Jane’s)
16 Feb 21. Successful sea trials for ECA GROUP’s UMISAS sonar. ECA GROUP’s UMISAS sonar completed a series of sea trials in the 2nd half of 2020 in preparation of their integration in AUVs and Towed Sonars for the Mine Countermeasures replacement programme for the Belgian and Royal Netherlands navies.
As part of the programme to replace the naval Mine Countermeasures capability of the Belgian and Royal Netherlands navies, which includes the supply of twelve minehunters equipped with unmanned systems (Toolbox), ECA GROUP announces the completion of sea trials of its UMISAS sonar for both the AUVs and Towed Sonars of the rMCM programme. The next step is the on-going production of the UMISAS sonars for their integration in the A18-M and T18-M adapted to the rMCM programme. This integration will take place between October 2021 and March 2022.
ECA GROUP decided to develop its own range of Synthetic Aperture Sonars in 2014 and launched an internal programme. SAS sonars proposed by partners did not fulfil ECA GROUP’s internal requirements:
- Their weight, size or power consumption would have led to a too big and too heavy AUV whereas ECA GROUP’s MCM AUV was targeting the size of an A18-M medium-size AUV;
- Impossibility to precisely synchronize the SAS and the inertial navigation of the AUV in order to fully exploit the benefits of a new technique protected by an ECA GROUP patent for both SAS imagery and AUV navigation.
The A18-M AUV and T18-M Towed Sonar have the best performance when fitted with UMISAS sonars. Thus, these drones are exclusively commercialized with UMISAS sonars.
UMISAS: A NEW GENERATION OF SYNTHETIC APERTURE SONARS
ECA GROUP’s research and development in the field of sonars started back in 2014 together with its development of new generation Autonomous Underwater Vehicles in the A18 range. Driven by operational needs of Navies requesting high performance and more compact unmanned solutions for mine detection missions, ECA GROUP brings on the market their own sonar technology to be fitted on its naval drones and fully integrated into its unmanned systems.
The UMISAS sonars are interferometric synthetic aperture sonars (InSAS) used for mine detection missions as part of Mine Countermeasures operations at sea. The UMISAS sonars aim to obtain a spatial resolution of about 3 cm x 3 cm to optimally classify small and irregularly shaped objects on the seabed.
The positioning of the platform required to form the synthetic antennas is an integral part of the UMISAS processing chain. UMISAS directly uses the data from the A18-M or T18-M navigation grade inertial unit to perform SAS processing, thus eliminating the use of low cost navigation sensors used by some commercial SAS systems on the market which perform only the short term navigation required to produce focused SAS imagery, but do not allow for geo-referencing of the SAS images or improved positioning of the AUV by exploiting the SAS and, above all, are much less reliable.
UMISAS SONAR JOINS THE ECA GROUP DRONE FAMILY
The UMISTM Toolbox developed by ECA GROUP is a comprehensive solution for stand-off and autonomous mine clearance missions at sea to be operated from the ship or from the shore. It contains: a USV INSPECTOR125 surface drone , AUV A18-M underwater drones and T18-M towed sonars for mine detection, SEASCAN and K-STER C MIDS (Mine Identification and Disposal System) for mine identification and neutralization as well as UMISOFT, a comprehensive software suite for mission planning, drone control and data management.
UMISTM drones perform accurate navigation and positioning, obstacle detection and avoidance with a high level of performance, and one of the key elements, which will guarantee the expected high level of performance of the system, is the quality of imagery provided by these drones, which the ECA GROUP’s UMISAS Synthetic Aperture Sonar can offer.
UMISAS PROVIDES SUPERIOR COVERAGE RATE– DETECTING & CLASSIFYING STEALTHY MINES
UMISAS, an Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Sonar (InSAS), is an innovative underwater imaging technology that considerably improves seabed surveys by providing ultra-high resolution imagery at superior coverage rates, i.e. 4 times greater in terms of coverage and between 5 and 10 times greater in terms of resolution compared to conventional side scan sonars. Combining several dozens of acoustic pings to form an image with a much higher resolution, UMISAS processes raw data into 3 cm X 3 cm resolution images, constant with range, together with high area coverage rates (i.e. 1 square nm per hour for the UMISAS 240 fitted on the T18-M).
”This combination of resolution, area coverage and accurate positioning is what makes UMISAS unique. It allows for a high detection and classification probability, even of stealthy mines, which are a challenge for other sonars.” Marc Pinto, Naval Robotics Scientific Advisor at ECA GROUP
DRONES + SONAR = DUAL EXPERTISE FOR BETTER MISSION PERFORMANCE
ECA GROUP is one of the few manufacturers capable of developing the drones as well as the InSAS sensor, optimising both in an integrated system approach ensuring a seamless integration and successful mine detection and classification operations. This integration expertise is a real asset to the global performance of the system:
- Close collaboration between trajectory control, navigation and positioning, sonar signal processing systems, allowing system tradeoffs to be made at the right place;
- Greatly facilitated electrical and mechanical integration of the InSAS sensor into the drone as both were designed together;
- Optimized Size-Weight-Power and Cost.
AI DRIVEN REAL-TIME PROCESSING INCREASES AUTONOMY
In addition, ECA GROUP engineers have focused on real-time InSAS processing on Graphical Processing Units leveraging significant progress in COTS computer hardware driven by AI applications:
- Thus, the real-time InSAS processor is very compact and has a low and optimized power consumption, inferior to 30W, which increases mission duration.
UMISAS’ systems operate on 2 frequency bands: High Frequency & Very High Frequency:
- Permitting a superior signal to noise ratio and thus a high contrast imagery at long range, even in harsh environments, including multi-pathing in shallow waters and high absorption in warm waters.
PROVIDING HI RES BATHYMETRY IMAGES
Finally, UMISAS has a pair of vertically superposed arrays for reception on each side of the platform for interferometric processing, allowing for high resolution of the bathymetry which is co-registered with the imagery for improved environmental assessment.
16 Feb 21. Dutch Army Tests Smart Shooter’s SMASH solution in the Austrian high mountains. Tested under harsh weather conditions, the SMASH Fire Control Systems proved to be highly effective as all 67 drone targets were successfully hit.
The Dutch Army has recently completed a two-day live-fire counter-drone trial using Smart Shooter’s SMASH Fire Control System. The test took place in the Austrian High Mountains, as part of the Dutch Defense Department examination of different ways to combat small unmanned systems.
Tested at a range of up to 200 meters, in harsh weather conditions, fog, and blowing snow, the SMASH Fire Control Systems proved to be highly effective as all 67 drone targets were successfully hit with up to 3 shots each. It made no difference whether the drones were stationary in the air or moving.
The Dutch armed forces reported about the trial on its Facebook channel, saying that with the Smart Shooter SMASH Fire Control System, soldiers are able to deliver a locked shot at ground targets and drones, therefore significantly increasing hit probabilities. The RAS (Robotic Automated Systems) platoon of the 13th Light Brigade tested the SMASH in Austria at the tactical level. However, the system may also be of value in protecting sensitive strategic assets such as air force bases, ships, or in military operations abroad. Testing the intercept capability fits within the roadmap of the Nucleus C-UAS of the Dutch armed forces.
SMASH is a combat-proven Fire Control solution for small arms that ensures each round finds its target. Bringing precision-missile targeting algorithms and advanced electro-optical processing capabilities into standard assault rifles, Smart Shooter’s SMASH Fire Control Systems works automatically but not autonomously, and allows the operator to quickly and effectively neutralize any ground or airborne target, manned or unmanned. It is a cost-effective solution that can be integrated onto any type of assault rifle and combined with other C-UAS systems to provide an effective multi-layer defense solution suitable for the modern battlefield.
Michal Mor, SMART SHOOTER CEO: “Smart Shooter’s SMASH Fire Control Solution is an ideal hard-kill solution against drones and UASs, ensuring high hit probabilities while requiring very minimal training. We are happy to learn about another successful trial that the Dutch army conducted, and are confident the SMASH technology will completely revolutionize the world of small arms”.
About SMART SHOOTER
SMART SHOOTER is a world-class designer, developer, and manufacturer of innovative fire control systems that significantly increase the accuracy and lethality of small arms. With a rich record in designing unique solutions for the warfighter, SMART SHOOTER technology enhances mission effectiveness through the ability to accurately engage and eliminate ground, aerial, static or moving targets during both day and night operations.
Designed to help military and law enforcement professionals swiftly and accurately neutralize their targets, the company’s combat-proven SMASH Family of Fire Control Systems increase assault rifle lethality while keeping friendly forces safe and reducing collateral damage. With a unique technology that makes it possible for every battlefield element to be connected with every other battlefield element, SMASH creates a micro-tactical network that dramatically enhances real-time situational awareness and ensures that the entire platoon shares a common operational picture.
The company’s experienced team of engineers combine electro-optics, computer vision technologies, real-time embedded software, ergonomics, and system engineering to provide cost-effective and easy-to-use solutions for modern conflicts.
Fielded and operational, Smart Shooter SMASH family of solutions provides end-users with a “One Shot – One Hit” capability across multiple mission areas, creating a significant advantage for the infantry soldier and ultimately revolutionizing the world of small arms and optics.
SMART SHOOTER’s headquarters are based in Yagur, Israel, and its American subsidiary, Smart shooter Inc., is located in Maryland. Smart Shooter also has an office in Düsseldorf, Germany.
15 Feb 21. NATO’s new fleet of surveillance drones is deemed mission-ready. NATO’s top general in Europe has declared initial operational capability of the alliance’s five-strong fleet of surveillance drones stationed in Sicily, Italy.
The unmanned aircraft and associated ground equipment make up the NATO Allied Ground Surveillance program. Started nine years ago, its goal is to provide all member countries with an aerial picture of worldwide threats, especially in locations close to alliance borders.
The mission-ready proclamation comes after NATO received its fifth and final aircraft for the fleet of modified Northrop Grumman RQ-4D Gobal Hawks at Sigonella Air Base last November. There are also enough trained personnel assigned to the program for initial operations to commence, according to a NATO spokesman.
U.S. Air Force Gen. Tod Wolters, the supreme allied commander Europe, called the fleet’s completion “a significant milestone towards improved sensing of the environment.”
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Feb. 15 mentioned the AGS program as an example of the alliance’s desire to field “disruptive” and “emerging” technology.
“They will enable us to monitor wide areas from the sky, providing a comprehensive picture of conditions on the ground at any time,” he told reporters in Brussels, referring to the unmanned aircraft, dubbed “Phoenix” in NATO parlance. “They can even identify improvised explosive devices. So they are a very useful tool in providing information, reconnaissance, and intelligence.”
While top alliance officials conferred an initial, mission-ready status to the program today, the aircraft started flying test missions to the Baltics and the southern and eastern Mediterranean last summer that yielded useful data, a NATO spokesman told Defense News.
The alliance’s military headquarters in Europe, SHAPE, will help determine future missions, while planning and execution fall under Allied Air Command at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, the spokesman explained.
Routine operations of the fleet are expected to test the promise of cross-border collaboration among allies on mixing unmanned aircraft and regular civilian traffic in their respective air space. Diplomatic clearances for overflights are still necessary at the moment, though the plan is to broker some kind of standing authorization, the spokesman said. (Source: Defense News)
15 Feb 21. Russia Completes Testing of New Drone-Hunting UAV. Russia has been a relatively late entry in the field of modern unmanned aerial vehicles for military use. However, engineers from major defence firms are now working on a range of projects, including a heavy drone bomber, long-and-medium range reconnaissance UAVs, and smaller systems for local recon and defence.
Russian defence giant Almaz-Antey has wrapped up testing of an enhanced version of a new interceptor drone designed to find and shoot down or ram enemy drones autonomously, a company representative has told Sputnik.
The drone, called the Volk-18, or “Wolf-18,” is said to be a substantial improvement over a previously unveiled version of the UAV, featuring a new optical locator system which increases target detection range, and an enhanced control system.
“Flight testing of the upgraded version of the Volk-18, including the destruction of real-life drone targets, has been successfully completed. The UAV has been improved significantly. We plan to enter state testing this year,” the official said.
Elaborating on the Volk-18’s capabilities for autonomous operation, the Almaz-Antey official explained that
“now, the operator only confirms the decision to attack the enemy drone. Search, identification, target selection, manoeuvres and the actual destruction of UAVs are carried out independently. Among Russian drones this is the first system of its kind.”
The Volk-18 is on display at the National Aviation Infrastructure Forum & Show, a major exhibition in Moscow running February 9-10. Before that, an earlier version of the drone was shown at the ARMY-2019 military expo.
The drone measures 60×60 cm, has a takeoff weight of up to 6 kg, and a flight time of about 30 minutes. Its armament includes three small rocket launchers that shoot nets at enemy drones, entangling them and bringing them down. If that fails, the drone rams the enemy UAV, breaking it up in mid-air.
Russia’s need for mini-drones became apparent during the country’s counter-terrorism mission in Syria, with the military regularly intercepting and destroying small off-the-shelf drones packed with explosives launched by jihadists at the Russian air base in Latakia. (Source: UAS VISION/Sputnik)
12 Feb 21. US JCO confirms counter drone technology demonstration ahead of initial selection in FY22. US Joint Counter-small Unmanned Aircraft Office (JCO) has released more details of its strategy to develop a system to counter small unmanned aerial systems, according to an article published by Air Force Times. Further to the demonstration tender which closed in January 2021, JCO Director Col. Greg Soule told reporters on 2 February The Air Force Research Laboratory and the Army’s Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office, or RCCTO, will run the first of two technology demonstrations at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, in the first week of April.
“We wanted to provide this as a recurring opportunity for industry to be able to show us the latest and greatest that they’re working on so that we can make a decision as a department on what solutions look promising to either evaluate further or roll them into our system-of-systems approach,” Soule said
The technology demonstrated in April will be compared to similar low-collateral effects interceptor solutions that are already under contract with the government, according to Soule. The office is currently combing through industry whitepapers to decide who will receive an invitation to give an oral presentation. From there, the JCO will make a final decision on who will be invited to the first demonstration. Then the JCO will carve out a path to a second demonstration in late FY21.
The office plans select an initial capability for procurement and fielding to the force in FY22.
The JCO will also continue to look at follow-on efforts, future solutions and payloads that could be incrementally rolled into the system as part of a low-collateral effects interceptor package.
The JCO is looking at a low-collateral effects interceptor in response to the call by US Congress to field a C-sUAS system in 2022. Possible quick win technology includes high-energy lasers – already fielded – to provide directed-energy capability. The JCO is also working through the Air Force’s effort on high-powered microwave capability development.
Congress is providing USD47m to develop, test and begin production ‘as early as’ FY21 to meet immediate operational needs in this area, says Air Force Times.
“We don’t see the counter-UAS problem set as one enduring solution,” JCO’s Maj. Gen. Sean Gainey said during the same press briefing. “We see it as a range of capabilities integrated into a common C2 that gives you the ability to address threats across the range of threats out there and the ability to keep the pace of this threat because if there is a game-changing technology out there. You are going to find yourself consistently adjusting to the threat out there.”
For more information visit:
https://www.unmannedairspace.info/counter-uas-systems-tenders/us-military-seeks-technologies-to-reduce-collateral-damage-in-c-uas-intercepts/ (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
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