Sponsored by Blighter Surveillance Systems
25 Jul 19. U.S. Army Procures New M110A1 SDMR Rifle Scope Rifle from HK. The U.S. Army introduces 5,000 to 6,000 new M110A1 Squad Designated Marksman Rifles (SDMR) for its group-level rifle scope shooters. The U.S. Army continues to use the 7.62mm x 51 calibre for its riflescopes. The M110A1 SDMR is a semi-automatic G28E from the G28/HK417 family from Heckler & Koch. The weapons are to be manufactured in Oberndorf and then completely configured by the subsidiary HK USA with the SIG Sauer Tango 6 1-6×24 SDMR rifle scopes separately procured by the U.S. Army, Geissele assemblies and other attachments from a total of 12 companies based in the USA. They will then be delivered to the U.S. Army. Heckler & Koch will also provide spare parts, services and training for the soldiers. The M110A1 will replace the M14 Enhanced Battle Rifle by 2022. The G28E already serves in a different configuration than the M110A1 Compact Semi Automatic Sniper System in the U.S. Army. (Source: ESD Spotlight)
25 Jul 19. DroneShield wins Defence Innovation Network scheme grant. DroneShield has been selected by the Defence Innovation Network (DIN) for a grant-based collaboration program, in conjunction with Innovation Connections. Under the program, DroneShield will draw on resourcing from NSW universities, as well as their own team, to design and develop real-time optical drone-detection capability using recent advancements in machine deep learning and convolutional neural networks.
The collaboration is expected to result in a market-ready product by 1Q 2020, which “further enhances” DroneShield’s existing suite of technologies.
“DroneShield is pleased to continue our collaboration with the Australian and NSW governments to further strengthen our position as a leading Australian defence exporter in this highly innovative sector,” DroneShield CEO Oleg Vornik said.
“This grant secures access to some of the best minds in the world, based here in Australia, to complement our best in class engineering team in continuing to stay at the forefront of the counter-drone space, as it rapidly grows.”
DIN is a university-led initiative of the NSW government and the Defence Science and Technology Group to enhance NSW defence industry capability through collaboration with government and academic research institutions.
Supported by seven leading NSW universities, DIN focuses on bringing world-class research capabilities and innovation to the defence sector, supporting the Australian defence export industry. (Source: Defence Connect)
24 Jul 19. US Air Force begins testing UK decoy. US Air National Guard technical experts are evaluating the United Kingdom’s BrightCloud aircraft decoy system, which could open the way for it being procured by the US military.
Wing Commander Si Blackwell of the Royal Air Force’s Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO), which oversaw development and fielding of the disposable radar decoy in 191 days in 2017, told Jane’s on 21 July that he expected the US military to carry out tests flight later this year. The RCO is now working to field a family of BrightCloud products that will be compatible with a range of aircraft beyond UK fast jets, said Wing Cdr Blackwell. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
22 Jul 19. DroneShield Ltd’s (ASX:DRO or DRO.AU) (“DroneShield”) announces its partnership with Bosch, the world’s foremost provider of security and safety solutions, as per today’s ASX release. DroneShield Ltd’s (ASX:DRO or DRO.AU) (“DroneShield”), a global leader in drone detection and mitigation, and Bosch, the world leader in security and safety solutions, have entered into a partnership in the counterdrone space under the Bosch Integration Partner Program (IPP).
Bosch Security and Safety Systems provides a range of surveillance solutions globally, and leads with its range and customer adoption of its products across industries, including prison, airport, critical infrastructure, and other sectors.
DroneShield is a global leader in the counterdrone industry, with its product suite including multi-sensor detection systems and products enabling detection and mitigation of unwanted drones. Going forward, DroneShield will be offering an integrated system for drone detection and mitigation, with DroneShield’s products integrated with Bosch’s video surveillance products. This product integration of the two companies’ offerings has been completed, and the combined solution is available to customers at present.
Hsiang Nung Kuah, Bosch Business Unit Security, Director, Regional BU Marketing, said: “Bosch is pleased to add DroneShield as the preferred counterdrone partner to our suite of capabilities. Drone security is becoming a rapidly increasing problem for our existing and prospective customers across the sectors, and we expect DroneShield’s capability to service this emerging need.”
Oleg Vornik, DroneShield’s CEO, added: “We look forward to working with Bosch across customer segments. Most customers seek to make the most use of their existing installed hardware and systems, and adding our capabilities to the large installed and growing base that Bosch has in Asia-Pacific and globally, is expected to drive significant value to the customers – that is, the customers are able to utilise their existing surveillance hardware to gain a new counterdrone capability.”
22 Jul 19. DroneShield Ltd’s (ASX:DRO or DRO.AU) (“DroneShield”), a global leader in drone detection and mitigation, and Altitude Angel, the world’s foremost unmanned traffic management (UTM) provider, have announced a partnership. Altitude Angel enables airport operators (among others) to integrate unmanned vehicles into their controlled airspace. Its traffic management system GuardianUTM (offering enhanced airport safeguarding and automated approvals to fly in controlled airspace) is being deployed by NATS, the UK’s main air navigation service provider. Altitude Angel’s companion product, GuardianUTM O/S, supports all the functionality required to deliver national-grade drone traffic management capabilities to any country that wishes to safely unlock the potential of drones.
DroneShield is a global leader in drone detection and mitigation technologies and products, with its product suite including multi-sensor detection systems and products enabling mitigation of unwanted drones.
A joint offering of the two companies’ systems as an integrated product to selected customers will bring ‘single-point situational awareness’ to managed airspace for users such as national governments and airport operators. This will provide aerodrome towers or those tasked with managing airspace with a clear, single source picture of the sky. By clearly distinguishing between known, authorised operations, and unknown, potential threats, support of effective responses without disrupting authorised activities can be quickly executed.
Having a clear understanding (of who or what is in the air) will not only allow informed decisions to be made quickly, but it will enable the most efficient and effective response. This will be particularly beneficial where there is a need to detect possible threats, or security is paramount.
Toby Potter, Altitude Angel, Vice President Sales, said: “Altitude Angel sees collaboration and integration as key in delivering safe drone operations. Connecting Altitude Angel and DroneShield market-leading technologies is an exciting step in this direction. The drone industry is hungry for solutions enabling it to be taken into the mainstream, which demonstrate how drones can be managed safely, especially in and around areas where misuse could cause disruption. Marrying GuardianUTM with DroneShield’s powerful detection systems will deliver a comprehensive solution to the industry and one I am very much looking forward to providing to our customers worldwide.”
Oleg Vornik, DroneShield’s CEO, added: “Almost daily airports around the world are seeing drone incidents endangering the safety of thousands of passengers and causing tens of ms of dollars in economic damage. Civil infrastructure operators are in need of an urgent solution. We are proud to be co-operating with Altitude Angel, the sole provider of unmanned traffic management services to the UK airspace, to secure the airspace for customers both in the UK and globally.”
23 Jul 19. India commissions Dornier squadron to boost maritime surveillance. The Indian Navy has commissioned the fifth Dornier aircraft squadron during a ceremony at Naval Air Enclave, Meenambakkam, in the state of Tamil Nadu. Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS) 313 was commissioned by the chief of naval staff admiral Karambir Singh. INAS 313 will operate the Dornier multi-role short-range maritime reconnaissance (SRMR) aircraft, helping enhance maritime surveillance and security.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, Karambir Singh said: “Commissioning of INAS 313 marks yet another milestone in our efforts towards enhancing maritime security and safeguarding our nation’s maritime interests.”
Singh also stated that it is important for the country to boost its capabilities to constantly monitor the geo-political situation in the region and maintain surveillance over the Bay of Bengal, Palk Bay, and adjoining regions.
In a statement, the Ministry of Defence said: “The strategic position of the squadron will give the nation, dominance over the north-eastern part of the Indian Ocean, which also consists of trade routes.”
The new Dornier Squadron is set to operate from Chennai International Airport. This will bring the number of naval air bases in the state to three.
In January, the Indian Government cleared the establishment of three new naval air squadrons in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu.
The maritime surveillance version of the Dornier 228 aircraft is manufactured locally by state-owned company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) under licence from Russia’s RUAG Aerospace.
In December 2016, a contract was awarded to HAL to deliver 12 Dornier aircraft fitted with advanced sensors and equipment.
The aircraft will feature a glass cockpit, advanced surveillance radar, electronic intelligence (ELINT), optical sensors and networking.
Alongside maritime surveillance, the Dornier aircraft will support search-and-rescue operations and provide targeting data to weapon platforms. (Source: naval-technology.com)
22 Jul 19. Lynred, a global leader in designing and manufacturing high quality infrared technologies for aerospace, defense and commercial markets, today announces that the payload on the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter includes its Neptune infrared (IR) detector. This is the second time that the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has deployed a Lynred IR detector in a space mission. The first was the hyperspectral imaging satellite HYSIS, launched in November last year.
Chandrayaan-2, which launched today from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in India, is viewed as the ISRO’s most complex mission to date, as it will be the first to explore the Moon’s south polar region, the territory farthest from the Moon’s equator.
“Lynred is proud to be part of the Chandrayaan-2 mission through our Neptune IR detector; it is wonderful to participate in exploring new territory on the Moon,” said Philippe Chorier, head of business development for space activity at Lynred. “This is the second time that ISRO has selected a Lynred IR detector for a space launch, which further strengthens our more than ten-year partnership. We look forward to designing other IR products for future ISRO instruments.”
The Chandrayaan-2 weighs 3,877 kg. The payload includes 11 instruments, one of which is an imaging IR spectrometer (IIRS) designed with Lynred’s IR detector, called Neptune. It will conduct a more indepth onsite chemical analysis of the Moon and detection of minerals, water molecules and hydroxyl (containing oxygen and hydrogen atoms, also called hydroxyl radical, OH). Since water is essential for life to function on Earth, the composition of the water-ice on the surface and subsurface and its origin are important objects of study for future space exploration and travel. The orbiter is expected to be in orbit of the Moon for one year.
Of the eleven instruments, five are on the orbiter:
- An X-ray spectrometer to map the main features of the moon’s surface
- A synthetic aperture radar (SAR) operating in the L and S bands to analyze the top layers of the moon’s surface (to a thickness in the tens of meters), to confirm the presence of water in areas that are always in shadowed regions
- An IIRS imaging IR spectrometer built on Lynred’s IR detector to map the moon over a large spectrum in order to detect minerals, water molecules and hydroxyl (containing oxygen and hydrogen atoms, also called hydroxyl radical, OH)
- A mass spectrometer to perform a detailed study of the moon’s exosphere
- A TMC2 (Terrain Mapping Camera 2) to generate three-dimensional maps for the study of the moon’s minerology and geology
The presence of water on the Moon was confirmed during the previous Chandrayaan-1 mission, which did not include a Lynred IR detector. For Chandrayaan-2, the Lynred IR detector was chosen for its capacity to increase the upper spectral limit to 5.3 µm, up from 3µm on Chandrayaan-1, in order to improve observation capabilities.
Lynred developed the IR detector for the IR imaging spectrometer, a 500 x 256 pixel SWIR-MWIR detector with a pitch of 30µm and a spectral range of 0.9µm to 5.3µm. It operates at 90 Kelvin and is equipped with a special cold filter with four bands. Based on the well-established and space-proven Neptune / Saturn IR space detectors, the IR detector is designed for hyperspectral applications in which the image of the ground is distributed spectrally on the detector.
Lynred, a recent merger between Sofradir and ULIS, delivered the Neptune IR detector onboard the Chandrayaan-2 probe to ISRO in November of 2017.
21 Jul 19. DroneShield Ltd (ASX:DRO) (“DroneShield” or the “Company”) has been selected for a grant-based collaboration program by Defence Innovation Network (DIN), in conjunction with Innovation Connections. NSW Defence Innovation Network (DIN) is a university-led initiative of the NSW Government and the Defence Science and Technology Group to enhance NSW Defence industry capability through collaboration with government and academic research institutions. Supported by seven leading NSW universities, DIN focuses on bringing world-class research capabilities and innovation to the defence sector, supporting the Australian defence export industry.
Under the program, DroneShield will draw on the NSW universities’ resourcing, in combination with own engineering team, to design and develop a real-time optical drone-detection capability using recent
advancements in machine Deep Learning and Convolutional Neural Networks. The collaboration is expected to result in a product that will be taken to market by DroneShield by 1Q 2020, further enhancing its existing suite of market-leading technologies.
DroneShields’s CEO Oleg Vornik commented “DroneShield is pleased to continue our collaboration with the Australian and NSW Governments to further strengthen our position as a leading Australian defence exporter in this highly innovative sector. This grant secures access to some of the best minds in the world, based here in Australia, to complement our best in class engineering team in continuing to stay at the forefront of the counterdrone space, as it rapidly grows.”
18 Jul 19. USMC jamming jeep sends unknown drone to the deep. Drone, the catch-all term for uncrewed flying vehicle, descends from a far more specific bit of jargon, once used exclusively to refer to aerial targets. Few aircraft are built for the express purpose of being destroyed, but targets are, and that more casual attitude towards the destruction of aerial robots has expanded to include the whole category of modern uncrewed apparatus. All of this is to say: through some means, forces on board a U.S. Navy vessel had an interaction with a drone, and likely sent it into the sea.
“At approximately 10 a.m. local time, the amphibious ship USS Boxer was in international waters conducting a planned inbound transit of the Strait of Hormuz,” read the statement from Jonathan Hoffman, the chief Pentagon spokesperson. “A fixed wing unmanned aerial system (UAS) approached [USS] Boxer and closed within a threatening range. The ship took defensive action against the UAS to ensure the safety of the ship and its crew”
The Pentagon’s statement differs in language from the wording used by President Trump, who claimed that “the drone was immediately destroyed” after receiving multiple calls to stand down. According to CNN, U.S. defense officials claim that the drone was disabled not by bullets or missiles (“kinetics,” in the jargon) but by jamming.
Specifically, it was almost certainly jamming via MRZR LMADIS, or a Polaris MRZR vehicle sporting a Light Marine Air Defense Integrated System. While a Corps official said as early as May that the deployment of the system to the Middle East was winding down, observers online noted that a MRZR LMADIS system was visible on the deck of the USS Boxer, an amphibious assault ship, for its transit through the Strait of Hormuz in pictures uploaded earlier that day.
The incident is just 28 days after Iran shot down a Global Hawk over the Strait of Hormuz. While the drone jammed by the Boxer has yet to be identified, Iran has drone bases in the area (which is, again, a narrow body of water that borders Iran, and over one side of which Iran claims sovereignty). Non-state actors have also operated drones in the surrounding area, sometimes supplied by regional powers. The downing of the Global Hawk almost risked escalation, though the uncrewed nature of drones versus the certainty of human casualties in the event of a retaliation appears to have calmed tensions.
Instead, the recent exchange of attacks on drones hearkens back to an earlier era of tension in the Strait, invoking the attacks on commercial vessels during the Iran-Iraq war which ultimately involved US naval patrols and is recorded in history as the Tanker War. Jamming drones, in theory, poses less of a risk to other commercial or otherwise peopled aircraft, but the likely consequence of the exchange of drone destruction in the summer of 2019 is that commercial aircraft will steer clear of the area. After all, the greatest tragedy of the Tanker War involved a U.S. cruiser mistaking a civilian Iranian airliner for an attacking jet fighter, leading to the deaths of 290 people.
It is also worth noting that the immediate answer to a drone threat to ships appears to be simply parking a ground vehicle carrying a counter-drone system on the deck. The counter-drone field is full of possible solutions, but most have focused on either facilities or dismounted patrol protection, looking at handheld devices or larger installations at fixed points at bases. There is likely an under-served market in counter-drone solutions for ships, especially aimed at stopping mid-to-low end fixed wing craft. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
Blighter® Surveillance Systems (BSS) is a UK-based electronic-scanning radar and sensor solution provider delivering an integrated multi-sensor package to systems integrators comprising the Blighter electronic-scanning radars, cameras, thermal imagers, trackers and software solutions. Blighter radars combine patented solid-state Passive Electronic Scanning Array (PESA) technology with advanced Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) and Doppler processing to provide a robust and persistent surveillance capability. Blighter Surveillance Systems is a Plextek Group company, a leading British design house and technology innovator, and is based at Great Chesterford on the outskirts of Cambridge, England.
The Blighter electronic-scanning (e-scan) FMCW Doppler ground surveillance radar (GSR) is a unique patented product that provides robust intruder detection capabilities under the most difficult terrain and weather conditions. With no mechanical moving parts and 100% solid-state design, the Blighter radar family of products are extremely reliable and robust and require no routine maintenance for five years. The Blighter radar can operate over land and water rapidly searching for intruders as small a crawling person, kayaks and even low-flying objects. In its long-range modes the Blighter radar can rapidly scan an area in excess of 3,000 km² to ensure that intruders are detected, identified and intercepted before they reach critical areas.