Sponsored by Blighter Surveillance Systems
30 Jun 20. Ascent Vision Technologies Secures CUAS Contract with Key Thailand Defense Agency. Ascent Vision Technologies (AVT) has received a contract from the Defence Technology Institute (DTI) of Thailand for its field-proven eXpeditionary Mobile Air Defense Integrated System (X-MADIS). The X-MADIS will protect critical assets against hostile small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS).
The X-MADIS was selected by the DTI following a series of Counter small Unmanned Aerial System (C-sUAS) demonstrations and tests to showcase the capabilities of the system. Developed to achieve optimal performance in high-heat and humid conditions, the X-MADIS will provide reliable, fixed-site and full spectrum protection against commercial, off-the-shelf sUAS and state level adversaries.
AVT’s X-MADIS is a portable solution that incorporates industry-leading components designed specifically for detection, tracking, identification, classification and defeat of sUAS and drone swarms. The X-MADIS is tailored to each customer’s mission through advanced system integration, providing customers with a selection of components to meet their specific needs.
The DTI’s X-MADIS FS (Fixed Site) combines four all-threat air surveillance radars with an RF detection sensor for reliable detection, classification and locating of commercial sUAS. A CM202U optic delivers rapid positive identification and tracking of an airborne object to increase the operator’s decision time when responding to a threat. An Electronic Warfare (EW) system neutralizes one or multiple sUAS. All components are integrated into AVT’s CUAS Suite software to enable seamless, single operation of the entire kill-chain.
“We are grateful that the Defence Technology Institute has recognized the X-MADIS as a powerful solution to protect their assets against sUAS threats,” said Stephen Zinda, Vice President of International Business Development at AVT. “The award was granted following a series of test events to demonstrate the suitability of the X-MADIS for this specific operation.
“I would like to thank our partners, GCS Group Corporation, for their support and effort in helping us secure the contract,” added Zinda. “We look forward to continuing a strong relationship with both GCS Group and the DTI as we support their needs.”
Established in 2004, GCS Group Corporation is a reputable organization based in Thailand that designs, manufactures and trades high-level technology for the defense industry.
30 Jun 20. Soldier Lethality Cross Functional Team. “The potential is astonishing.” 10th Mountain Division Soldiers Test New ENVG-B Capabilities. Really good was never really going to be good enough for the Army team developing the Enhanced Night Vision Goggle – Binocular. Nine months after equipping the first unit with the ENVG-B, developers are testing the rigor of system enhancements at the Joint Readiness Training Center in Fort Polk, La., in order to assess new augmented reality technologies and the hardware that delivers them.
As a night vision device, the ENVG-B’s dual thermal and infrared sensing capabilities deliver unmatched clarity in situations where visibility is diminished, including the complete absence of light. It was fielded for the first time last fall as part of an initial Directed Requirement to get those next generation night vision capabilities in the hands of Soldiers at Fort Riley who have since deployed with them to Korea.
“Beyond the success of the test itself, the very fact that we could be here, on schedule and on track, is a huge success on its own, given the COVID climate we’re in. Our industry partners and the Army Modernization Enterprise team were relentless in their search for ways to work around the problem and mitigate the risk, but none of that would’ve mattered in the end if FORSCOM and 10th Mountain Division hadn’t recognized the value in what we’re doing here and offered their support.”
Maj. John Nikiforakis, Assistant Product Manager, ENVG-B, PEO Soldier.
But that was just the beginning, said Maj. John Nikiforakis, the Assistant Product Manager for PEO Soldier. New applications are being tested and refined for delivery to the Close Combat Force.
“We put an incredible tool in the hands of Soldiers who need it now,” Nikiforakis said. “But the goal always is to treat the Soldier as a system, to equip Soldiers and squads holistically with weapons and system elements that work together to make them more lethal and more survivable. That’s what we’re doing here, testing the ENVG-B as a system.”
It’s a system that includes augmented reality capabilities and a heads-up display that integrates wirelessly with weapon optics. Those kind of capabilities make it possible for a Soldier to detect and even fire on a target around an obstacle with limited exposure to the enemy.
In what is called a reliability growth test (RGT), the first of three planned for the ENVG-B system, Soldiers from C Troop, 3rd Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division, put the system to the test during field training exercises throughout the month of June. After a week of classroom training with the systems, a week of marksmanship training on the range, and a week of nighttime situational training exercises, the event culminated in a 72-hour field training exercise with an opposing force. Thirty
participants used the ENVG-Bs, and others used PVS-14 night vision devices in order for data collectors and observers to draw comparisons.
There was no comparison, said Capt. Will Hess, the C Troop commander.
“In terms of target detection and clarity, the difference between the (ENVG-B) and the PVS-14 is night and day,” Hess said. “The guys wearing the ENVG-Bs were taking targets out to 300 meters and even beyond, whereas our guys with 14s are having trouble seeing beyond 150. I can’t say enough about the ENVG-Bs. There’s really no comparison.”
Which doesn’t mean the tests all ran smoothly. By design, RGTs are iterative Soldier Touch Points that expose weaknesses in the software or hardware early and often throughout the development process in order to shape a final product that is beneficial to the Soldier and wholly accepted. That’s the Soldier Centered Design methodology employed by the Soldier Lethality Cross Functional Team that leads the ENVG-B program, one of Army Future Command’s signature modernization efforts. Soldiers are involved in design and development every step of the way.
“The focus for this is getting it the hands of the Soldiers and just figuring out early on what are some issues with the device and how do Soldiers actually use it,” Hess said. “They developed it and tested it in the lab based on how they think Soldiers are going to use it. Now, we give to Soldiers and run them through our training and see how they actually use it and to test its durability, to see how it stands up to the kind of rigorous use Soldiers put it through in a dense, rugged environment doing dismounted squad maneuvers.”
The rugged environment at Fort Polk includes swamps, and swamps present Soldiers with a different kind of challenge.
“Snakes. Two water moccasins, two feet away,” said 2nd Lt Phillip Davis, who spotted the threat using ENVG-Bs in thermal mode. “The guys using the 14s couldn’t see them at all. There’s no comparison between the two. Just the difference in depth perception and clarity is drastic. The ENVG-Bs are incredible for situational awareness alone. Having that augmented reality with Rapid Target Acquisition allows us to make decisions quicker, and that’s going to save a lot of lives.”
With all the additional “gee whiz features” on the ENVG-Bs, like see-through map overlays and a compass, Davis said he needs more time with the goggle to prevent cognitive overload.
“The potential is astonishing,” he said. “These are capabilities I never thought I’d see in the Army, but it’s a lot like learning to drive a stick shift; we just need practice. Our guys are picking up on it very quickly, so I can see it being a great benefit a few months from now.”
In the coming months, the ENVG-B team will continue to conduct Soldier Touch Points, including RGTs, to address any issues identified during the exercise at Fort Polk, Nikiforakis said. It’s an iterative “test-fix-test” cycle.
“We rely on Soldier feedback to ensure the equipment we field is exactly what they want and what they need to be more lethal and more survivable on the battlefield,” he said. “The need to restore overmatch is urgent. The key to staying on track is keeping Soldiers involved every step of the way and finding ways to work around the challenge of the (COVID-19) pandemic.”
When employees of the two vendors manufacturing the ENVG-B prototypes were diagnosed with the virus, Elbit and L3 found work-around solutions, including telework and alternate schedules, to mitigate risk without delaying production.
“Everything we do is a team effort,” Nikiforakis said. “But nothing speaks to the ingenuity and dedication of the team like what we’ve seen over the past few months, as everyone from every corner of the (Army Modernization) enterprise has persistently found ways to succeed at a time when it would’ve been easy to hit pause. We just keep our eyes on the finish line, because modernization can’t wait.”
26 Jun 20. Pentagon Plans ‘Plug & Play’ Drone-Killing Tech. The military will consolidate from dozens of different, often-incompatible counter-drone defenses to just seven — with a single common standard for command & control. From radio jammers to lasers, a wide range of technologies from a wide range of companies will have a place in the Pentagon’s new architecture for anti-drone defense, Maj. Gen. Sean Gainey told reporters this morning.
“What all the services have truly embraced is the common C2 standards that are being developed as part of this process, which is going to allow the plug-and-play of industry’s emerging technologies,” said Gainey, the Army two-star tapped in January to head the newly created JCO, the Joint Counter-Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Office.
Yesterday, the JCO endorsed seven defensive systems and a single standard architecture for common-and-control, mandating the Army’s FAAD-C2 or a compatible C2 network such as the Air Force’s MEDUSA. If your unit uses one of the dozens of other systems not on the list, you’re still allowed to keep them, and program offices will sustain them, but the services should make all new purchases from the approved list. There’s no fixed timeline to phase out the other systems, Gainey said.
JCO is also developing a formal Capabilities Development Document (CDD) – “we expect to have our initial draft of it this fall,” Gainey said this morning – that will define official requirements for future systems and upgrades to current ones.
The goal is to stop different services and commands from buying multiple, often incompatible counter-drone defenses, focus investment on fielding and upgrading a few “best of breed” systems, and, perhaps most important, impose a single common standard for command & control that’s flexible enough to bring in new technologies as they emerge.
Small Drones, Big Problems
Why does this matter? The military has spent many millions to stop $100 quadcopters and other mini-drones that terrorists could use to spy or to deliver bombs. With ISIS using mini-drones in Syria and Iraq, while Iran used larger ones against a Saudi oil field, the need was urgent, and experiments like Black Dark fostered some ingenious innovations. But the result has been a hastily stitched patchwork of defenses, many of which only solve one small part of the problem and don’t work well with one another.
Gainey’s JCO reviewed about 40 different systems either bought expressly for the Counter-small Unmanned Aerial Systems mission or modified to do C-sUAS, ranging from a handheld jammer called Drone Buster to missile defense radars. About 10 of those systems had valid missions beyond C-sUAS, like the Army’s Sentinel radar, so the new policy doesn’t apply to them, Gainey said, but it does cover the 30-plus others that were specifically or primarily for stopping small drones.
The seven approved defenses fall into three categories. Dismounted/Handheld covers lightweight tech for troops on foot. Three options are approved in this category:
- the Special Operation Command’s (SOCOM) Bal Chatri (named after a traditional Indian bird trap);
- the commercially available Smart Shooter, a targeting aide that makes conventional rifles precise enough to hit a flitting drone; and
- the Dronebuster, also commercially available, which hijacks a drone’s wireless control link to make it “descend or go home.”
The middleweight category, vehicle-Mounted/Mobile Systems, has one option: the Marine Corps’ L-MADIS (Light-Mobile Air Defense Integrated System), whose current form is a high-powered jammer and sensor package mounted on a 4×4. (It’s the L-MADIS in the photo at the top of this story).
The heavyweight category, stationary Fixed/Semi-Fixed Systems, has one primary option, developed by the Army, and two others that the Army has proven can integrate with it.
- The Army’s FS-LIDS (Fixed Site-Low, Slow, Small Unmanned Aircraft System Integrated Defeat System) uses a FAAD-C2 network to include a range of different weapons and sensors; the current Increment One version can both jam a drone’s control link or physically shoot it down.
- The Air Force offering is NINJA (Negation of Improvised Non-State Joint Aerial-Threats), which can plug into FS-LIDS.
- The Navy’s is CORIAN (Counter-Remote Control Model Aircraft Integrated Air Defense Network), which is also compatible.
The approach to command-and-control is similar, with the primary baseline being an Army-developed system, but two compatible systems from other services were also approved:
- FAAD-C2 stands for Forward Area Air Defense Command and Control, software developed by Northrop Grumman for the Army but now used by the Marines, Air Force, and Special Operations as well.
- Kongsberg has developed a C2 system for the Air Force that both oversees friendly drones and combat enemy ones, MEDUSA (Multi-Environmental Domain Unmanned Systems Application Command and Control). Gainey says MEDUSA is fully interoperable with FAAD-C2.
- The Marines are developing a FAAD-C2 compatible system as well, ADSI (Air Defense System Integrator)
Now, that’s three different command-and-control systems, not one, but what matters is that they’re all fully compatible. (The military in general has largely given up on trying to build “one system to rule them all” and is instead trying to make different, specialized systems work together). JCO is working with the services to establish common technical standards governing counter-drone command-and-control, Gainey said, so the military can plug-and-play any company’s new technology as long as it meets those standards.
“We’re going to continue to look at emerging technology and new technology out there,” he said, “where industry can have the opportunity to compete.” (Source: glstrade.com/Breaking Defense.com)
29 Jun 20. South Korea to spend $2bn on aircraft buy. South Korea is set to acquire more airborne surveillance and intelligence gathering aircraft, as the U.S. ally seeks to bolster its capabilities in both areas. The country’s Defense Project Promotion Committee approved last Friday plans to acquire an undisclosed number of airborne early warning and control, or AEW&C aircraft, according to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration or DAPA.
The committee also approved plans to acquire more signals intelligence or SIGINT gathering aircraft. Approximately $1.3bn has been earmarked for the acquisition of the AEW&C aircraft for entry into service by 2027 while a further $725m has been set aside for the SIGINT platforms, which are expected to enter service in 2026.
The announcement did not disclose the platforms being pursued for either program, but South Korea is almost certain to go with additional Boeing 737 AEW&C aircraft. The Republic of Korea Air Force or ROKAF is already operating four such aircraft, acquired from the United States under the Peace Eye program, since 2012.
The Peace Eye 737s are derivatives of Boeing’s 737 Next Generation airliners fitted with a distinctive dorsal radar housing containing a Northrop Grumman Multi-Role Electronically Scanned Array or MESA radar. The L-band radar is reportedly capable of simultaneous air and sea search, fighter control and area search, simultaneously tracking 180 targets and conducting 24 intercepts.
The DAPA announcement said the acquisition of additional AEW&C aircraft will be to further minimize gaps in South Korea’s air defence coverage. South Korea has in recent months publicised the intercept of Chinese and Russian military aircraft entering the Korean Air Defense Identification Zone or KADIZ.
The new SIGINT aircraft will be used to replace four older platforms based on the Hawker 800 business jets. DAPA says the new aircraft will be equipped with indigenous systems and will serve alongside two Dassault Falcon 2000 SIGINT aircraft delivered to the ROKAF in 2017.
The older Hawker 800 platforms were acquired in 1996 under the Paekdu project and were modified by E-Systems Incorporated for its SIGINT role. The aircraft were delivered in the early 2000s along with four other Hawker 800XPs modified for imagery reconnaissance with synthetic aperture radars and moving target indicators. (Source: Defense News)
29 Jun 20. US Army selects eight counter-drone systems for the joint force. Following an Army-led assessment, the Defense Department will be narrowing the number of different counter-small unmanned aircraft system solutions deployed by the joint force from about 40 to eight.
In November, the defense secretary delegated the Army to lead an effort to reduce redundancy in the development and fielding of various C-sUAS solutions by the services. The Army subsequently set up the Joint C-sUAS Office to conduct that assessment, and over the last few months the office has worked to narrow down the dozens of counter-drone systems fielded by the services.
“Our goal is to align existing and future Counter-UAS technology solutions to best address operational needs while applying resources more efficiently,” Maj. Gen. Sean Gainey, the JCO’s first director, said during a media call June 26, one day after the assessment results were announced. “This is really why the organization was stood up — to eliminate the redundancy that was being fielded.”
That assessment, which Defense Department leadership have approved, looked at approximately 40 systems, about 30 of which were primarily used for the C-sUAS mission, said the director. The assessment concluded that the joint force should move forward with fielding just eight different systems — a variety of fixed, mounted and dismounted solutions.
“So essentially moving forward, we will focus our investments,” Gainey said. “The services have each been assigned sponsor of each one of those systems, so as we move this forward as a joint approach, it will coordinate the future upgrades to these systems and the contracting of these systems across the joint force.”
C-sUAS systems that were not included in the final selection will be replaced by the approved systems, although JCO could not provide a timeline for how quickly this will take place, how much it will cost or how many units will need to be replaced across the services. Gainley noted that the services are currently conducting an analysis of how many systems will need to be replaced.
Of the eight approved solutions, three are fixed, one is mounted and three are dismounted.
The approved C-sUAS systems are as follows:
1) Fixed/Semi-Fixed Systems
- Fixed Site-Low, Slow, Small Unmanned Aircraft System Integrated Defeat System (FS-LIDS), sponsored by the Army
- Negation of Improvised Non-State Joint Aerial-Threats (NINJA), sponsored by the Air Force
- Counter-Remote Control Model Aircraft Integrated Air Defense Network (CORIAN), sponsored by the Navy
2) Mounted/Mobile System
- Light-Mobile Air Defense Integrated System (L-MADIS), sponsored by the Marine Corps
3) Dismounted/Handheld Systems
- Bal Chatri, sponsored by Special Operations Command
- Dronebuster, no sponsor, commercial off-the-shelf capability
- Smart Shooter, no sponsor, commercial off-the-shelf capability
4) Command and Control
- Forward Area Air Defense Command and Control (FAAD-C2), sponsored by the Army (includes FAAD-C2 interoperable systems like the Air Force’s Air Defense System Integrator (ADSI) and the Marine Corps’ Multi-Environmental Domain Unmanned Systems Application Command and Control (MEDUSA C2)). (Source: Defense News)
29 Jun 20. IAI adds Iron Drone intercepting drones to Drone Guard. Israel Aerospace’s anti-drone system will add the interception capabilities to its advanced radar detection systems.
Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) (TASE: ARSP.B1) and Iron Drone today announced a collaboration agreement for the integration of interception capabilities into IAI’s advanced anti-drone system Drone Guard. The intercepting drone can be launched day or night from a docking station that hosts several ready-to-use drones. Several intercepting drones can be launched simultaneously to address different targets or swarms.
IAI ELTA Systems, which develops and manufactures Drone Guard anti-drone systems, has sold over 100 units that detect, identify, and disrupt the operation of malicious drones. ELTA’s collaboration with Iron Drone is part of its strategy to collaborate with startups to leverage their innovative technologies for their existing systems to improve performance. ELTA is a global leader in remote sensing and RADAR systems. Its product portfolio includes mission aircraft, national cybersecurity administration, ground robotic systems, anti-drone systems, homeland defense systems, and more.
IAI ELTA Land Systems Division general manager Zvi Yarom said, “The collaboration agreement and the integration of interception capabilities in IAI’s Drone Guard create a specialized solution for a broad range of threats. Drone Guard represents Elta’s extensive know-how and experience in radars, intelligence, and AI combined with Iron Drone’s unique kinetic interception solution. The integration has been tried, proven, and demonstrated in several pilots and is now being marketed to customers. Drone Guard is one in a full suite of solutions offered by ELTA’s Land Systems facility under construction in Beer Sheba at an investment of over NIS 100m. It will help IAI build innovative technological infrastructures and implement R&D for novel land applications.”
Iron Drone CEO Matan Melamed said, “The strategic collaboration with IAI’s ELTA Systems is a significant milestone for Iron Drone. The combination of Drone Guard’s advanced capabilities with Iron Drone’s steering and homing excellence result in a significant business and technological venture.” (Source: https://en.globes.co.il/)
29 Jun 20. UV 20 gathers 250 participants from twelve NATO nations operating more than ten different types of JISR systems. F-16 Flying Falcon aircraft from Poland with their DB-110 pod are able to collect tactical reconnaissance and have highly capable processing, exploitation and dissemination nodes with imagery collection, processing and analysis capabilities. SOURCE NATO
BRUSSELS – NATO Allies joining this year’s Unified Vision (UV) event concluded the second week of the operational evaluation of Joint Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance capabilities across the Alliance.
This year’s event UV 20 is using geographically dispersed capabilities and virtual assessment teams to demonstrate that NATO is taking steps to improve its strategic anticipation and situational awareness.
The UV series is NATO’s main event to practice and evaluate technical and operational concepts for conducting Joint Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance in NATO operations. Using networks that NATO and Allies operate to connect collective and national Joint Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance capabilities, the results of the UV 20 operational evaluation will guide further development of NATO capabilities in this domain.
Linking data from various resources such as maritime surveillance assets, airborne synthetic aperture radars, full motion video from aircraft and commercial satellite imagery, up to twenty intelligence cells from participating countries across Europe and North America are able to receive the UV 20 data live, or in near real time.
(Source: Aerospace Daily & Defense Report)
Participants are using intelligence processing, exploitation and dissemination systems in a collaborative and dynamic manner, in order to create analytical insights and to put into practice lessons learned during the last decade of operating together.
“Joint Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance is a critical capability, now more important than ever, as we face multiple threats. UV 20 is a unique contribution to the development of our capabilities, providing the opportunity to connect with other Allies, to analyse data and to share information to a maximum effect. It demonstrates the value of burden-sharing among Allies and the value of coordinating the use of intelligence analysis and distribution capabilities from across the Alliance”, said Camille Grand, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment.
UV 20 gathers 250 participants from twelve NATO nations operating more than ten different types of JISR systems, including space, air, land and maritime assets: Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, United Kingdom, and the United States. During UV 20, real world data collection is focused solely on military forces within the trial area.
UV 20 was held from 15 to 26 June. Unified Vision events take place on a bi-annual basis to evaluate challenges in how Allies collect and share ISR data. The first Unified Vision event was in 2012.
24 Jun 20. DroneSec shares threat information via Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform. Australian security software specialist DroneSec has released a new Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform for the drone, counter-drone, and UAS Traffic Management (UTM) system industries. The DroneSec Notify Threat Intelligence system combines traditional human threat intelligence gathering with machine learning and big data to deliver customised alerts alongside in-depth analysis reports.
According to the DroneSec press release, the platform offers a searchable artefact database supported by a knowledgebase of whitepapers and industry reports. The platform receives updates daily from over 100 sources, curated and analysed by a team of drone security experts with backgrounds in cyber security, intelligence, and defence. DroneSec Notify is already utilised by organisations across the world operating in the drone space.
Notify’s tracking engine combines Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) techniques with DroneSec’s proprietary tracking software to enable operators to monitor locations for drone activity even if a physical counter-drone system is not in place. For prisons, airports or stadiums where defeating drone systems may not be regulatory approved, Notify combines Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) with field-tested mitigation strategies.
The software is aimed at security operation teams, digital forensic first responders and law enforcement who can analyse trends, patterns and re-occurring threat actors behind unauthorised drone use.
Available in free and paid options, the intelligence gathered by DroneSec’s drone security specialists already assists law enforcement, government, military, commercial and regulatory and legal spaces keep up-to-date with changes and incidents across the world.
DroneSec Founder and CTO Mike Monnik said: “We are really excited to take something that initially designed to uplift our own capabilities can now be put it in the hands of our customers – allowing them to manage their own drone security, countermeasure and response programs. This would not have been possible without a team as dedicated to the field of UAS and embedded in cyber security as DroneSec is.”
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29 Jun 20. The LONGBOW Limited Liability Company (LBL), a joint venture between Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) and Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT), recently delivered the 500th APG-78 LONGBOW Fire Control Radar (FCR) for the AH-64 Apache helicopter.
“The LONGBOW team has been delivering systems for over 20 years to the U.S. Army and 13 international allies,” said Shalini Gupta, LBL vice president and Northrop Grumman director for LONGBOW programs. “Delivering the 500th unit is a recognition of the significant operational performance capabilities of reconnaissance, attack and security our LONGBOW radar delivers to the global customer community.”
The milestone delivery comes on the heels of being awarded a five-year indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract in January by the U.S. Army, enabling rapid post-production support services of LONGBOW FCR to international customers. Deliveries of the LONGBOW FCR will continue through 2028 driven by several new international customers seeking advanced fire control radar capabilities.
“The team behind LBL takes great pride in delivering the 500th FCR, which demonstrates our commitment to providing high-quality, high-performing products to our customers,” said Jim Messina, LBL president and Lockheed Martin LONGBOW programs director. “LBL will remain focused on producing and developing the FCR system to support our customers’ evolving, most important missions.”
The Qatar Emiri Air Force was the recipient of the 500th FCR unit.
The LONGBOW FCR provides Apache aircrews with automatic target detection, location, classification and prioritization, while enabling rapid, multi-target engagement in all weather conditions over multiple types of terrain and through battlefield obscurants. Version 6 FCR software enhancements provide new operational modes and capabilities, including maritime, single target track, and 360-degree surveillance mode, as well as extended detection range capability against land, air and sea targets.
24 Jun 20. Fortem Technologies adds to counter drone installations in the Gulf region. An end-user in the Gulf Region has deployed counter drone security and defence equipment supplied by Fortem Technologies’ UAE office, according to a company press release. The Fortem SkyDome System consists of distributed TrueView radar to detect and identify uncooperative drones, and the Fortem DroneHunter, which is autonomously cued by SkyDome to further evaluate the threatening drone and remove or disable it from a safe location with no collateral damage. The SkyDome System and DroneHunter defend against low flying drones and protect critical infrastructure, military bases, borders, and coastal areas from drones that attempt to pass undetected by traditional ground-to-air defences.
“The military drone space is expected to surpass USD21 bn by 2026, indicating a sizable market that’s growing aggressively,” said Timothy Bean, CEO of Fortem Technologies. “Fortem provides the world’s premier, radar-guided, autonomous aerial drone for safe removal of small drones, low flying fixed wing threats and swarms safely in an urban environment.”
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29 Jun 20. HENSOLDT UK have completed the delivery of a fully type approved Kelvin Hughes Integrated Naval Bridge System (INBS) for Polar-class logistic ship HMNZS Aotearoa. At 26,000 tons this is one of the largest ever vessel built for the Royal New Zealand Navy and was recently delivered by Hyundai Heavy Industries.
The INBS system is certified to Lloyd’s Register’s stringent INS code. It includes a dual redundant data distribution system and fully integrated Kelvin Hughes multifunction displays. The radar system takes advantage of the advanced solid state Kelvin Hughes SharpEye Doppler radars that bring full situational awareness to the bridge even in the most severe weather conditions.
The networked display system allows for operation as full multifunction workstations for improved ergonomic operation and redundancy. This means that the radar, the Warship Electronic Chart Display and Information System (WECDIS), the Bridge Alert Management System (BAMS) and other networked functions can be operated from any of the designated multifunction displays.
The SharpEye transceivers are located up mast in the carbon composite turning unit housing and bring additional benefits such as ease of installation and high reliability. The use of a direct drive motor system rather than the traditional antenna rotator gearbox also reduces maintenance.
Tony Taylor, Head of Naval and Surveillance at HENSOLDT UK, commented: “HMNZS Aotearoa has one of the most complex bridge systems delivered by HENSOLDT UK to date. We are pleased to see the HMNZS Aotearoa arriving in New Zealand and look forward to working with the crews for years to come.”
HENSOLDT UK is active in the development, manufacture and supply of maritime navigation, surveillance and security radar systems. The company sets international standards in solid state radar sensor technology with Kelvin Hughes SharpEye and its innovative tactical and situational awareness radar display software.
SharpEye is sold into a diverse range of markets and applications from maritime navigation, port vessel traffic services and coastal surveillance to ground surveillance and maritime security applications.
With its design, development and manufacturing facility in Enfield, North London, UK, HENSOLDT UK operates a worldwide support network that meets customer requirements 24/7.
26 Jun 20. RoK approves plans to acquire more AEW&C and SIGINT platforms. As part of efforts to enhance South Korea’s intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR) capabilities the country’s Defense Project Promotion Committee approved on 26 June plans to acquire an undisclosed number of additional airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft and signals intelligence (SIGINT) platforms.
In a statement issued that same day, the country’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said that the Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF) is aiming to acquire foreign-made AEW&C aircraft by 2027 under a project budgeted at KRW1.59trn (USD1.32bn) that is set to start next year.
Although, not mentioned in the DAPA statement, it is believed that the service is seeking to acquire two more Boeing E-737 AEW&C platforms to add to the four it has fielded since 2011/2012 under its Peace Eye programme.
DAPA said the planned procurement is meant to “minimise potential surveillance gaps amid growing security threats by neighbouring countries”, particularly as foreign military aircraft continue to enter South Korea’s Air Defence Identification Zone without notice.
As for the additional SIGINT aircraft, the agency said KRW870bn have been earmarked for the procurement project, which is set to begin next year and be completed by 2026. No details were provided about the model or number of platforms set to be acquired but the move will be part of the RoKAF’s Paekdu (also known as Baekdu) programme.
The RoKAF already operates six SIGINT platforms acquired under the programme: two modified Falcon 2000S jets and four Hawker 800 Peace Krypton aircraft. (Source: Jane’s)
29 Jun 20. U.S. Army and Department of Defense Select SMART SHOOTER’s Counter-sUAS Technology Solution. With a “One Shot – One Hit” capability, SMART SHOOTER’s Fire Control Solutions allow the operator to quickly and effectively neutralize any manned or unmanned threat.
SMART SHOOTER, a world-class designer, developer, and manufacturer of innovative fire control systems that significantly increase the accuracy and lethality of small arms, announced that the company has been selected by the U.S. Army and endorsed by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) as one of a handful of approved Counter-small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (C-sUAS) solution providers.
The designation of SMART SHOOTER as one of only three DoD-approved dismounted/ handheld systems by the Army – the DoD’s Executive Agent for the C-UAS mission area — follows an extended Army-led assessment of more than three dozen competing C-UAS systems. The Army notes that this assessment identified current systems for future investment based on criteria such as effectiveness, usability, sustainment, and integration.
SMART SHOOTER’s SMASH family of Fire Control solutions – capable of leveraging targeting data from a wide range of EO, RF and radar sensors — can be integrated onto any assault rifle, as well as combined with other C-UAS systems, to provide an effective multi-layer defense solution suitable for the modern battlefield.
Bringing precision-missile targeting algorithms and advanced electro-optical processing capabilities into standard infantry, SMASH enables the creation of a micro-tactical network between deployed SMASH units, allowing the entire platoon to be smart, precise, and connected.
With a unique “One Shot – One Hit” capability, SMART SHOOTER’s Fire Control technology allows the operator to quickly and effectively neutralize any ground or airborne, manned or unmanned threat through automatic detection, tracking, and effective engagement.
Michal Mor, SMART SHOOTER CEO noted: “In recent years, drones and UAS have become a persistent threat over the battlefield, enabling opposing forces to gather critical tactical intelligence and even make direct attacks. The SMASH family of Fire Control Solutions offers precise, swift, and simple hard-kill elimination of this threat. We are thrilled that the DoD has down-selected and designated SMART SHOOTER’s exclusive technology for C-UAS application across the U.S. Armed Forces, and see it as validation of the operational value that our solutions provide. The selection is a result of SMART SHOOTER’s ongoing work with the Countering Terrorism Tactical Support Office (CTTSO), during which our technology was integrated with radar solutions to provide the warfighter with an unrivaled detection and hit system.”
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.
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.