Sponsored by Blighter Surveillance Systems
06 Aug 20. HENSOLDT UK delivers radar suite to the Philippine Navy Frigate BRP Jose Rizal. HENSOLDT UK has supplied a radar suite consisting of Kelvin Hughes Mk11 S and X Band radar systems to the Philippine Navy frigate BRP Jose Rizal, recently delivered by Hyundai Heavy Industries. The SharpEye Mk11 radars are approved by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and take advantage of the Kelvin Hughes’ advanced solid state SharpEye Doppler technology that brings full situational awareness to the users even in the most severe weather conditions. The solid-state SharpEye transceivers are located upmast 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, reduces maintenance. This is one of the first complete HENSOLDT radar suites to be delivered and includes HENSOLDT’s TRS-3D, a three-dimensional multimode naval radar for air and sea surveillance. The TRS-3D includes a secondary radar MSSR 2000 I for Identification-friend-or-foe (IFF) as well as the SharpEye Mk11 radars.
Adrian Pilbeam, Head of Sales at HENSOLDT UK, commented: “HENSOLDT UK is pleased to be part of the modernisation of the Philippine Navy. The supply radar sensor suite from HENSOLDT demonstrates the strength of the combined group in providing complete Naval radar solutions.”
A sister ship, BRP Antonio Luna, is still under construction at Hyundai Heavy Industries and will be delivered later this year.
05 Aug 20. Spear UAV, an innovative company that develops and supplies unique UAS solutions for defense and HLS applications – has unveiled its Ninox family of encapsulated drones. Instantly launched and intuitively operated, the drones provide on-demand and on-the-move intelligence capabilities that create new dimensions on the battlefield.
Compared to traditional drones of similar capabilities, Ninox offers both operational affordability and flexibility: the drones can be launched manually or from a grenade launcher by individual soldiers, from a stationary or mobile land platform, or from an aerial or maritime system. Ruggedized and built to withstand extreme environmental conditions and vibrations, Ninox is available in a range of drone and capsule sizes, and can be easily customized to meet customer requirements.
Requiring no deployment, the Ninox system comprises a drone, launched at high speed from the weapon, which then immediately unfolds and stabilizes in the air without operator intervention. There are currently three solutions in the Ninox family: Ninox 40, Ninox 66 and Ninox 103.
Specifically designed for single-user operation, this micro-tactical drone system features an encapsulated drone and control unit. Weighing under 250g – within regulatory limitations – it is lightweight enough to be incorporated into the soldier’s vest and carried on the person during combat. The Ninox 40 has a flight capacity of up to 40 minutes, extensive ISTAR capabilities, day and night camera for enhanced situational awareness, automatic tracking, and can be launched on the move and from under cover.
Ready for use at the press of a button, this tactical multi-drone system has been designed for launch from stationary and mobile platforms, such as MBT, IFV and more, even on the move. Simple to operate, the Ninox 66 enables the operator to direct the payload without requiring drone piloting skills. It features swarm, mesh and computer vision capabilities, automatic target tracking, homing algorithms and more. With up to 50 minutes’ flight time, and capable of carrying payloads of up to 700g in wind speeds of up to 20 knots, this ruggedized system can withstand harsh weather and battle conditions.
With a ruggedized composite airframe, the Ninox 103 is a state-of-the-art encapsulated drone designed for strategic-tactical uses and instant launch with payloads of up to 1.5 kg from large scale air, sea and land platforms. Intuitive and easy to use, it can achieve up to 60 minutes’ flight time, in wind speeds of up to 20 knots, and features the most advanced capabilities, including swarm, mesh, computer vision, target tracking and homing algorithms.
“The Ninox systems were developed as a direct response to the need of military forces for immediate intelligence capabilities,” says Gadi Kuperman, Founder and CEO of Spear. “Our solutions are designed to provide the end user with the most effective way to achieve immediate tactical superiority on today’s chaotic battlefield. This is a groundbreaking technology that will revolutionize the battlefield, enabling forces to use drones as standard kit. We are proud that our company’s solutions are already in advanced stages of review by the Israel Ministry of Defense.”
05 Aug 20. Saab prepares GlobalEye bid for South Korea. Saab has reaffirmed its intention to offer its GlobalEye platform for South Korea’s recently announced programme to acquire additional airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft for the Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF).
Saab told Janes that it expects the procurement to feature an initial two aircraft acquired through either an open tender or a direct acquisition. South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) is expected to confirm the procurement method later this year.
A Saab spokesperson said that the company’s offer will also include “both technology and collaboration projects” that match South Korea’s future aerospace requirements and involve “multiple stakeholders from the military, government, industry, and other partners”.
While detail on these projects will be expanded as the programme enters future phases, the spokesperson said Saab has already developed “clear principles and ideas for collaboration” as well as highlighted its own capabilities to local stakeholders, and “gathered information on Korean industry”.
The spokesperson said, “Korea is a country with a highly skilled and developed industry opening several interesting areas for co-operation which we hope to explore further in the coming stages of the programme.”
Although not confirmed by the company, this is likely to draw on Saab’s existing industry ties in the country, which include strong links with LIG Nex1, one of South Korea’s leading military electronics and missile manufacturers.
Saab and LIG Nex1 have previously collaborated on supplying the Swedish group’s Arthur Weapon Locating System to the Republic of Korea Armed Forces and on developing radar technologies. (Source: Jane’s)
04 Aug 20. Tectonica to deliver camera technology for Australian Army Boxer CRVs. Tectonica has secured a contract with Rheinmetall Defence Australia to deliver sophisticated camera technology for the Australian Army’s new Boxer 8×8 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles (CRVs). As agreed, Tectonica will provide ALTERATM Local Situation Awareness System (LSAS) for the Boxer CRVs, which are set to be built at Rheinmetall’s Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) from next year.
The LSAS leverages visual technologies allowing the vehicle crew to see their surrounding environment while remaining protected under armour.
This is Tectonica’s second contract under LAND 400 Phase 2 project that involves procuring 211 Boxer 8×8 CRVs for the Australian Army.
Last year, the company was contracted to install LSAS on vehicles on the early capability delivery fleet of Boxers that are being manufactured in Europe.
Concurrently, Tectonica has secured another contract that involves the delivery of its BANTAMTM data and power distribution system to the Germany Army.
The BANTAMTM power system is developed in Australia and is used to distribute power from a central source on dismounted soldiers through modular high-tech power management devices.
The technology will be deployed through the Bundeswehr’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) and will be fitted to every soldier wearing a computerised backpack.
The total value of the two contracts amounts to more than A$25m ($17.85m). Tectonica managing director David Levy said: “Our partnership with Rheinmetall is a great example of industry working together to strengthen the Australian Defence Force and build sovereign industry capability.” (Source: army-technology.com)
03 Aug 20. With this new sensor, Blackjack drones can monitor an entire city at once. A new wide-area motion imagery sensor could make the R1-21A Blackjack an even more powerful tool for the war fighter, allowing the small UAV to simultaneously monitor 5 square miles. Logos Technologies announced July 28 that it was awarded a $6.7m contract to deliver two wide-area motion imagery (WAMI) sensor prototypes to U.S. Naval Air Systems Command in September. Dubbed Cardcounter by the Navy, the 28-pound infrared sensor is adapted from the company’s commercial BlackKite product.
Blackjacks are used by the Navy to provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance coverage day or night. Able to launch without a runway, the Blackjack has a range of about 50 kilometers and can stay in the air for up to 16 hours. Blackjack drones already host a number of sophisticated sensors, including full-motion video, infrared marker, laser range finder and a communications relay package, but Cardcounter offers a new capability: the ability to view a city-sized area.
“What really makes WAMI special is the fact that it can monitor all of the movement — both dismount and vehicles — in a city-sized area. You can kind of think of it like live Google Earth with [digital video recorder] capability,” Doug Rombough, vice president for business development at Logos Technologies, told C4ISRNET. “Prior to WAMI, you had simply the full-motion video sensors; and obviously full-motion videos are awesome because they are very high resolution. They can zoom in on an area. The challenge with FMV is you’ve got that very narrow field of view, kind of like looking through a soda straw.”
Used together, WAMI and full-motion video allow operators to take in the big picture of what’s happening on the ground and zoom in on areas of interest. Cardcounter will be able to store six hours or more of that data for later analysis, but it will also be able to transmit portions of that imagery to users on the ground in real time.
Logos Technologies, a company that specializes in WAMI, has worked to miniaturize that capability, making it as lightweight as possible for any manned or unmanned aircraft.
“There are very few WAMI sensors that have been developed that can fly on unmanned aircraft,” said Rombough, noting that the only other one he knows of in use today is carried by the relatively massive MQ-9 Reaper. A Reaper has a wingspan of 66 feet. A Blackjack has a wingspan of 15.7 feet.
Flight testing of Cardcounter wrapped up July 31 in North Carolina, said Rombough. A demonstration of the new sensor for the U.S. government is slated for next summer, followed by a field-user evaluation.
“I will tell you that we are waiting on the next delivery order — they’ve already told us that they want to build an additional two for a total of four because they want to send four of them out on a [field-user evaluation],” Rombough said.
He added that the Army, Special Operations Command and the Air Force expressed interest in adapting the BlackKite/Cardcounter sensor for their platforms, and Logos Technologies could be demonstrating their sensors to SOCOM around the fall/winter time frame. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
04 Aug 20. Russia’s Northern Fleet to Exercise Drone Downings in Norway Border Area. The press service of Russia’s Northern Fleet that informs that the Pantsir-S1 anti-aircraft guns- and missile systems now on the move towards a Shary shooting range in the Pechenga region, about 20 kilometers from the border to Norway.
The exercise will include live firing at both air and ground targets. Some targets will be UAVs, while others will be models of vehicles on the ground.
Pantsir-S1 belongs to the Northern Fleet’s anti-aircraft missile and artillery battalion, aimed to protect the naval nuclear weapons facilities, including the bases for ballistic missile and multi-purpose submarines along the coast to the Barents Sea, from the Norwegian border in the west to the inlet of the Kola Bay in the east. (Source: UAS VISION/The Barents Observer)
29 Jul 20. New Unmanned Airspace survey highlights US domination of the global C-UAS sector. The latest update to the Unmanned Airspace directory of counter-UAS technology (https://www.unmannedairspace.info/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Counter-UAS-directory.-July-2020.pdf) shows the growing dominance of US industry in this sector – especially in areas such as directed energy weapons research and deployment – partnership trends between niche providers of detection and mitigation systems and the emergence of new industries from Turkey and China. The UK, Israel, France, Germany then Russia have the most prolific and varied C-UAS industrial bases outside of the USA. India has the smallest C-UAS industry of all major drone-operating countries.
The survey focuses on technologies that are available in the open market and research programmes in the public domain – so industrial capabilities of countries such as China, Russia, North Korea and Iran are unlikely to be fully represented in the directory.
Many of the new systems listed incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to reduce false positives to a minimum – a key issue with first generation systems – and help jam swarms of hostile UASs. AI also allows kinetic mitigation systems – such as C-UAS drones and intelligent munitions – to communicate with each other in flight. While AI will undoubtedly be vital in combatting threats from drones whose physical coordinates and electronic signatures have been catalogued and input into a threat database, its use against home-built or entirely new designs is still uncertain, especially if they fly pre-programmed routes and do not rely on global navigation satellite systems.
The prospect of a 100% effective, low-cost, multi-layered detection, identification and tracking system supported by appropriate mitigation technology from a single-source supplier is still elusive – but coming closer. The directory lists 56 suppliers who claim to be able to field multi-layered detection and mitigation solutions from a single source. Some C-UAS suppliers are starting to offer system rental opportunities to keep down the cost of procurement, as more expensive and capable software solutions for detection and electronic counter measures are introduced into the market.
The directory also lists UAS traffic management (UTM) companies – such as Altitude Angel, Frequentis, Unifly and Involi – who are developing rogue drone detection capabilities and partnerships as possible candidates for integration within civil UTM networks. The world is currently divided on whether it should be the responsibility of UTM service suppliers to detect rogue drones or whether this should remain under the control and management of national security services. Companies such as Airspace Systems are now marketing dedicated C-UAS equipment directly to the urban air mobility (UAM)/advanced aerial mobility (AAM) sectors. (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
28 Jul 20. German Army procures Hensoldt radar as part of Kongsberg counter UAS system. As part of the German Army’s qualified-air-defence drone defence programme, sensor specialist Hensoldt is supplying the latest version of its Spexer 2000 3D radar to system integrator Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace. Spexer will be part of the Counter-Unmanned Aerial System (C-UAS) which is based on Kongsberg’s remote-controlled Protector weapon station, both mounted on an armoured GTK Boxer vehicle. Initially 10 systems are under contract. Radar deliveries will start at the end of this year to meet the requirements of NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) by 2023. The contract was awarded after a test firing at the Baumholder military training area. According to Hensoldt, the third generation Spexer 2000 3D radar demonstrated classification of small targets in very demanding scenarios. Due to the small radar cross section, high manoeuvrability and high optical reconnaissance performance of these micro-drones, they pose a particular threat to mobile land forces. (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
03 Aug 20. Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS) II Undergoes Flight Testing Aboard F-16V. JHMCS II, the newest member of the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System family of products, is being flight tested aboard the Lockheed Martin F-16V aircraft in the United States. This follows the completion of JHMCS II safety qualification testing, including windblast, tower and sled tests.
These flight tests are part of the U.S. Air Force’s Military Flight Release (MFR) for the F-16V launch customer, a critical milestone that signifies the aircraft and its subsystems have met specification performance, safety, reliability, and maintainability criteria. The JHMCS II is the only Helmet Mounted Display (HMD) integrated and tested on the F-16V.
JHMCS II incorporates key new technological advancements while drawing on the strong legacy of the JHMCS family of HMDs. It features visor-projected symbology, an optical/inertial tracker and up-look reticles that fully exploit high off-boresight visual cueing and targeting for advanced weaponry, avionics and sensors. A day display module and a night module enabling modified -4949 Aviator Night Vision Goggles provide symbology in all flight conditions with one-handed in-flight switching capability.
“JHMCS II is designed to increase lethality, mission effectiveness and pilot safety,” said Raanan Horowitz, President and CEO of Elbit Systems of America. “The helmet mounted display’s improved center of gravity reduces neck strain which increases pilot safety and comfort.”
As the formal baseline Helmet Mounted Display (HMD) of F-16V and F-16 block 70/72 aircraft, the JHMCS II already has been selected by several international customers. In addition, variants of JHMCS II were selected by other air forces worldwide to equip a wide range of fighter aircraft. More than 6,000 JHMCS HMDs have been supplied to military pilots in dozens of countries.
“Flight testing is the next milestone as we partner with Collins Elbit Vision Systems on the JHMCS II, and we look forward to continued collaboration,” says Danya Trent, Vice President, F-16 for Lockheed Martin. “We are incredibly proud to support F-16 pilots with this cutting-edge technology, enabling their critical missions around the world.”
The JHMCS II is manufactured and delivered through Collins Elbit Vision Systems (CEVS), a joint venture between Collins Aerospace and Elbit Systems of America.
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.