Sponsored by Blighter Surveillance Systems
04 Sep 20. Orcus, a C-UAS device, has passed trials in detecting, tracking, identifying and defeating UAVs, the UK MoD said. Resembling a camera on a tripod, the device is expected to be a vital tool in protecting military airbases but is also available to civilian airports on request. Elements of the technology, which were deployed by Leonardo, have played a role at Gatwick and Heathrow since 2018. (Source: The Times)
03 Sep 20. Alion Awarded $65m Task Order to Provide Counter Explosive Hazard Research for the Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate (NVESD). The U.S. Army has awarded Alion Science and Technology a $65m task order with a 60-month period of performance to provide Counter Explosive Hazard Research for the Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate (NVESD).
“Alion has assembled a strong Artificial Intelligence (AI), Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), electro-optical infrared (EO/IR) and advanced sensor integration team to provide innovative solutions critical for NVESD missions,” said Todd Stirtzinger, Alion’s Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Advanced Technology Group. “This team will bring robust technical capabilities to develop advanced threat detection solutions for U.S. troops.”
NVESD researches and develops sensor and sensor suite technologies for air and ground intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and target acquisition under adverse battlefield conditions in day and night-time environments. Alion will perform advanced technical, scientific research and analysis, and provide recommendations for NVESD’s Countermine Division. This includes the development of technologies, systems, sensors, components, algorithms, methods, and approaches to detect, identify, and defeat the wide variety of explosive hazards and battlefield obstacles threatening U.S. forces, their platforms, systems, infrastructure, and ability to conduct operations.This task order was awarded under the Department of Defense Information Analysis Center (DoD IAC), Multiple Award Contract (MAC) issued by the Air Force Installation Contracting Agency. This material is based upon work supported by the DoD Information Analysis Center Program Management Office (DoD IAC PMO), sponsored by the Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC) under Contract No. FA807518D0002. (Source: PR Newswire)
03 Sep 20. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), with the support of SRC Inc., successfully integrated and flew the Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) Agile Condor Pod on an MQ-9 Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) at GA-ASI’s Flight Test and Training Center in Grand Forks, North Dakota. The Agile Condor Pod provides on-board high-speed computer processing coupled with machine learning algorithms to detect, correlate, identify, and track targets of interest. With this capability, the MQ-9 is able to identify objects autonomously utilizing its on-board Electro-optical/Infrared (EO/IR) sensor and GA-ASI’s Lynx® Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR). “Computing at the edge has tremendous implications for future unmanned systems,” said GA-ASI President David R. Alexander. “GA-ASI is committed to expanding artificial intelligence capabilities on unmanned systems and the Agile Condor capability is proof positive that we can accurately and effectively shorten the observe, orient, decide and act cycle to achieve information superiority. GA-ASI is excited to continue working with AFRL to advance artificial intelligence technologies that will lead to increased autonomous mission capabilities.”
High-powered computing at the edge enables autonomous target detection, identification and nomination at extended ranges and on-board processing reduces communication bandwidth requirements to share target information with other platforms. This is an important step towards greater automation, autonomous target detection, and rapid decision-making. GA-ASI will continue to work with AFRL to refine the capability and foster its transition to operational constructs that will improve warfighters’ ability to operate in contested or denied environments.
03 Sep 20. General Dynamics Mission Systems and Dedrone Enter Strategic Partnership to Provide Counter-Drone Technology to Defense and Civil Customers. General Dynamics Mission Systems and Dedrone, the market leader in airspace security, announced today their strategic counter-drone partnership, providing General Dynamics’ global network with access to Dedrone’s complete drone detection and defeat technology. As part of this strategic agreement, General Dynamics Mission Systems becomes a value-added reseller for Dedrone’s counter-unmanned aerial system (C-UAS) capabilities and has made a significant equity investment in Dedrone. General Dynamics will exclusively supply Dedrone’s counter-drone technology to their global defense, civil government, intelligence, and critical infrastructure customers.
“The intrusion of private and restricted airspace by unmanned aerial systems is one of the fastest-growing threats facing our customers, and Dedrone’s counter UAS technology platform is the market-leading solution to defeat those threats,” said Chris Brady, president of General Dynamics Mission Systems and a newly appointed member of Dedrone’s advisory board. “We’re excited to partner with Dedrone to provide counter-drone capabilities to our global customer base.”
In the counter-drone technology market, Dedrone’s exclusive focus on C-UAS detection and defeat have enabled them to become the industry leader with the rare distinction of having production systems fielded and in operational use worldwide. The Dedrone C-UAS technology portfolio combines machine-learning software with best-in-class hardware sensors, electronic attack methods such as smart jamming, and defeat weapons to provide early warning, classification of, and mitigation against drone threats. Dedrone’s capabilities are used by hundreds of customers globally, including the U.S. military, allied and coalition forces, correctional facilities, airports, utilities, and corporations, as well as other public and private organizations.
“Dedrone is thrilled to be partnering with General Dynamics Mission Systems, a leader in building smarter mission-critical products and systems,” shares Aaditya Devarakonda, CEO of Dedrone. “With General Dynamics, Dedrone’s technology will reach a broad, global customer base, opening opportunities to provide mission-critical airspace security systems to customers both in the U.S. federal and defense sectors, as well as their global critical enterprise security customers.”
Dedrone is the market leader in airspace security. Dedrone’s counter-drone system is trusted by critical infrastructure, government operations, military assets, correctional facilities, and enterprises to protect against unwanted small drones. With flexibility to host in the cloud, or on premise, Dedrone’s SaaS technology combines machine-learning software with best-in-class sensors and effectors, to provide early warning, classification of, and mitigation against all drone threats. Dedrone systems are deployed by hundreds of customers globally. Established in 2014, Dedrone is headquartered in San Francisco, with operations in the Washington, D.C.-area, Columbus, Ohio, London and Germany. For more information about Dedrone and to reach our counter-drone subject matter experts, visit dedrone.com and follow @Dedrone on Twitter and LinkedIn.
About General Dynamics Mission Systems
General Dynamics Mission Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), provides mission critical solutions to those who lead, serve and protect the world we live in. We are a technology integrator and original equipment manufacturer with deep domain expertise in ground, sea, air, space and cyberspace. Headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia, General Dynamics Mission Systems employs more than 12,000 people worldwide. For more information about General Dynamics Mission Systems’ broad portfolio of capabilities, visit gdmissionsystems.com and follow @GDMS on Twitter and LinkedIn.
03 Sep 20. Britain moves forward with its own Typhoon radar primed for electronic warfare. Britain’s Royal Air Force is on course to get its own multi-functional active electronically scanned array radar by the middle of the decade to equip Typhoon combat jets as a result of a £317m (U.S. $420m) deal between the Ministry of Defence and industry announced Sept 3.
BAE Systems and Leonardo have signed up to deliver what is known as the European Common Radar System Mark 2 radar to equip the RAF’s Typhoon fleet with a multi-functional array providing advanced electronic-warfare and electronic-attack capabilities, as well as more traditional radar functions. The deal includes the industry partners delivering the first Mk2-equipped Typhoons in 2022 for test and evaluation work, as well as three complete radars.
The initial operating capability of the upgraded RAF jets is planned for soon after 2025.
An Mk2 production contract will be required to take the program to its next phase but some long-lead manufacturing of some items is already included in this latest deal.
The announcement is the latest step in a decade-long investment by the British, led by the UK arm of Leonardo, in active electronically scanned radar technology.
Leonardo already produces AESA radars for the Saab Gripen fighter, and the company’s systems are also being fitted to Typhoons for export customers Kuwait and Qatar.
The British plan to equip their 40-strong fleet of Typhoon Tranche 3 jets with the new radar but will decide at a later date whether to take up the option of fitting out the earlier Tranche 2 aircraft with the technology.
Aside from its integration work on Mk2 BAE is separately already under contract with the MoD to conduct weapons interface work.
Work on the Mk2 is a key step in Britain’s efforts to mature technology updating for Typhoons ahead of possible inclusion of the know-how in the Tempest sixth-generation combat jet project now being pursued as part of a wider air combat strategy.
Consultant Howard Wheeldon, of Wheeldon Strategic Advisory, said the decision to push forward with the Mk2 is long overdue.
“The AESA radar decision is one that has been far too long in the making in my view but one that, after years of seeming procrastination, is extremely pleasing … one of the most welcome and important development/and procurement decisions that we are likely to see before publication of the integrated defense, security and foreign policy review due later this year or early next,” he said.
The announcement of the next step in Britain’s intentions to go their own way with development of the Mk2 system comes just weeks after Typhoon national partners Germany and Spain revealed they were going ahead with the development and manufacture of the Hensoldt-led European Common Radar System Mk1 version.
Only Italy among the four Typhoon partner nations has yet to decide on a replacement for the effective but aging Captor-E mechanically scanned radar currently in operation.
Britain and Italy both operate the Lockheed Martin F-35 alongside their Typhoons.
Although Britain and its partners have undertaken substantial work together on common AESA development work through the Euroradar consortium, the Mk2 is effectively a completely different product from the Mk1 forward of the common power supply.
Andrea Thompson, managing director Europe & International for BAE Systems’ air sector, said the new capability would retain Typhoon’s operational relevance for years into the future.
“This capability will allow Typhoon to take its place in the future battlespace for decades to come, maturing key technologies for future combat air systems and ensuring interoperability. As well as securing highly skilled jobs, it will sustain the key skills needed to keep the UK at the forefront of the global combat air sector.,” she said.
In a joint statement BAE and Leonardo said the multi-functional array radar technology based on AESA was revolutionary will provide game-changing capabilities.
“It has significantly more transmit-receive elements than other radars, making Mk2 the most capable fighter AESA radar in the world, maintaining the same power and precision of traditional radars but also enabling the simultaneous operation of its wide-band electronic warfare functionality,” said the companies. (Source: Defense News)
03 Sep 20. £317m Typhoon radar contract to develop next generation radar for the Royal Air Force Typhoon. A £317m contract to develop the next generation of radar for the Royal Air Force’s (RAF) Eurofighter Typhoons will sustain hundreds of jobs and develop technologies for the UK’s Future Combat Air System.
BAE Systems and Leonardo have been awarded a contract to develop the Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA), the European Common Radar System Mark 2(ECRS Mk2) radar, to a standard ready to be integrated on to RAF Typhoons.
It will sustain more than 600 highly skilled jobs across the country, including more than 300 at Leonardo’s site in Edinburgh, over 100 electronic warfare specialists at the company’s site in Luton, and 120 engineers at BAE Systems’ site in Lancashire.
The ECRS2 is a multi-functional array (MFA) that will give UK Typhoons a world-leading Electronic Warfare capability, in addition to traditional radar functions, including wide band Electronic Attack.
It will equip RAF pilots with the ability to locate, identify and suppress enemy air defences using high-powered jamming. They can engage targets whilst beyond the reach of threats – even when they’re looking in another direction – and operate inside the range of opposing air defences, remaining fully protected throughout.
This game-changing capability will replace the mechanically-scanning radar that RAF Typhoons are currently equipped with and will ensure the UK retains the freedom to deliver air power wherever and whenever it is needed.
It also enables the Typhoons to link up with future data-driven weapons to combat rapidly evolving air defences, ensuring that UK Typhoons can continue to dominate the battlespace for years to come.
Andrea Thompson, Managing Director Europe & International for BAE Systems’ Air sector, said: “This capability will allow Typhoon to take its place in the future battlespace for decades to come, maturing key technologies for future combat air systems and ensuring interoperability. As well as securing highly skilled jobs, it will sustain the key skills needed to keep the UK at the forefront of the global Combat Air sector. We look forward to continuing to work alongside the Eurofighter nations and our industry partners to ensure Typhoon delivers the needs of today and answers the challenges of tomorrow.”
Mark Hamilton, Senior Vice-President Electronic Warfare, Leonardo, said: “This contract is great news for the UK, which will get the world’s most capable fighter radar, and great news for British engineering. Inventing, developing and building advanced technology here in the UK allows us to understand and meet the specific requirements of our Armed Forces and to secure export orders all around the world, boosting the whole UK economy.”
The new radar will be based on AESA technology and will provide game-changing capabilities based on a revolutionary MFA.
It has significantly more Transmit-Receive Elements than other radars, making Mk2 the most capable fighter AESA radar in the world, maintaining the same power and precision of traditional radars but also enabling the simultaneous operation of its wide-band Electronic Warfare functionality.
BAE Systems, the UK’s prime contractor for the Typhoon, will integrate the new sensor which will be developed by Leonardo, the UK’s defence electronics champion. Both companies are currently working as part of a four-nation development programme alongside Eurofighter consortium partners in Germany, Spain and Italy on a baseline version of the AESA radar. The ECRS Mk2 is a completely new approach designed to meet the operational needs of the RAF and future export customers. The UK’s commitment follows a similar commitment from Germany and Spain to deliver their own national requirements for an AESA radar.
01 Sep 20. Citadel Defense Wins $12.2m U.S. Department of Defense Contract to Autonomously Defeat Commercial Off-the-Shelf and Handmade Drones. Citadel’s contract award addresses urgent C-sUAS needs for Fixed, Mobile and Dismounted operations. The U.S. Government and Department of Defense has awarded Citadel Defense a $12.2m contract to defeat enemy drones on the battlefield and at covered locations in the United States. The decision to purchase Titan systems was made after extensive U.S. Government evaluation that assessed more than a dozen other counter drone solutions.
Selection of Titan addresses immediate challenges caused by rapidly evolving drones domestically and overseas. Titan operates as a standalone system that is equally effective in fixed, mobile and dismounted operations which simplifies lifecycle and sustainment challenges burdening troops and budgets today.
“Deployed warfighters designed the system. Weighing 20 pounds and capable of autonomous operation, Titan has been detecting, identifying and defeating adversarial drones in extremely isolated fixed locations, complex urban environments, mobile missions on-the-move, and dismounted operations where man-portability is a premium,” says Matthew England, VP of Citadel Defense.
In June 2020, the Defense Department revealed Titan’s superior performance after 14-months of successful combat deployments and government evaluations. Results showed that Titan uniquely addressed DOTMLPF (doctrine, organization, training, material, leadership and education, personnel, and facilities) strategies required for modernization in the fight against nefarious commercial and handmade drones.
The system’s artificial intelligence and deep learning foundation enables Titan to match or outpace the speed of the evolving threat, whether multi-agents and/or swarms, and provides an ideal capability for layered C-sUAS defenses. This investment from the Department of Defense highlights a growing trend for relying on commercially available solutions to defend against rapidly evolving threats.
“Applying lessons learned from other asymmetric threats, like counter-IED, Citadel approached the UAS problem differently from the beginning. Titan was purpose-built for speed, responsiveness and adaptability to address C-sUAS operational needs – offering a low-cost and operator-efficient support model that matches the always-evolving threat,” said Christopher Williams, CEO of Citadel Defense.
Citadel ramped up production of Titan systems in response to increased demand. All systems will be delivered before December.
ABOUT CITADEL DEFENSE:
Citadel Defense is a cutting-edge counter-drone (C-sUAS) technology company that builds industry-leading automated drone mitigation solutions for military, homeland security and commercial applications. Citadel technology is trusted by dozens of customers including, U.S. Special Forces, Army, Navy, Air Force, Department of Homeland Security, Border Patrol, and Coast Guard. For media inquiries, contact or visit www.dronecitadel.com.
(Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
01 Sep. 20. GA-ASI And SENER Aeroespacial Team To Develop New NATO Pod For MQ-9. Since General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) and the engineering and technology firm SENER began collaborating in 2008, the international partnership has resulted in significant agreements regarding the MQ-9A Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) for Spain and its adaptation to the requirements of the Spanish Armed Forces. The latest joint development effort is a NATO Pod, designed and built by SENER Aeroespacial, part of the SENER Group. GA-ASI will integrate the NATO Pod onto the MQ-9 aircraft line to increase its configuration and payload options.
NATO Pod development is driven by GA-ASI’s initiative to provide customers with a customizable pod for carriage of sovereign, cross-domain Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) sensors that can be integrated onto GA-ASI-built MQ-9A and MQ-9B RPA Systems. GA-ASI is working with European suppliers to add sensor capabilities to the new European-built payload pod that meets NATO airworthiness standards. The NATO Pod is a flexible, scalable, certifiable, aerodynamic and low-cost enclosure that enables customers to add sovereign sensor capabilities developed in their respective countries using a common set of interfaces to the aircraft system. This approach reduces integration time and cost.
“With the NATO Pod, European sensor suppliers will be provided a standard Size, Weight and Power (SWAP) and Interface Control Document (ICD) to the aircraft system to efficiently integrate their payloads. This offers our customers a broader range of ISR capabilities and makes ISR-system upgrades faster,” said Linden Blue, CEO, GA-ASI. “Interface standardization also allows sovereign containment of payload hardware and data by customers, when required.”
Andrés Sendagorta, president of the SENER Group, said: “Since the beginning in 2008, the relationship between GA-ASI and SENER has been based on the existence of a common corporate philosophy where the technological component represents a fundamental link. This has led to an alliance in which the development of value-added products and technology by SENER has been applied to meet the demanding needs of GA-ASI over the years and, particularly, now with the NATO Pod that will be integrated onto the MQ-9 line. As we have stated on previous occasions, and once the first system of this type has come into operation in Spain, SENER reiterates its commitment to make available to the Spanish Ministry of Defense its capabilities and strengths in support of national industry through alliances, industrial cooperation and the development of an increasingly wide range of products.”
Having successfully completed the system definition and specification phase, the conceptual and preliminary design phases, as well as the Critical Design Review at the beginning of the summer, SENER Aeroespacial is currently working for GA-ASI on the detailed design phase of the NATO Pod. SENER Aeroespacial is designing the NATO Pod from the ground up to be certifiable having established a wide set of certification base requirements that will fulfill the vast majority of demands from European certification agencies.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), an affiliate of General Atomics, is a leading designer and manufacturer of proven, reliable Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) systems, radars, and electro-optic and related mission systems, including the Predator® RPA series and the Lynx® Multi-mode Radar. With more than six million flight hours, GA-ASI provides long-endurance, mission-capable aircraft with integrated sensor and data link systems required to deliver persistent flight that enables situational awareness and rapid strike. The company also produces a variety of ground control stations and sensor control/image analysis software, offers pilot training and support services, and develops meta-material antennas. For more information, visit www.ga-asi.com.
SkyGuardian, SeaGuardian, Predator and Lynx are registered trademarks of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.
About SENER Aeroespacial
SENER Aeroespacial has been a leading supplier of high performance aerospace systems for Defense, Space and Science for more than 50 years, with high added value technological developments. In Defence, it develops electromechanical systems, COMINT (communications intelligence) and communications links (D-Link), as well as helicopter modernization services. In Astronomy and Science, it produces precision mechanical equipment for terrestrial telescopes and engineering services. And, finally, its ATC & Broadcast division is a supplier of antennas and passive units. In Space, SENER Aeroespacial is participating in the main programs of ESA and in the Space commercial market, as a key supplier for the leading international manufacturers of communications satellites.
SENER Aeroespacial is part of the SENER engineering and technology group, founded in 1956. The SENER Group has 2,300 professionals in offices in four continents and the group’s operating revenue exceeded 589m Euros (2018 data).
31 Aug 20. China’s KJ-600 Breaks American Monopoly: Carrier Based AWACS Aircraft Performs First Flight. China’s KJ-600 carrier based airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft performed its first flight on August 28th, making the country the only one other than the United States to have successfully developed such a platform.
The aircraft resembles the American E-2 Hawkeye platform which deploys from U.S. Navy supercarriers, and from the French medium carrier Charles De Gaulle, and is expected to provide the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy’s carrier air wings with at least a peer level of situational awareness to its American counterparts.
Chinese shipyards are currently constructing two Type 002 Class supercarriers, which will be the first outside the United States to integrate electromagnetic catapult launch systems allowing them to deploy heavier aircraft including fighters with more fuel and munitions as well as large AEW aircraft.
It is expected that the KJ-600 will continue flight testing until the first Type 002 Class ship begins sea trials, after which it will be integrated into its air wing. The KJ-600 is far from China’s first AEW aircraft, with four preceding classes currently in service, but it is the first designed for carrier operations and integrates features such as folding wings and a lighter airframe optimised for takeoffs from short runways. (Source: defense-aerospace.com/Military Watch)
01 Sep. 20. Collins Aerospace Australia delivers 1,000th F-35 EODAS optical assembly. Collins Aerospace’s Australian arm has achieved a major milestone with the delivery of the 1,000th 360° situational awareness system for the global F‑35 Joint Strike Fighter Program.
Delivered to the US, the Electro-Optical Distributed Aperture System (EODAS) optical assembly serves as the aircraft’s eyes.
It is designed to offer a complete spherical view of the surroundings for the pilot.
Australian Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said: “The F-35s are the most advanced, multi-role stealth fighter in the world, which will deliver next-generation capability benefits and provide a major boost to air combat capability.
“The EODAS optical assembly is critical to detecting threats, by warning the pilot of incoming aircraft and missile threats and providing day / night vision and fire control capability.
“It collects real-time, high-resolution imagery from six infrared cameras mounted around the F-35 and sends it to the pilot’s helmet-mounted display.”
Australian Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price stated that more than 50 companies from Australia have participated in over A$1.7bn in F-35A production contracts around the globe so far.
The Australian defence industry is producing parts for each F-35A fighter jet.
Price said: “Collins Aerospace (Australia) has already manufactured an estimated 50% of the optical assemblies for Northrop Grumman Corporation this year.
“The Australian arm of Collins Aerospace has also opened a new facility to perform maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrade, as well as specialised component manufacturing, for the F-35 flight simulators’ ProSim projectors.
“This facility in Lane Cove, Sydney, will lead to the creation of up to eight new full-time jobs and a multimillion-dollar revenue stream.”
Last year, Collins Aerospace Systems received a contract to provide its avionics system for the US Air Force’s (USAF) C-130H military transport aircraft fleet. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
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.