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06 Aug 18. India’s CAG criticises purchase of P-8I aircraft. India’s Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has accused the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) of “contravening” procurement processes in the 2009 purchase of eight Boeing P-8I Neptune long-range maritime multimission aircraft for the Indian Navy (IN) for USD2.13bn. In a report tabled in parliament on 7 August, the CAG revealed that the MoD had “incorrectly” declared Boeing’s financial bid for the P-8Is to be lower than that of Spain’s EADS CASA, which had also had its Airbus A319 maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) shortlisted for acquisition following trials in 2008-09. The CAG claimed that the MoD had “enhanced” EADS CASA’s bid by including its 20-year support package in the company’s overall offer, but “ignored” this element in Boeing’s offer. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
07 Aug 18. RADA Electronic Industries Ltd. , a leader in the development, production and sale of tactical land radar for force and border protection – announced the receipt of $4m in radar orders in the second quarter. The orders were for RADA’s software-defined radars which will be used in today’s most advanced defense applications. These include active protection systems (APS) for armored vehicles, counter rocket artillery and mortar (C-RAM), counter UAV and short range air defense (SHORAD). A third of these orders were follow-on-sales from existing customers and the remainder was from new and highly strategic customers. These new customers are leading defense organizations and represent initial sales from which RADA expects further follow-on orders in the future. RADA Electronic Industries Ltd. has announced the receipt of $4m in radar orders in the second quarter, including new sales penetrations of highly strategic defence customers. The orders were for RADA’s software-defined radars which will be used in today’s most advanced defence applications. These include active protection systems (APS) for armoured vehicles, counter rocket artillery and mortar (C-RAM), counter UAV and short range air defence (SHORAD). A third of these orders were follow-on-sales from existing customers and the remainder was from new and highly strategic customers. These new customers are leading defence organisations and represent initial sales from which RADA expects further follow-on orders in the future.
Dov Sella, RADA’s CEO, commented, “Our leading radar technologies are gaining increased traction and these recent orders are the initial fruits of our newly established presence in the United States along with our global business development efforts. We expect the sales of our radars to accelerate in the coming quarters as the market becomes increasingly aware of the benefits of our products in providing solutions for emerging needs.”
06 Aug 18. USMC increases ways to detect and kill air threats, from hobby drones to cruise missiles. As Marine units face evolving drone threats from terrorist organizations and at the same time shore up their air defenses against near-peer air attacks, a few key pieces of gear in the most recent defense bill could vastly strengthen overhead protection. Until recently, Marines tasked with taking down drones or short-range missiles had to link into a vast array of detection devices and then perform a practically 20th century task to take them out. Essentially, a Marine with binoculars scans the air for drones while another Marine zeroes in with a Stinger missile ― first fielded in the 1980s but upgraded since ― to shoot down what is often a few hundred dollars’ worth of a patched together, weaponized or surveillance-type commercial drone. But a review of the past five years of Marine Corps budget requests and approvals for two systems, the Ground Based Air Defense-Transformation, or GBAD, and the Ground/Air Task-Oriented Radar, or G/ATOR, have more than doubled in the past five years and are projected to maintain or increase from now until 2022, when a GBAD with a laser component is expected to field. Beginning as far back as 2013, the Marines have been purchasing the G/ATOR, an advanced radar system that executes the function of a combined five legacy systems. It can detect airborne missiles, rockets, mortars, artillery and cruise missiles, and, of course, drones. G/ATOR has a radar antenna and rotating drive system that mounts on a towable trailer. It provides 360-degree scanning and if it detects a threat, it can send a beam to track that threat while it continues scanning other parts of the battlefield. Marine Corps Commandant Robert B. Neller has previously said that groups of small drones are a likely future threat that troops would encounter more frequently than traditional military aircraft.
Which is exactly what Army, Marine and Russian forces fighting Islamic State groups in Syria have seen.
But spending has been limited to two systems a year until 2016 when that rose to three each year. But that more than doubles to six systems in next year’s budget. For 2020, it’s eight, 2021, seven and 2022 six. The system will eventually replace the TPS-63 air defense; TPS-73 air traffic control; MPQ-62 short-range air defense; TPQ-46 counterfire target acquisition and UPS-3 target tracking radar systems.
The $225m in the coming fiscal year budget is more than double what the service was spending five years ago and will continue to rise as more G/ATORs are planned for purchase through at least 2022, according to the budget documents. That alone shrinks the equipment air defense footprint within the MAGTF, feeding into the increased mobility the service is seeking. And money is also flowing not only to detecting the panoply of airborne threats, but to find ways to shoot them down from nimble, mobile platforms. The Marines have also continued funding and upgrades to the GBAD, a combined detection and strike system used by fire units within the low altitude air defense battalions that support the Marine Air Ground Task Force air defense mission.
The dollar figures are lower than the G/ATOR but are rising at about the same rate. The funds have more than doubled in the same period from about $7.5m to more than $18m in this year’s request. That funding has included modifying the Stinger missile to keep it running past its shelf life, in a program known as the Service Life Extension Program. All to keep the capability running as the next version of GBAD is fielded.
Some of which have been shipped into combatant command theaters, providing Marines with a way to sit comfortably protected in a Marine M-ATV, a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All-Terrain Vehicle, or even split up the equipment between two MRZR, a smaller two-person dune buggy-like off road vehicle. The advanced version currently fielded has the detection and Stinger strike capability. But the true payoff is expected by fiscal year 2022, when a laser component is expected to field within the new GBAD. That will give a built-in option for Marines to shoot down drones or disrupt other aerial threats either with a laser or with a missile. But with high electrical power requirements the stronger lasers would likely need the new Joint Light Tactical Vehicle to support their fire needs. The G/ATOR and GBAD combine through the service’s new Common Aviation Command and Control System. The communication backbone relays the picture captured by the G/ATOR, which can then feed information to the LAAD fire units to shoot down the incoming threat. Which is somewhat more effective than scanning the sky with binoculars. (Source: Marine Times)
06 Aug 18. Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) announced the opening of a $72m, 30,000 square foot facility on its Andover, Mass.-based campus, which is now home to some of the industry’s leading innovations in manufacturing. The new space features advanced automation technology to support complex radar testing and integration.
“We built the new radar development facility with the future – and our customers – in mind,” said Sarah Jennette, program manager for the project. “This advanced manufacturing campus now has the ability to work from atoms all the way up to massive radar arrays,”
The new radar facility in Andover supports quality, reliability, repeatability and delivery speed through:
- Two near field radar test ranges, one of which is now the largest in the company
- 1.5 megawatt substation to meet power requirements of current and future radar programs
- Autonomous material movement via automated guided vehicles
- The aerospace and defense industry’s first “dual robotic” system for radar array assembly
“From physical size, to power capabilities, to automated tech, we are building for the future of radar,” said Jennette. “As the next step in our advanced manufacturing roadmap, it follows on the heels of our recently announced $100 radar manufacturing plant to be built in Forest, Mississippi.”
The new radar development facility is the primary location for integration and testing of current and future radar programs for U.S. and international customers. AN/SPY-6, the U.S. Navy’s next-generation integrated air and missile defense radar, now in low rate initial production, is the first system to enter the space.
06 Aug 18. New radar system iSYS-5020 detects objects within a detection area of over 10,000 m². Already in 2017, InnoSenT GmbH presented the iSYS-5010 radar system. This is now being followed by the next system of this series: The new iSYS-5020 triples the previous range of 50 metres to up to 150 metres. With this expansion, an area over 10,000 m² in size can be monitored. The product series has been developed especially for security technology manufacturers and as a complement to video surveillance. The interaction of the two security technologies contributes to increasing the reliability of area surveillance. While radar technology detects anonymously and in an individually configurable detection area, the CCTV system additionally provides high-resolution images. False alarms are reduced to a minimum and the surveillance of, for example, large-scale industrial sites, hazard areas and outdoor areas is optimised. Another advantage is that the very robust radar technology provides information independent of the weather, thus compensating, for example, for clouded images in poor lighting conditions using the information provided by the radar system. Using data on distance, movement, speed and the differentiation between static and moving objects, detections can be easily categorised. With the implementation of configurable danger zones, the iSYS-5020 offers an additional advantage over camera systems: The target history is very valuable for assessing the security situation. Early detection of risk situations for large-scale area surveillance allows critical time gains in order to initiate further security measures. The radar system iSYS-5020 has the same impressive features as the iSYS-5010 and adds further possible uses for video and radar technology. At the Security trade fair in Essen, InnoSenT GmbH will be presenting its new product to the public for the first time at its trade fair booth (Hall 7, Booth 7B27). From 25/09 to 28/09/2018, you can talk to the radar experts on site about radar in the field of security technology. Further information on innovative radar technology can be found on InnoSenT GmbH’s company homepage.
03 Aug 18. ONR commences FXR radar studies. The Office of Naval Research (ONR) has contracted Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon to perform initial studies in support of the US Navy’s (USN’s) Future X-band Radar (FXR) development. Intended as a retrofit to existing ships, as well as a forward fit for new construction vessels, the FXR is intended to assume the functional capabilities of the current mechanically-scanning AN/SPQ-9B radar, including surface search, horizon search, and periscope detection and discrimination. The FXR will also provide additional capability, including dedicated tracking, missile communication, and advanced electronic protection. The ONR awarded the three companies initial study contracts valued at USD150,000 each in May, but only disclosed them publicly on 2 August. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
02 Aug 18. Bird‘s Eye View for Combat Vehicle Crews. Every computer player knows that in racing or combat simulations the bird‘s eye view is the favoured view, as it offers a much better overview than the cockpit perspective, for example. Commanders of combat vehicles have also recognised this for several decades and know that the view “over the hatch” is significantly better for situational awareness than the limited view “under cover”. Many commanders have already paid with their lives for this view “over the hatch”, which is why the armed forces have always tried to increase the situational awareness of vehicle crews around the vehicle without having to give up armour protection. Sophisticated optronic systems solved some of the problems caused by restricted fields of view, but were still limited to the vehicle‘s visual ground perspective. With the arrival of small and micro drones on the battlefield, concept definers of the armed forces and designers in the industry asked themselves whether such UAS could be used to provide an armoured vehicle crew with additional fields of view and thus improve their situational awareness of the immediate vicinity. What sounds simple and could be partially implemented in limited test environments failed in practise due to several technical hurdles. Such a system only achieves its real benefit when it is integrated with the combat vehicle. As a result, it must be able to take off and land from vehicles on the move. It must also be able to operate reliably in a “contested battlefield environment”. These two points, among others, constitute the main challenge. How can a drone be properly controlled if a reliable connection to the drone cannot be established, as powerful onboard radios and jammers or enemy electronic warfare efforts constantly interrupt the connection? In addition, the drones currently in use need a stable and levelled platform for take-off and landing. Both cannot be provided by of a combat vehicle on the move. Therefore, the implementation of such concepts took time.
When Denmark opted for the PIRANHA V from General Dynamics European Land Systems-Mowag (GDELS) in Switzerland as part of the modernisation of its own armed forces, comprehensive participation of Danish industry was agreed. One of the results is the cooperation of GDELS with the Danish drone specialist Sky Watch and Reseiwe A/S, an expert for resilient wireless data communication. According to Michael Messerschmidt, Chief Business Development Officer of Sky Watch, the vision of a vehicle-integrated drone will soon become reality. Sky Watch aims to offer the solution presented at Eurosatory 2018 as a market-ready product as early as in 2019. According to Messerschmidt‘s specifications, the vehicle crew will also be able to launch, operate and land the UAV while being on the move. The drone will be integrated with the vehicle‘s battle management system (BMS). This enables the exchange of information between the drone and the vehicle crew. Deployment scenarios could include missions for the drone to explore the way ahead or give the driver and commander an overview from a bird‘s perspective. Since the loiter time of Multicopter drones is currently around 30 minutes due to the battery capacities, either several drones of a single vehicle or several drones distributed over several vehicles of a convoy can alternately provide extended situational awareness. The drone is controlled by an operator or semi-autonomously, for example by pre-programmed route patterns. In stressful situations, when the operator has to concentrate on other tasks, the drone automatically follows the vehicle using the “follow” function.
GDELS is responsible for the physical integration of the drone with the combat vehicle and the BMS. Sky-Watch contributes know-how in the production of military drones that are able to operate reliably even in harsh environmental conditions and dynamic battlefield situations. Reseiwe’s patented ReWiLink technology is used to reliably establish and maintain a communication link between the vehicle and the drone. The drone control is based on Wi-Fi communication. In sub-optimal environments, this digital form of communication suffers from abrupt disconnections, so that data can either flow completely or not at all. ReWiLink is able to stabilise the connection and enable a data flow even in “extreme” situations. Similar to analogue communication, the quality of the connection decreases, but it does not break off. The bottom line is that the connection quality is improved by a factor of two. The implementation is purely software-based, a change of the hardware is not necessary. With the drone and the patented link to the vehicle, the Danish-Swiss trio could finally fulfil the desire of all vehicle commanders: To provide a bird‘s eye view to improve the situational awareness of the soldiers on the ground. The view “over the hatch” would thus be history, the view “around the corner” reality. (Source: ESD Spotlight)
02 Aug 18. Thales installs Kingklip sonar on Indonesia’s Diponegoro-class vessel. Thales has upgraded the Indonesian Navy’s Diponegoro-class corvette through the installation of the Kingklip hull-mounted sonar. The integration of the sonar follows a series of repair works that were carried out after the ship suffered accidental damage during a routine sea operation in January 2015. Thales has also upgraded the vessel’s operator console, signal processing systems and hardware technology as part of the initiative, which is expected to boost the performance of the warship’s sonar. The sonar upgrades are intended to provide the Indonesian Navy with enhanced communicative capabilities between the user and the machine using the human machine interface (HMI), which is already installed on-board the country’s Perusak Kawal Rudal (PKR) class frigates. Thales Indonesia country director Erik-Jan Raatgerink said: “We are proud to be part of the Indonesian Navy’s modernisation ambitions by supporting them in the refurbishment of the sonar system on its warships.
“As the leading supplier and integrator of mission and combat systems for multiple naval programmes in Indonesia, this is telling of the trust the Indonesian Navy has in Thales to continuously share expertise and deliver excellent support.”
Thales collaborated with local industrial partner PT Dharma Satya Nusantara (DSN) during the repair of the sonar system. The collaboration furthered the company’s commitment to establishing long-term relationships with local industrial partners. (Source: naval-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.