Sponsored by Blighter Surveillance Systems
10 Oct 18. Leonardo DRS gave the Editor a demonstration of the HexaBlu™ cryo-cooled thermal camera modules. HexaBlu™ camera modules employ a revolutionary 6μm pixel pitch HgCdTe detector technology that leverages DRS’ proprietary HDVIP® (High Density Vertically Integrated Photodiode) to deliver high sensitivity mid-wave infrared (MWIR) detection in an incredibly small Integrated Dewar Cooler Assembly (IDCA).
The 6μm pitch 1280 x 960 focal plane array (FPA) is the first of its kind. This new pixel design enables HexaBlu’s miniature form factor, weighing in at under 295 grams and displacing just 80 cm3. It is ideal for a variety of applications requiring fully corrected, long-range imaging performance in a low-profile payload.
- 1280 x 960 pixel resolution
- Revolutionary 6 μm pitch Mercury Cadmium Telluride (MCT) sensor technology
- High sensitivity HD resolution MWIR imaging and unparalleled SWaP benefits
- Small package displaces just 80 cm3 and weighs less than 295 grams
- 4.6 x 6.1 x 6.8 cm (1.8 x 2.4 x 2.7 inches)
- 80 cm3 displacement / 191 cm3 overall dimensions
Gilley Estes of Leonardo DRS told the Editor that given the size and weight of HexaBlu™ it had attracted considerable interest from small gimble manufactures for UAV use. The initial applications will be for land system applications.
10 Oct 18. Semi-Conductor Devices unveil Sparrow-Blackbird 640 compact cooled MWIR thermal imager. Semi-Conductor Devices (SCD) unveiled the Sparrow-Blackbird 640 cooled medium-wave infrared (MWIR) thermal imaging core at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) exhibition held from 8 to 10 October in Washington, DC. The Sparrow-Blackbird is designed for integration in low size, weight, and power (SWaP) applications; it weighs 300 g and features a high operating temperature (HOT) XBn detector with a 640×512 format focal plane array (FPA). The system has a 10 μm detector pitch that enables SCD to reduce the overall system SWaP and the dimensions and weight of the required optics compared with other common systems. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
11 Oct 18. IXI EW presents Dronekiller rifle. IXI EW presented its IXI Dronekiller rifle at the Association of the United States Army’s (AUSA’s) annual conference, held from 8–10 October in Washington, DC. The rifle is designed to disable unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and has a maximum range of 1,000m. An IXI EW spokesperson told Jane’s that the rifle cannot be sold to US agencies until it receives Federal Communications Commission (FCC) authorisation. However, the company has already sold the rifle to other customers, including 120 units to Japan, which will be delivered by January 2019 in preparation for the 2020 Summer Olympics. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
08 Oct 18. L3 WESCAM Wins Largest Contract in History – Both in Units and Value. L3 WESCAM has reason to celebrate as it was recently announced that we have won our largest contract in our history. Valued at $454m, the 5-year ID/IQ contract includes modernizing a fleet of Shadow RQ-7B UAVs belonging to the U.S. Army with our MX-10D EO/IR and lasing sensor systems.
The US Army has selected our MX-10D as their preferred EO/IR/LD (Electro-Optic/Infrared/Laser Designator) sensor based on the demonstrated in-field performance and reliability of our next-generation sensor technology. This new technology includes the enhanced high-resolution HD imagery, improved geo-location precision and extended long-range target designation capability that the US Army requires to execute their missions.
“We are proud to have our newest EO/IR technology as part of the U.S. Army Shadow program”, said Matt Richi, President of L3 WESCAM USA, “For over 44 years, we’ve worked with the U.S. Army to maintain their competitive advantage in ISR missions across a variety of platforms. This important upgrade will ensure they keep that advantage in the years ahead.”
L3 Technologies (NYSE:LLL) announced today that has been awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (ID/IQ) contract valued at up to $454m from the U.S. Army for the next-generation Wescam MX™-10D electro-optical, infrared and laser designator (EO/IR/LD) sensor suite. These modernized ISR systems operate from the Army’s Tactical Unmanned Air Systems Shadow UAV (RQ-7Bv2) and provide an advanced capability to collect critical information for use by all members of an air-ground maneuver team. This is a five-year contract with option for the U.S. Army to extend to an additional five years.
“L3’s WESCAM imaging and targeting turrets deliver the highest-precision situational awareness to our customers to help them overcome emerging regional and global threats,” said Christopher E. Kubasik, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President. “We are focused on developing new state-of-the-art multi-domain C6ISR technologies in support of the U.S. Army’s Modernization Strategy.”
“The MX-10D is proven and successfully operational on the Shadow,” added Jeff Miller, Corporate Senior Vice President and President, ISR Systems. “This win secures L3’s prime position on a major platform in the UAV space and expands our growth opportunities for EO/IR international users considering surveillance and targeting upgrades.”
L3 will continue to invest in research and development as the U.S. Army will be evaluating options for their next generation Future Tactical Unmanned Aerial System (FTUAS) program, the replacement for Shadow targeted for 2025. (Source: ASD Network)
11 Oct 18. Rifle-Mounted C-UAS Fire-Control System from Israel’s Smart Shooter. Israel’s Smart Shooter is expanding its line of SMASH rifle fire-control systems and has demonstrated the devices for US military personnel, company officials said at the annual Association of the United States Army conference.
SMASH uses image processing to automatically acquire a target from the sight’s field of view, and then displays a box around the target in the shooter’s reflex sight. A switch on the weapon’s forestock enables the shooter to select and lock on to a target. SMASH will then only fire when the sight is aligned to hit the target – and this includes ‘leading’ a moving target.
“SMASH is undergoing testing with the Australian Defence Force, as a combined effort with Thales Australia as part of the army’s F-90 assault rifle upgrade programme,” the company said, adding that it has also been “tested by US Special Operations Forces and other military agencies, and entered operational service with the Israel Defence Forces in early 2018”.
Smart Shooter built on the original system to add a counter unmanned aircraft system (C-UAS) capability to help shooters engage smaller UAS threats, Abraham Mazor, Smart Shooter’s vice-president for business development, told Jane’s. The hardware is the same but the software algorithms were changed to account for UAS targets against the background of a sky rather than land, he said. The SMASH 2000 Plus also adds built-in storage so video or images could be recorded for training or after-action reviews. Smart Shooter said it next plans to offer a SMASH 2000M that would provide ×4 magnification in addition to the optics fire-control capabilities; and a SMASH 2000N could be offered for improved night vision capabilities of the SMASH 2000M. (Source: UAS VISION/ Jane’s 360)
08 Oct 18. New VIM Vitra Camera. Rheinmetall Embraces the Future of Common Remotely Operated Weapon Stations with New VIM Vitra Camera. American Rheinmetall Systems (ARS), a U.S. subsidiary of Rheinmetall Defence, is continuing its more than 10-year relationship as a key supplier to Kongsberg Defense & Aerospace for the US Army’s advanced Common Remotely Operated Weapon Stations (CROWS) program. In support of the program, ARS is newly providing Kongsberg the VIM Vitra, the next generation daylight targeting camera that replaces the currently fielded VIM-C Camera in CROWS. The VIM Vitra vastly improves existing CROWS systems with significantly enhanced detection, recognition, and identification (DRI) performance as well as improved low light capabilities. The CROWS remote weapon station e gives operators the ability to acquire and engage targets while safely inside an armored vehicle.
The CROWS remote weapon station supports small and medium caliber weapons and can be mounted on any type of platform. Fully stabilized, the system provide unmatched observation and engagement capabilities.
The ARS-supplied Vim Vitra provides improved versatility and performance, which in turn extends service life and reduces obsolescence concerns. The unit provides warfighters with increased capability and sustainability in battle. The VIM Vitra comes with both analogue and HD digital output capabilities, which enables continued growth for the CROWS system.
The VIM Vitra is backwards compatible with existing weapon stations, and is prepared for integration with new variants such as the CROWS-J, which features a mounted Javelin capability. With its enhanced DRI performance the VIM Vitra provides warfighters with increased DRI at significantly further distances; making it a clear choice for the replacement of the more than 15,000 legacy units that are currently fielded. (Source: ASD Network)
10 Oct 18. US Army looks to beef up drone defences with Q-53. The US Army is set to take on several modified AN/TPQ-53 counter-rocket, artillery and mortar (C-RAM) radars from Lockheed Martin that will have an expanded counter-UAS mode for forward deployed forces. The service has contracted Lockheed Martin to deliver six modified AN/TPQ-53 as an urgent operational requirement, and according to company officials those units are going through final development testing and will be delivered soon.
The additional capabilities effectively turn the S-band sensor into an air surveillance radar rather than just dedicated to the C-RAM role.
Shephard understands that a key requirement of the C-UAS modifications is not to degrade the core function of the TPQ-53 radar as a C-RAM asset.
A company spokesperson for the programme told Shephard that technology insertions for the UOR radars now include an interrogation friend or foe (IFF) antenna that is able to interrogate suspicious aircraft, something that is not available on the standard AN/TPQ-53.
‘An IFF antenna is only needed in an air surveillance mode, it allows a secondary look at aircraft that want to be seen, the rest of the radar sees aircraft that don’t want to be seen,’ said the spokesman.
Other upgrades include the signal data processor, the ‘brains’ of the system, which allows the system to run parallel processing so that soldiers can continue to carry out the C-RAM mission, along with separate processing for the C-UAS functions.
‘It’s almost like both sides of your brain operating independently of each other, at the same time,’ said the spokesman.
Lockheed Martin also used the AUSA exhibition in Washington DC to announce that Lot 2 full-rate production of the TPQ-53 would now feature gallium nitride (GaN) technology. The use of GaN will improve the power efficiency of the radar and boost the effective range of the system, as well as increase reliability. The US Army began fielding the rotating radar system in 2010 to replace the fixed array configuration on the legacy AN/TPQ-36 and AN/TPQ-37. (Source: Shephard)
10 Oct 18. Thales and Leonardo demonstrate new aircraft protection system. Thales has collaborated with Leonardo to conduct live-fire exercises that demonstrated the advanced capabilities of their end-to-end missile warning and protection system built to safeguard aircraft. Tested as part of the surface-to-air launch trial hosted by the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration, the integrated system demonstrated its ability to offer quick defence against multiple heat-seeking, man-portable, air-defence missiles.
While Thales and Leonardo invested in the integration of the aircraft protection system, the UK Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) sponsored the two companies to participate in the trial.
The aircraft protection system comprised the Leonardo-developed Miysis Directed Infra-Red Counter-Measure system and the Elix-IR multi-function threat warning system built by Thales.
The two solutions were integrated using Leonardo’s Defensive Aids Suite (DAS) Controller, an advanced electronic warfare computer.
During the live-fire exercises, an infra-red (IR) missile was fired at a ground target, which was protected by the Leonardo-Thales system.
Following the firing, the Elix-IR system detected, tracked, and classified the missile as a threat and quickly provided an alert to the Miysis system.
The Miysis system was then able to track the threat and accurately direct a jamming laser on to the seeker of the incoming missile.
Miysis used a DSTL-built jamming waveform to confuse the missile’s guidance system, forcing it to change direction away from the target.
The latest generation solution is capable of protecting military and civil aircraft fleets ranging from small helicopters to large tactical transport platforms. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
10 Oct 18. This advanced night vision goggle is headed to US Army and Marine units sooner than you think. An as-yet identified unit will be the first to field an advanced, binocular night vision goggle that incorporates day/night optics and thermal and targeting capabilities, all in one package, by this time next year. Speaking at the Association of the United States Army’s annual meeting this week, three leaders tied closely to work on improving soldier lethality shared details of the goggle’s development and timelines. Brig. Gen. Anthony Potts, who leads Program Executive Office Soldier, said that 10,000 pairs of the Enhanced Night Vision Goggle-Binocular, or ENVG-B, will be fielded to Army units starting next fall and through 2021. The specific unit to first receive the new goggle has not been identified, but it will be a close combat-focused unit, likely infantry or cavalry scouts. The Marine Corps is scheduled to receive 3,100 systems over that same period, Potts said.
But first, in the coming months, some Army units will get an immediate upgrade with the ENVG-III, which has some of the same capabilities but in a monocular setup. While the day/night optic and thermal vision is an advance over much of the night vision being sported by soldiers now, the key change is the Rapid Targeting Acquisition feature.
This is a wireless connection between the soldier’s weapon and the vision device that allows the shooter to line up the target via the weapon sight camera. Soldiers can shoot from the hip, around corners and in other novel ways not available with current systems.
And early data is proving promising, officials said.
Brig. Gen. Dave Hodne, director of the Army’s Soldier Lethality Cross-Functional Team and Infantry School commandant, shared results of recent ENVG-B testing on the range.
Shooters using the ENVG-B saw 100 percent improvement with M4 carbine qualification, 300 percent improvement on detecting targets, and a 30 percent to 50 percent decrease in time to employ their weapon.
Previous estimates about fielding the device suggested fielding was more than three years away. Part of the reason fielding has been sped up is the additional funding and top leader prioritization of the program, which officials say makes an immediate impact in marksmanship and lethality. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
10 Oct 18. New arrival: Sightmark’s Core Shot A-Spec Reflex Sight. Sightmark’s Core Shot A-Spec is arriving during the fourth quarter of 2018 bringing precision, accuracy and reliability for avid shooters. The Core Shot A-Spec bridges the gap between a full-sized and mini red dot sight, making them a mid-compact sized red dot perfect for AR pistols and SBRs. Sightmark’s Core Shot A-Spec is crafted from dependable and lightweight aircraft-grade aluminum. The FMS features two separate mounts, AR riser mount and a low-profile mount, while the LQD features a quick detach mount. These are shockproof, IP55 water-resistant, have a scratch-resistant lens coating and feature a wide lens for quick target acquisition. Other features include slotted windage and elevation adjustments, digital switch controls, eight reticle brightness levels and night vision compatibility.
10 Oct 18. CONTROP unveils SWIR-enabled MEOS-LRS surveillance system. Technologies. CONTROP USA Inc unveiled the shortwave infrared (SWIR)-enabled MEOS-LRS electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) surveillance system at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) exhibition held on 8-10 October in Washington, DC. The MROS-LR is part of a family of day/night-capable multisensor systems that enable automatic target detection, recognition, and identification. The system uses a robust pan-and-tilt sensor head with automatic levelling and gyro stabilisation. The sensor head has a 360⁰ field of regard and uses a modular payload architecture. The sensor suite comprises a SWIR sensor that enables imaging through obscurants, a thermal imager with a 720 mm focal length lens, and a colour day camera with a 660 mm focal length lens.
The MEOS-LR also includes a laser pointer and an optional laser rangefinder.
MEOS-LR has a claimed target detection range of 25 km for a standard NATO target.
The CONTROP system includes proprietary software for image processing and image enhancement, and features algorithms specially developed to improve target detection capabilities and to reduce the incidence of false alarms. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
10 Oct 18. Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) has developed the ELCAN Specter® close quarters sight that allows ground troops to more quickly identify targets and make better decisions. The new reflex rifle sight features a large window and LED technology that provide soldiers with a sharper image. Designed specifically for use in close quarters, the new sight uses large high transmission windows, allowing users to keep both eyes open for increased situational awareness.
“Soldiers who use this new sight will immediately see a much clearer and less grainy image. That’s especially important when used with a magnifier,” said Dan Pettry, product manager for Raytheon ELCAN Optical Technologies rifle sights.
The 1XL reflex sight offers multiple reticle options, with the ability to switch from red dot or red dot with circle patterns without compromising image quality, delivered in a lightweight package.
“Raytheon ELCAN designed the Specter 1XL sight with ruggedness in mind, based on years of experience building the toughest sights in today’s military market,” said Wolf Glage, vice president of engineering at Raytheon ELCAN.
The ELCAN Specter 1XL CQS, the newest addition to the company’s reflex sights line, is being evaluated by several allied militaries.
10 Oct 18. Raytheon Company’s (NYSE: RTN) AN/SPY-6(V) radar continues to demonstrate its integrated air and missile defense capability through exceptional performance against multiple targets. The radar detected, acquired and tracked multiple targets from the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kauai, Hawaii. Capitalizing on two unrelated exercises conducted nearby in mid-September, SPY-6(V) not only tracked multiple threats simultaneously but also a ballistic missile – through intercept, for the first time.
“AN/SPY-6(V) continues to impress through consistent performance against complex, surrogate threats,” said U.S. Navy Captain Seiko Okano, Major Program Manager for Above Water Sensors, Program Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems. “With production now underway, we’re progressing – with confidence – toward delivery of this exceptional, game-changing radar, which will transform our naval capabilities for decades to come.”
The SPY-6(V) program has met all milestones, ahead of or on schedule, since its inception in January 2014. The radar has amassed a track record of performance, demonstrating its multi-mission capabilities against an array of single and multiple, simultaneous targets throughout the Navy’s extensive testing program and against various targets of opportunity. Now in production at Raytheon’s advanced Radar Development Facility, AN/SPY-6(V) remains on schedule for delivery to the first DDG 51 Flight III, the future USS Jack H Lucas (DDG 125), in 2019.
Background on AN/SPY-6(V)
AN/SPY-6(V) provides greater range, increased accuracy, greater resistance to environmental and man-made electronic clutter, higher reliability and sustainability than currently deployed radars. The radar’s demonstrated sensitivity provides greater coverage for early and accurate detection which optimizes the effectiveness of the Navy’s most advanced weapons, including all variants of Standard Missile-3 and Standard Missile-6.
The inherent scalability of the radar – based on 2’x2’x2′ Radar Modular Assemblies, individual radar “building blocks” – allows for new instantiations without significant new radar development costs. Scaled variants of AN/SPY-6(V) already designated as U.S. Navy programs of record, include the back-fit radar for existing DDG 51 Flight IIA destroyers, the new and backfit radars for aircraft carriers and amphibious ships, as well as the radar for the new guided-missile frigate, FFG(X).
07 Oct 18. DroneShield Ltd (ASX:DRO) (“DroneShield” or the “Company”) announced the launch of the additional product DroneCannon RWTM, in response to end-user requirement. Historically, DroneShield has focused on “soft kill” counterdrone solutions, which means that DroneShield’s products interdict drones through technological interference rather than physical kinetic impact. Military users around the world recognise that “soft kill” drone defences are particularly effective, however, they already have in service “hard kill” systems that are not drone defence-focused (a “hard kill” system is a conventional kinetic weapon that affects its target by physical impact, through bullets and other projectiles). User feedback is that many global militaries are seeking “soft kill” solutions that integrate with their existing “hard kill” systems.
Consequently, the newly-released DroneCannon RWTM is a lightweight “soft kill” counterdrone jammer which is designed for use on remote weapon stations (unmanned gun systems) as part of a combined “hard kill/soft kill” layered system. It is system-agnostic and can be integrated with any third party remote weapon station, thus allowing manufacturers of unmanned weapons systems to add a “soft kill” option to their existing products, which may already be in service. The system is available for use either as a stand-alone, or a vehicle-mounted product.
Oleg Vornik, DroneShield’s CEO commented: “The release of DroneCannon RWTM results in two important milestones for DroneShield. Firstly, DroneShield is now one of the very few defence and security companies enabling its customers to utilise a combination of soft kill and hard kill counterdrone solutions, with an optional detection add-on through other DroneShield products, all seamlessesly integrated into one system. Secondly, this system continues our entry into the on-vehicle counterdrone segment, following our recent Rapid ScoutTM partnership, something that is technologically challenging and unique in the market.”
08 Oct 18. Sightmark Makes their Mark with Improved LoPro Series.
Sightmark makes their mark by offering their redesigned LoPro family in Dark Earth finish. LoPro’s are a compact laser and laser-light combo attachment for your firearm, helping you with precision accuracy and rock-solid reliability. LoPro’s are the perfect attachment for accuracy while training, hunting, self-defense and even in low-light shooting. Sightmark will add three models to the line in Dark Earth; LoPro Mini Combo Green Laser and Flashlight (SM25012DE), LoPro Combo Green Laser and IR-Visible LED Flashlight (SM25013DE) and the LoPro Mini Green Laser Sight (SM25016DE). Improvements consist of a new aluminum housing, protected windage and elevation adjustments and a thread-on and rotating pressure pad. LoPro’s can be easily adjusted without a tool and feature a high intensity, variable LED flashlight to allow you to see in any situation. The low-profile design securely mounts on a rail with a screw pressure pad and can sit in front of most attachments without obstructing your view.
08 Oct 18. What’s the rush? US Army races to get missile defense radar early. Lockheed Martin’s head of Missiles & Fire Control on the expansion of Patriot MSE production’ The Army is racing to get a new medium-range air-and-missile defense radarfar ahead of previous expectations, according to the Army’s chief in charge of acquisition.
The service has been aiming to get a radar capable of detecting threats from 360 degrees around to replace its aging Patriot radar for many years. Originally an entire system was meant to replace Patriot, but the Army walked back on those plans roughly 10 years ago to separately develop components of a new Integrated Air and Missile Defense system (IAMD) to include an advanced, next-generation radar.
Critics over the years have said the service was moving far too slowly on procuring a new radar with 360-degree capability as several next-generation radar offerings are reach high levels of technology readiness. Congress has also urged the Army to speed up the process, mandating that it procure something in the next five years.
Because the Army has decided to make AMD one of its top modernization priorities, the Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor has become a high priority.
“In response to congressional and Army senior leader guidance to field a capability faster, the LTAMDS product manager is planning to utilize both rapid prototyping and fielding approaches to bring an advanced, improved capability to the warfight now with incremental capability added over time,” Dr. Bruce Jette, the Army’s acquisition chief, told Defense News just ahead of the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual conference.
The Army-sponsored capability “sense-off” is planned to take place within the next year to demonstrate potential prototypes of LTAMDS, Jette said.
Brig. Gen. Randall McIntire, who is in charge of AMD modernization under the new Army Futures Command, told Defense News in a recent interview that the service is pushing to procure a new radar by 2023 and is now working through what that means in terms of availability capability and cost.
Based off early assessment, “it sounds like I think we are going to be in pretty good shape,” McIntire said, noting what will come out of the plans will be a much better radar that will have growth potential built into it for constant upgrades and improvements as new technology and capability comes online.
Last week Defense News broke the news that the Army had picked two companies out of four designing LTAMDS concepts over the past year — Lockheed Martin and Raytheon — to move forward in the process of developing new LTAMDS radars.
Shortly after AUSA a year ago, the Department of Defense Ordnance Technology Consortium awarded contracts to four companies to come up with designs to help inform the Army’s requirements for the Patriot AMD radar replacement. In addition to Lockheed and Raytheon, Northrop Grumman and dark horse Technovative Applications, based in Brea, California, were also awarded contracts at the time.
The concept design contracts were given a period of performance of 15 months, so the downselect to Raytheon and Lockheed came slightly early.
Raytheon is the manufacturer of the legacy Patriot system, and Lockheed Martin spent years developing a system to replace Patriot, from which the Army ultimately walked away. That system — the Medium Extended Air Defense Systems — is still in development with Germany. Both Lockheed and Raytheon will use its radar technology developing and manufacturing histories to produce new radar designs. (Source: Defense News)
08 Oct 18. L3 Technologies (NYSE:LLL) announced today that its ForceX Widow® Mission Execution Software will be featured at the 2018 AUSA Annual Meeting and Exposition, October 8-10, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., in the L3 exhibit, Booth 1425.
L3’s Widow system was selected by Tactical Air Support, Inc. (TacAir) for its fleet of supersonic F-5 fighter aircraft. Widow is a commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) software offering that provides TacAir cost savings, technological advancements and rapid procurement. The system is designed for quick mission enhancement for the most demanding operational requirements. The first flight of Widow-equipped F-5 fighters is expected later this year.
“Widow is empowered for multi-mission ISR and strike platforms, which is unique in that it enables weapons providers and fire control developers to customize the systems that operate their weapons without changing any of the core technology,” said Jeff Miller, Corporate Senior Vice President and President of ISR Systems. “We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with TacAir and contribute to its long and rich history of providing world-class air support.”
A leader in Open Systems Architecture (OSA) for manned and unmanned airborne platforms, L3 ForceX works seamlessly with the integrated flight deck for a fully integrated F-5-equipped solution. The supersonic F-5’s multi-role mission enables attack aircraft to provide simulated air-to-air combat training, close-air support training, tactics development and evaluation support. The aircraft is also a critical tactical training resource for future pilot training. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
08 Oct 18. General Micro Systems Selected for Rugged, Deployable Video Conversion and Compression System. Ruggedized small form factor system enables AVC, HEVC-enabled compression and format conversion for live video-based sensor system transmission over terrestrial, RF and satellite networks.
General Micro Systems (GMS), a rugged C4ISR mobile systems and servers company, today announced a design win for a system with both advanced video coding (AVC/H.264) and high efficiency video encoding (HEVC/H.265) integrated with the GMS S1202-HS Golden-Eye IV ruggedized, small form factor workstation. The solution will enable GMS’ customer to transmit video more efficiently while retaining high image quality and maximizing the opportunity for extracting all-important video metadata.
“This approach allows users to either increase the resolution over the same communications link or dramatically reduce the bandwidth used, freeing up the link for other data transmission,” said Ben Sharfi, Chief Architect and CEO, General Micro Systems. “This is extremely important on the ground, in the air, or at sea because poor image resolution can lead to loss in critical image data, and therefore, lead to sub-optimal image processing.”
The combination of the customer’s software and GMS’ rugged, small form factor S1202-HS device enables users operating in demanding physical environments, including military and industrial organizations, to deliver compressed full motion video and sensor data over constrained networks, and to retain the high resolution captured by the camera. Designed for low size, weight, and power (SWaP) environments and equipped with the proper software algorithms, this lightweight product will compress, trans-code, transmit and store live, video and sensor data over IP-based terrestrial or satellite networks with up to 2:1 HEVC compression (compared with AVC) while reducing resolution degradation.
Deep Video Expertise
GMS’ customer has intellectual property (IP) that leverages its video expertise to provide flexible, algorithm-based video processing and delivery solutions. Coupling this technology with a commercially available, off-the-shelf rugged small form factor server and sophisticated machine learning services in other GMS products—such as the Nvidia®-based GMS X422 “Lightning” system, also launching at AUSA this week (with link)—is ideal for mobile and tactical applications such as airborne use cases, tactical combat operations, and reconnaissance applications.
GMS Platform Packs More Power Into A Small Space
Selling for under $10,000 in base configuration, GMS’ S1202-HS is an ultra-rugged, low profile, lightweight workstation/server/graphics processor that weighs just five pounds and measures 6.5 inches x 5.4 inches x 2 inches. With the latest Intel® E3 Xeon® processor, multi-head graphics output, multiple HD-SDI inputs and 1/10 Gb Ethernet network ports and one removable drive, it is designed to provide the highest level of workstation performance possible in a fully ruggedized, conduction-cooled, sealed system that operates from -40 °C to +85 °C.
This architecture is suitable for applications such as video compression, which offers high-definition video processing, storage and high-speed I/O in a small enclosure with high performance at low cost per watt. The S1202-HS ruggedized small form factor product accepts data from common ISR sensors using the SMPTE HD-SDI video broadcast standards. The Intel Xeon processor’s built-in CODECs also handle video conversions between MPEG-2, AVC and HEVC formats.
“The smaller and lighter you can make a video processing system like this, the more fuel is saved in airborne and maritime platforms, which lengthens time for reconnaissance,” Sharfi added. “This makes the S1202-HS-based ruggedized solution attractive to all branches of the government as video reconnaissance is essential to responding to America’s ‘near-peer’ adversaries in the harshest environments worldwide.” (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
08 Oct 18. BAE Systems, a leader in optical electronic warfare systems, today unveiled its Smart D2™ system, a next-generation threat management technology named for its ability to dispense countermeasures and defend military aircraft. The system efficiently manages and deploys smart, expendable countermeasures – including multi-shot flares, active radio-frequency (RF) decoys, and kinetic interceptors – that are designed to protect aircraft and aircrews from existing and emerging threats.
Traditional threat warning and countermeasure systems identify and defeat infrared and RF guided missiles by dispensing flares or chaff, which confuse threats and their ability to track. However, current systems lack the communications, inventory management, and customizable response capabilities necessary to increase survivability against evolving future threats.
The Smart D2 system provides two-way communication between the dispenser and aircraft using the NATO-standard Smart Stores Communication Interface, providing crews with critical inventory information and the ability to program expendable, active decoys in real time to improve survivability against advanced threats. The system monitors the quantity, location, age, and carriage life of each expendable on the aircraft and can deploy a tailored mix of smart countermeasures to efficiently defeat specific threats.
“The Smart D2 system combines smart inventory management with a database of proven countermeasure combinations,” said Paul Markwardt, vice president and general manager of Survivability, Targeting, and Sensing Solutions at BAE Systems. “The updated communications and inventory control in our Smart D2 system and its ability to work with current and future smart countermeasures provides aircrews with a more capable survivability solution that improves their ability to complete missions.”
Smart D2 is designed to work with fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft and integrates with existing warning systems as well as future systems, including the company’s 2-Color Advanced Warning System (2C-AWS). Smart D2 also builds on the company’s proven ALE-47 Airborne Countermeasures Dispenser System, a trusted and highly reliable survivability system that operates on a wide variety of military aircraft worldwide. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
08 Oct 18. Leonardo DRS Wins up to $800m in Defense Department Contracts for Ground Combat Electro-Optical/Infrared Systems. Leonardo DRS, Inc. announced today that it has won Department of Defense contracts for Electro-Optical/Infrared programs worth up to $800m. The significant U.S. military Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity program contracts were awarded in September 2018.
The contracts include:
A ten-year Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity contract from the U.S. Army to produce the Lightweight Laser Designator Rangefinder 3, a next-generation lightweight precision laser targeting system, enabling forward observers to call for precision-guided munitions onto targets. The firm-fixed-price contract, awarded September 9, 2018, is worth up to $231m, if all options are exercised over ten years.
An Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity contract by the U.S. Army to provide advanced infrared components for the Horizontal Technology Integration Second-Generation FLIR for ground vehicle sighting systems. The systems provide armored vehicle crews with the ability to see clearly, regardless of light level, adverse weather conditions, and battlefield smoke and dust. The contract, announced September 6, 2018, has an initial value of $30m and a total value of up to $435m if all options are exercised. A contract extension by the Naval Surface Warfare Center to continue to produce the Improved Night Observation Device (INOD) Block III thermal weapon sight for components of SOCOM and Marine snipers. The INOD system is a cooled thermal mid-wave infrared imager with the ability to import data and export images. The system enables operators to successfully engage targets beyond 800 meters as well as see their bullet trace. The Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity contract is worth up to $69,070,698m, with a current delivery order of $17,590,518m. The contract was awarded on September 25, 2018.
A follow-on contract delivery order by the U.S. Army to produce and field its advanced, uncooled, infrared Family of Weapon Sights-Individual (FWS-I). The contract was awarded on September 1, 2018. The contract delivery order, part of an existing Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity, is worth up to $44m, advances the FWS-I program to the low rate initial production stage after successfully proving the technology during development of the system.
A contract, awarded September 19th, 2018, by the U.S. Army Contracting Command to provide stabilized infrared camera sensors for Assault Breaching Vehicles that allow the user a clear view while remaining protected during combat operations. The Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity contract for the Integrated Vision System (IVS) system is valued up to $19.8m with the initial purchase of $4.6m.
“We are proud to provide these state-of-the-art systems to help ensure our soldiers are able to overmatch the enemy on current or future battlefields,” said Shawn Black, vice president and general manager of Leonardo DRS’s EOIR business unit. “We have a long history of supplying the Army with advanced EOIR technology, and these awards demonstrate our customers know soldiers are getting the best product to ensure their mission is accomplished,” he said.
08 Oct 18. Two New Drone Detection Radars from Ainstein. Ainstein, a provider of intelligent radar sensing solutions, has announced two new products in its Ultra Long Range UAV radar series; the Ultra Long Range Airborne (ULAB-D1) and Ultra Long Range Ground-Based (ULGB-D1) radars, capable of precise detection more than 1,000 meters away.
As drone adoption increases, Ainstein’s new ultra long range UAV radar systems address the need for highly precise and cost effective tools to minimize disaster risks and keep assets and classified information safe. For high-security facilities, such as government buildings and airports, or critical infrastructure, such as water treatment facilities and mass transit systems, the need for drone detection is especially high.
“Customizable long-range radar systems are essential to keeping critical infrastructure safe from skyborne threats, which can range from UAVs conducting surveillance of a site to actual attacks on the site,” said Andrew Boushie, Vice President of Strategy and Partnerships at Ainstein. “Whether accidental or malicious, unauthorized UAVs in proximity to critical infrastructure could have devastating impacts. Ultra long range detection means quicker, more effective responses to threats, as well as enabling safer operations for tasks such as infrastructure inspection, package delivery, disaster response and analytics initiatives. It is a critical component to receiving FAA authorization for such use cases.”
According to the United States Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, the threat of drone technologies “is outpacing our ability to respond.” The global commercial UAV market will exceed $17bn by 2024, creating adjacent industries related to drone safety. The sensor and detection make up more than 11 percent of the UAV payload market. Recognized by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and NASA as the primary sensor for use in multilayered counter-UAS solutions, radar has been proven to protect critical infrastructure, borders, correctional facilities, stadiums, concerts, government buildings, public spaces and many other permanent or temporary sites against intrusions.
Now available for customized integration with aerial vehicle manufacturers, the ULAB-D1 is optimized for air-to-air manned and UAVs beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operation. The ULGB-D1 is optimized for ground-to-air drone detection and monitoring and can be integrated and deployed by perimeter security solutions and service providers. Both feature Digital Beam Forming for highly precise elevation measurement and real-time processing for 3D detection, with speed measurement for more than 100 targets, bringing enhanced security capabilities to airborne and ground-based radar solutions.
For airborne-based drone detection radar, the ULAB-D1 provides:
- A compact sensor capable of integrating into high-speed and heavy-duty UAS platforms
- Air-to-air detection and avoidance capability for BVLOS operations
- Detection and tracking range of up to 1000 meters for manned and unmanned airborne vehicles
- All-weather detection and tracking
For ground-based drone detection radar, the ULGB-D1 provides:
- Valuable data to UAV Traffic Management Systems
- Detection for non-cooperative intruders and cooperative targets in the operating airspace for management of localized commercial UAS operations
- A compact and portable sensor, ideal for temporary UAS flight operations
- Two modes of operation:
- An industry first rotating stand enabling 360-degree coverage for intrusion detection, threats, and anomalous activity
- A portable radar patch to cover the most critical areas at events such as concerts, sporting events, and more
Ainstein is the only provider offering a full radar system portfolio, including everything from short to medium range drone detection and altimetry for small UAVs, to ultra long range radar systems for larger UAV applications, such as advanced aero vehicles with vertical take off and landing (VTOL). The only sensor partner in the Kansas UAS Integration Pilot Program selected by the FAA and USDOT, Ainsteins’s sensing technology is critical for next generation drone applications. (Source: UAS VISION)
08 Oct 18. FLIR Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: FLIR) today announced the FLIR Black Hornet® Vehicle Reconnaissance System (VRS), featuring the Black Hornet 3 nano-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designed for global military, government agency, and first responder vehicle-mounted operations. The Black Hornet VRS is based on an adaption of the unique Black Hornet Personal Reconnaissance System (PRS), the world’s smallest combat-proven nano-unmanned aerial system (UAS). Black Hornet VRS enables the warfighter to maintain situational awareness, threat detection, and surveillance for battle damage assessment, pre-deployment and route and point reconnaissance, and targeting information without the need for warfighters to exit a vehicle.
05 Oct 18. Canada seeks $300m sale of King Air 350ER ISR aircraft from US. The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a potential foreign military sale of King Air 350ER intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft to Canada. Estimated to cost $300m, the proposed sale has been requested by the Government of Canada and approved by the US State Department. Under the proposed deal, Canada has requested three King Air 350ER aircraft with customer unique post-modifications for ISR operations, in addition to three WESCAM MX-15D electro-optical and infrared imaging sensors, and three AN/ALE-47 countermeasure dispenser systems. Other items include three VORTEX Dual RF Ku LOS transceivers, three COMSEC Modules (KGV-135A), two APM-424(V)5 transponder test sets, and six ARC-210 multi-mode voice and data transceivers. Focused on supporting the US foreign policy and national security objectives, the potential deal will help enhance the military capability of Canada and increase its interoperability with US forces and other regional allies. The sale includes spare parts, equipment for communication, navigation equipment, and ground support, as well as other associated elements of logistics and programme support. Canada will use the equipment to defend against threats, support coalition partners overseas, and enhance its homeland and combined North American defence. Textron Aviation brand Beechcraft will serve as the principal contractor for the proposed sale. In February, the US State Department approved an estimated $259m potential sale of four King Air 350ER ISR aircraft to Kuwait with enhanced PT6A-67A engines and one engine spare. (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.