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19 Oct 18. DroneSense–FLIR Edition Drone Flight Control and Management Software Platform. FLIR Systems, Inc. has announced the DroneSense–FLIR Edition, a drone flight management software platform designed for public safety applications. FLIR announced a strategic investment in DroneSense, an Austin, Texas-based unmanned aircraft system (UAS) software platform maker, in April 2018 and this is the first product under that collaboration.
DroneSense-FLIR Edition is the only software platform to combine thermal and visual imaging processing with flight data planning and management capabilities across public safety organizations to help improve incident response.
DroneSense-FLIR Edition streams FLIR thermal sensor data directly into the software, making it a single-source, fully-integrated software platform for drones used in incident response applications such as fires, floods missing person search and rescue, disaster damage assessment and more. It includes features such as autonomous flight control, live video streaming, both on-scene and off-site, and drone asset and compliance management capabilities. The platform is hosted on a secure government cloud server and enables real-time data interpretation for a variety of drones and use cases.
The DroneSense-FLIR Edition supports the DJI Zenmuse XT2 and any DJI drone-based thermal payloads offering Thermal by FLIR with feature functionality including visual, thermal, picture-in-picture, side-by-side imagery, and robust telemetry feature set. It may be connected via Wi-Fi or cellular networks with multiple feed streaming capabilities or used as a stand-alone, independent communications remote ad-hoc network with automatic logging and syncing of all flight data.
“Drones are a vital tool in various incident response scenarios, and the addition of FLIR thermal sensor data provides a powerful asset to first responders,” said Frank Pennisi, President of the Industrial Business Unit at FLIR. “The use of FLIR thermal technology on drones has earned tremendous interest by public safety organizations both due to their relatively low cost for an airborne surveillance system and rapid deployment capabilities. Now through our partnership with DroneSense, first responders can stream thermal data into DroneSense’s flight control software to transform incident response management.” (Source: UAS VISION)
18 Oct 18. South Korea’s Apache radars fail to recognize correct number of targets in tests. The fire control radars on the South Korean Army’s AH-64E Apache Guardian helicopters are unable to properly detect enemy targets due to software glitches and the absence of a naval detection capability, according to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration.
Six of the 36 Boeing-built AH-64E helicopters, bought via the U.S. Foreign Military Sales route, are fitted with the Lockheed Martin-developed Longbow fire control radar. The nose-mounted sensor suite for target acquisition is known for its ability to simultaneously detect 128 targets up to 12 kilometers away with precision.
However, during an air assault operational test held between last October and November, the radar failed to properly recognize the number of targets, as it mistook four designated targets for 101 targets, according to a DAPA report to Rep. Lee Jong-myung, a lawmaker of the main opposition Korea Liberty Party. In separate tests in a mountainous area, the radar mistook 18 targets that were 6 kilometers away for nine targets, and 18 targets that were 3 kilometers away for five targets.
During a test over water, the radar failed to detect any target.
“The main purpose of acquiring these Apache attack helicopters was to help detect and thwart a possible infiltration by North Korean high-speed boats or hovercraft into the western coast of border islands,” said Lee, a member of the National Assembly’s Defense Committee. “Without a proper operational capability of the radar, however, it could not be fully operated for such missions.”
The legislator also noted the Apaches would be limited in the transfer of battlefield information to ground forces because its data link communications devices, such as Link-K, are still under development.
The Army has requested the DAPA fix the radar in consultation with the U.S. Army, said the agency’s spokesman Kang Hwan-seok.
“We’ve got a response from the U.S. Army that they could upgrade the software of the fire control radar in line with the service’s ongoing upgrade effort of the existing AH-64 Apaches,” he said. “But a naval detection device should be added to the existing radar system, probably on a paid contract basis.”
A public affairs official with Lockheed Martin’s Seoul office declined to comment. The South Korean Army operates two battalions of 36 AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters, which had been acquired under a 2013 FMS deal valued $1.6bn. The fleet has been fully operational with the Army’s aviation command since December.
17 Oct 18. Saab Concerned Over Lack of UK Airborne Early Warning Competition. Saab has waded into the political spat surrounding the British government’s decision to enter sole-source negotiations with Boeing for a multibillion-dollar purchase of new airborne early warning (AEW) radar aircraft. In a letter to the UK defense select committee, the Swedish defense company said it disagreed with the UK defense ministry’s assertion that it had examined alternative platforms before announcing on Oct. 3 that it was beginning negotiations with Boeing on a potential purchase of the Australian Wedgetail version of the Boeing E-7, an AEW radar-carrying derivative of the 737-700 narrowbody airliner. Andrew Walton, head of Saab UK, said Royal Air Force and materiel agency officials had approached Saab for classified data on Saab’s Erieye radar. But after clearance was given by the Swedish government to provide the data, delivery was declined, he wrote. “We cannot support the assertion that Erieye’s performance has been analyzed,” Walton told the committee. (Source: defense-aerospace.com/Aviation Week)
18 Oct 18. Latest-generation Thales optronics for Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier. The French Navy faces a whole range of challenges to keep its ships and sailors safe at every decisive moment during their operational missions. High on the list of priorities is the ability to detect and track all types of above-water threats, both conventional and asymmetric, at all times. The Charles de Gaulle has just been equipped with the latest high-tech systems as part of a halfway major refit conducted under the management support of both the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) and the Fleet Support and Service (SSF) currently being finalized. One such capability upgrade is ARTEMIS, a passive infrared search and track (IRST) system that uses three fixed sensors integrated into the topside architecture to perform surface surveillance out to the horizon at all times of day and night. Developed by Thales, ARTEMIS helps to guarantee the maximal level of situational awareness and protection needed to insure the survivability of the ship itself and other vessels in the area. Operating alone or in combination with other sensors, the system automatically detects tracks and classifies a broad array of airborne, maritime and land-based threats. The three fixed sensors provide 360° panoramic surveillance of the surface and the coast, with no blind spots, day and night. With advanced electronic image stabilisation and data refresh rates 10 times higher than a scanning IRST system, ARTEMIS detects and classifies threats faster than earlier generations of sensors. ARTEMIS is already operational on board FREMM multi-mission frigates in service with the French, Moroccan and Egyptian navies. In Canada, Thales and DRT Technologies are working together to develop and promote the OMNISTARE system, a derivative of ARTEMIS, for the fifteen new frigates on the Canadian Surface Combatant programme.
17 Oct 18. Infrared ID makes a showing. Israeli company Infrared ID presented its range of combat identification patches and panels for vehicles and personnel at the Association of the US Army (AUSA) exhibition held from 8 to 10 October in Washington, DC. An important attribute of Infrared ID’s solutions is that they are passive in nature, they require no batteries to operate, and are always ‘on’ when deployed.
The various panels and patches produced by Infrared ID range from combat identification markers for identification friend-or-foe (IFF) purposes, through to callsign panels to aid command and control of vehicle formations at night and even velcro panels to immediately identify an individual soldier’s blood group and allergies in case he or she becomes a casualty during night-time operations. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
17 Oct 18. Safe Shoot unveils Green Shield infantry IFF system. Israeli company Safe Shoot launched its Green Shield IFF system for ground forces at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) exhibition held from 8 to 10 October in Washington, DC. The Green Shield system features a weapon-mounted wireless transceiver that uses a GPS and global navigation satellite system (GLONASS) and sensor fusion software to warn if any friendly units also employing the system are in a weapon’s line of fire. If they are the system emits a warning tone and/or light. The unit that attaches to the weapon weighs about 50–60g, while the system as a whole, including the unit carried by the soldier, weighs 150–160kg. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
17 Oct 18. CONTROP Precision Technologies Ltd. – a company specializing in the field of Electro-Optics (EO) and InfraRed (IR) defense and homeland security solutions – extends its maritime surveillance capabilities, launching the iSea-25HD, the newest member of its family of surveillance systems for maritime missions, at EuroNaval 2018. The iSea-25HD was specially designed for maritime vessels and remote weapon stations (RWS). The iSea-25HD features a unique, cutting-edge stabilization system that enables a stable, continuous and uninterrupted line-of-sight (LOS) – ensuring a very clear picture, even in the roughest of seas. The system is capable of interfacing with RWSs, for example Rafael’s Typhoon System, whereby maintaining boresight in conditions of shocks and vibrations. The iSea-25HD incorporates digital and mechanical compensatory mechanisms that CONTROP developed to significantly contribute to the shooting precision. The robust system withstands even the harshest environmental conditions including fog, salinity, and moisture. Easily interfaced with other onboard systems, the iSea-25HD offers a full solution for naval and maritime operations. The low weight, gyro-stabilized system provides maximum range surveillance using highly sensitive sensors, including a high performance Thermal Imaging (TI) Camera using 3-5µ IR detector with a continuous zoom lens, a high sensitivity color Day Camera, and an Eyesafe Laser Range Finder (LRF). Among its additional features are advanced image processing and video enhancement algorithms. Applications include Search & Rescue, Border Surveillance, Law Enforcement, EEZ Protection, Counter Piracy, and Special Ops.
According to Mr. Ra’anan Shelach, CONTROP’s VP Marketing, “Advanced operational capabilities are enabled by the stabilized line-of-sight delivered by our innovative system, ensuring tactical superiority even in the harshest and most unforgiving environmental conditions. Real-time video image stability in the face of the most challenging conditions is critical for our naval customers.”
17 Oct 18. HENSOLDT to show new Sensor Solutions at Euronaval 2018. Focus on multi-sensor integration, protection and naval radar.
HENSOLDT, the leading independent sensor solutions provider, presents its wide range of naval sensor technologies at this year’s Euronaval exhibition in Paris-Le Bourget. For in-depth information please visit the HENSOLDT stand no. F51. The peak in submarine sensor technology represents HENSOLDT’s unique twin optronic mast solution combining the OMS 150 and OMS 200 periscopes. Bringing together the latest optronics sensor technologies such as low light level TV camera, high-definition mid-wave infrared and short-wave infrared, this product enables new submarine capabilities in all light and weather conditions.
HENSOLDT’s TRS-4D naval radar is designed to support anti-air and anti-surface operations. It is available with one rotating antenna and in another version with four fixed antenna panels. The radar’s AESA technology delivers increased sensitivity to detect smaller and maneuvering targets with greater accuracy, as well as faster track generation to give naval vessels more time to react on hostile threats. The radar is in the process of being integrated into the US Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship LCS and the German Navy’s new F125 frigates.
Another part of HENSOLDT’s display is dedicated to protection systems enhancing the survivability of naval vessels. Early warning against laser threats such as laser beam riding missiles, laser target designators and range finders provides the COLDS NGB warning system while secondary radar, transponders and encryption devices ensure reliable identification-friend-or-foe (IFF).
17 Oct 18. Controp launches new Tornado-ER surveillance and protection system. Controp USA has launched its comprehensive coastal surveillance and protection system, Tornado-ER. As an electro-optical panoramic scanning and automatic target detection system, Tornado-ER can also be used for maritime traffic control, particularly in dense waters. The technology is capable of providing a 360 panoramic infrared (IR) image, which gets updated continuously every three seconds with automatic and simultaneous detection of any moving targets in the water.
Controp CEO and president Hagay Azani said: “The Tornado-ER was specially developed to maximise coastal security through the use of today’s most advanced technologies.
“Detecting multiple mobile targets simultaneously, in real-time, at the shore and at sea, at long and short distances, the Tornado-ER ensures true border control. The system is already operational in Asia, and based on exceptionally positive feedback, we expect to generate considerable interest at the EuroNaval exhibition.”
Featuring two thermal imaging IR cameras, Tornado-ER is passive and insensitive to RF jamming and can be used either as a standalone, or combined with external systems.
IR cameras provide real-time, panoramic image from short to long distances up to the horizon.
The system enables simultaneous target detection of moving objects such as swimmers, vessels of all sizes, small vessels on the background of larger vessels, and small floating objects.
This helps increase the protection and situational awareness of coastlines, waterways, seashores, ports, and harbours.
Furthermore, the system acts as an electro-optical radar for target detection, from 400m to more than 12km, providing a wide panoramic live image output in addition to an enhanced video analytics. (Source: naval-technology.com)
16 Oct 18. New Patriot radar display improves situational awareness for operators. Raytheon has upgraded the screen display for Patriot weapon system operators, adding three-dimensional (3D) color visuals and improving operators’ situational awareness. The Warfighter Machine Interface (WMI) takes the legacy Patriot display and moves it into the twenty-first century, Bob Kelley, a senior manager at Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems, told Jane’s. The current Patriot display provides data in black and white and 2D. Operators have to memorise where information is stored among 100 tabs and they must scroll through the tabs to find precisely what they are looking for.
For example, to determine if an aircraft is flying at the proper altitude in a safe passage corridor (referred to in this instance as F770) the operator must find and open the tab where the data is saved. Then the operator has to scroll through all the information saved in that tab to find F770, which states that this particular safe passage corridor is set for 20,000 and 30,000 ft.
With WMI, operators need only to manipulate the image on the screen to see that the pilot is flying below the safe passage corridor altitude.
“It takes me about 35 or 40 seconds to figure that out on the old display, but about a second on the new display,” said Kelley. “We worked with human systems engineering folks to make this as user friendly as possible.”
Raytheon has also improved how operators receive Patriot health and status information. Kelley said operators want to be able to focus on the battlespace. Now a symbol, such as a flashing yellow light, appears on their main display, alerting them to an issue. Health and status data are displayed on a monitor above the battlespace display. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
17 Oct 18. Drone Aviation’s $1.7m US DoD Contract for WASP Tactical Aerostat. Drone Aviation Holding Corp., a manufacturer of tethered drones and lighter-than-air aerostats, has announced that it has delivered its multi-mission capable tactical Winch Aerostat Small Platform (“WASP”) to the Department of Defense (“DoD”) under a contract award valued in excess of $1.7m. This award is the third repeat order for the WASP by this customer and is the result of a growing number of successful international deployments with military personnel. The contract, for a customized WASP Elevated Relay System (ERS), features simultaneous multi-mission capabilities for extended range communications up to 40km utilizing multi-frequency and multi-wave form radios operating in parallel with high performance ISR payloads designed for day/night Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions.
“This delivery further demonstrates our ability to rapidly translate challenging customer requirements from the whiteboard to the field in a reliable and repeatable solution,” said Dan Erdberg, President of Drone Aviation. “The WASP ERS successfully integrates industry-leading communications radios that can seamlessly connect to existing secure military networks deployed globally. This expands our potential market to include solutions that enable rapid, cost effective extension of existing communications infrastructure worldwide.”
“This latest contract is a major financial and business milestone for Drone Aviation, marking our largest single contract and advancing our efforts to grow our operations and convert high-value opportunities for the WASP into revenue. Furthermore, through a focused strategy of technical leadership and customer-driven product development, we are transforming our investments into unique solutions such as this WASP communications system. We remain committed to developing solutions with unique capabilities and unmatched operational economics, critical attributes which align directly with current military and homeland security priorities in 2019,” added Jay Nussbaum, Chairman and CEO of Drone Aviation Corp.
The WASP is a highly tactical and mobile aerostat system which can be operated by as few as two soldiers and can provide day/night video, secure multi-frequency and multi-wave form wireless communication range extension capability at the edge of the battlefield from either a stationary position or while being towed. Over the past four years, U.S. Army-owned WASP systems have successfully completed thousands of hours of soldier training operations, various DoD exercises, and customer operations. WASP is currently being utilized by the DoD as a mobile, tactical aerial solution that can support multi-mission profiles involving ground and aerial-based assets through communication retransmission. Operating at altitudes of up to 1,500 feet AGL, the WASP system can significantly extend ISR capabilities and secure communications in remote and austere locations. The soldier-operated systems can be rapidly configured to support a variety of mission requirements for days, weeks or months with customized payloads. (Source: UAS VISION)
16 Oct 18. MSAB and URSA unveil XRY Drone. MSAB and URSA have introduced a new system called XRY Drone that extracts and analyses data from malicious UAS, MSAB announced on 10 October. The system allows investigators to decode and view the data from UAS, including flight paths, origin, behaviour and other critical information that can identify operators. With XRY Drone, users such as police, corrections agencies, border control and military organisations can access data from the the rogue UAS’ black box, from memory files and from smartphones used to control the aircraft.
David Kovar, president of URSA, said: ‘Drones are exploding in popularity and their operational capabilities are advancing rapidly as well. Unfortunately, they have also proven to be useful tools for criminal actions like carrying phones, weapons and drugs to prisoners in correctional facilities, for illegal surveillance and even for terrorist attacks.
‘URSA’s research team has worked with MSAB to access and decode the data in a number of the most widely used drone models.’
XRY Drone is a new member of the XRY line of products from MSAB, used by law enforcement to recover and view data from mobile phones and other mobile devices. (Source: Shephard)
16 Oct 18. Astronics Corporation (Nasdaq: ATRO), a leading provider of advanced technologies for the global aerospace, defense and semiconductor industries, has worked with Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, to install and certify the Max-Viz 2300 Enhanced Vision System (EVS) on a new Sikorsky S-76D™ helicopter. Offered by Astronics’ wholly-owned subsidiary Astronics Max-Viz, the 2300 can now present images on multi-function displays (MFDs), primary flight displays (PFDs), and on standalone displays. The Max-Viz 2300 is available on Sikorsky aircraft at time of purchase or as an upgrade later.
“Astronics Max-Viz is pleased to be flying on Sikorsky’s S-76® platform and to be a part of its four-decade legacy of safety and reliability,” said Tom Geiger, Business Unit Manager for Astronics Max-Viz. “We are excited to be part of upgrading the capabilities of the proven S-76® fleet,” he added.
Astronics Max-Viz EVS provides pilots with an unprecedented level of situational awareness and safety by enabling them to see more precisely during day or night in adverse weather conditions, such as haze, smoke, smog, and light fog, even on the darkest night. At night, pilots can also see and avoid clouds for a smoother ride. While landing, pilots using the Max-Viz EVS can identify the helipad and view the terrain clearly to avoid wildlife and unlit obstructions.
Of the over 3,000 installed Astronics Max-Vis EVS systems, approximately 60 percent are on fixed-wing general aviation aircraft and 40 percent are on helicopters. With Supplemental and Type Certificates in both fixed-wing and rotor-wing aircraft, Astronics Max-Viz offers products built on more than 15 years of success in enhanced vision systems. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
16 Oct 18. Lockheed Martin’s (NYSE: LMT) Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) has completed a closed loop satellite track with tactical hardware and software marking a significant achievement as the program continues to meet its technical milestones and works towards delivery to the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) in 2020 at its Clear, Alaska, site.
In preparation for full-rate manufacturing starting in the beginning of 2019, Lockheed Martin utilized production hardware, tactical backend processing equipment along with tactical software to successfully demonstrate system performance in an operational environment. A series of tests were performed in this environment including a closed loop satellite track demonstrating significant maturity of the program.
As a risk mitigation effort in achieving delivery to MDA in 2020, Lockheed Martin invested in a Solid State Radar Integration Site (SSRIS) in Moorestown, New Jersey, which was utilized to conduct this testing. The SSRIS is a scaled version of the final LRDR radar and will continue to be utilized for Solid State Radar (SSR) development.
“I am extremely proud of what the team has accomplished since the award in 2015,” said Chandra Marshall, LRDR program director, Lockheed Martin, “We have designed and produced a scaled LRDR system that is running with the actual tactical processing equipment and tactical software successfully. Demonstrations executed to date prove that Lockheed Martin has designed a solid state radar system that is on schedule to deliver on time and is on track to achieve its mission to defend the homeland.”
The SSR concept uses a scalable, modular and extensible Gallium Nitride (GaN) based radar building block, which in addition to cutting edge performance provides increased efficiency and reliability to achieve the homeland defense mission and pace ever-evolving threats.
LRDR completed its critical design review in 2017 and in September began construction of the radar in Alaska. “Since the contract was awarded in 2015, the LRDR team has been moving fast and keeping a steady pace achieving every milestone successfully on the path to delivery in 2020,” according to Marshall.
The radar system will serve as a critical sensor within MDA’s layered defense strategy to protect the U.S. homeland from ballistic missile attack. LRDR will provide 24/7/365 acquisition, tracking and discrimination data to enable defense systems to lock on and engage ballistic missile threats.
LRDR adds the capability of discriminating threats at extended distances using the inherent wideband capability of the hardware coupled with advanced software algorithms. LRDR combines proven SSR technologies with proven ballistic missile defense algorithms, all based upon an open architecture platform capable of meeting future growth. Lockheed Martin sees SSR as the cornerstone of its current and future radar development and is key in its development of LRDR.
The program is built upon the U.S. government’s long-term investment in S-Band radar, ground-based radar, and systems integration, as evident in such Lockheed Martin technologies as the Aegis Combat System, Space Fence and Aegis Ashore. Earlier this year, Lockheed Martin demonstrated its commitment to advancing SSR technology and addressing emerging and evolving threats by connecting key components of LRDR and its Aegis Ashore technologies, demonstrating the ability to greatly increase operational performance, efficiency and reliability of Aegis Ashore. Connecting these systems also provides the warfighter with earlier intelligence and expanded situational awareness.
16 Oct 18. Viridian Weapon Technologies has introduced new tactical-grade V Series Long-Range Illuminators, the ultimate access for nighttime hunting, tactical applications or defense. The V Series product line, including the V210 with manual zoom and V310 with powerful motorized zoom, will begin shipping later this fall and are currently available for purchase online.
“We’re excited to give customers this new series of long-range illuminators for the hunting season and beyond,” said Viridian President and CEO Brian Hedeen. “Both models are designed to increase visibility in darkness with 1,000 lumens of brilliant LED light in green, red, white or infrared options. Perhaps the most significant feature is on the V310 model. It comes fully equipped with an exclusive Power Zoom adjustment with whisper-quiet internal motor to zoom your light exactly where you want it—providing a clear light picture out to 300 yards.”
V Series Long-Range Illuminators
New V Series Long-Range Illuminators deploy high-intensity, next-gen LED technology to throw a brilliant, tactical-grade light beam far downrange. Undetectable green, red or infrared beams paint distant targets in total darkness, without spooking quarry, straining eyes or blowing a paycheck on high-price gear. A vivid white beam helps locate a trail or blind an opponent instantly. Customers can choose between two models—the V210 Long-Range Illuminator or V310 Long-Range Illuminator—at an MSRP of $179.00 and $229.00 respectively.
With pure LED-generated color, the V Series is up to 70-percent more effective than white beams with energy-sapping colored filters. Super collimated light delivers sharp, smooth spot with no rings, blurs or halos and a clear light picture out to 200 yards (V210) or 300 yards (V310). Two zooming options are available—manual zoom adjustment (V210) and exclusive Power Zoom that features a silent internal motor to zoom light exactly where it’s directed (V310). With extended runtime from 6 to 40 hours, waterproof and impact-resistant construction and three light modes, the new V Series Long-Range Illuminators are designed to take on any nighttime expedition.
17 Oct 18. DroneShield Releases DroneCannon Remote Weapon. In response to end-user requirements, DroneShield Ltd. has launched the DroneCannon Remote Weapon (RW), a lightweight, “soft kill” drone-jamming solution for use on remote weapon stations. DroneCannon RW will engage and neutralize a swarm of multiple drones simultaneously, and offers an enhanced 500m jamming range for 2.4 GHz, 5.8 GHz and GNS.
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 recognize that soft kill drone defenses are particularly effective, however, they already have “hard kill” systems in service. These systems are not drone defense-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 RW is designed as a soft kill counterdrone jammer 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. (Source: UAS VISION/Electronics 360)
16 Oct 18. The Indian Navy and HENSOLDT took a new Periscope Repair Facility at Naval Dockyard Mumbai, India into commission. Vice Admiral Girish Luthra, Flag Officer Commanding in Chief, Western Naval Command inaugurated the facility at the official opening ceremony. The facility was contracted by the Indian Ministry of Defence to increase the operational availability of the Indian SSK submarines. With state-of-the-art Reference Test Units, an Electronic Workshop and a Pressure Test Unit amongst other special equipment, the facility will augment the Indian Navy’s capability to undertake indigenous repairs of the periscopes fitted on board their submarines.
“When a product requires service and repair, a lot of time is lost during the transportation between the Indian Navy and the OEM. Now the maintenance work can be done locally, which will speed up the process and enhance the operational readiness of the Indian fleet”, said Klaus Rettenmaier, Director Product Line Naval at HENSOLDT Optronics.
The establishment of the periscope workshop and the training of maintenance technicians from the Indian Navy are a continuation of the core business of the Optronics business line of HENSOLDT. Based on the enormous success in the field of periscopes and optronic mast systems in past years, this is a first step in India in establishing a service capability for future naval opportunities. In the implementation, HENSOLDT partnered with local Tata Consultancy Services and H&H Precision Pvt Ltd. Overall, there is a trend in submarine markets for local maintenance authorities to strengthen the operational availability of the systems. HENSOLDT has previously established periscope workshops for several other countries.
12 Oct 18. Leonardo confirms first sales for Osprey 50 AESA radar. The UK-based airborne radar and advanced targeting business of Leonardo Airborne and Space Systems has confirmed the first sales of a larger aperture variant of its Osprey X-band active electronically scanned array (AESA) multi-mode surveillance radar. While declining to identify its customers, Leonardo said that it had received an initial two orders for the Osprey 50 variant. This follows earlier contract wins with the smaller aperture Osprey 30. Combining solid-state 2D AESA array technology – based on the Wombat miniaturised Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) transmit/receive module (TRM) – with software-based functionality infused from the existing Seaspray, PicoSAR, and Vixen AESA radar lines, the generic Osprey radar family adopts a compact and lightweight flat-panel antenna architecture designed to optimise electronically scanned radar performance, while at the same time circumventing the platform installation constraints associated with rotating antennas. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
15 Oct 18. FLIR makes a hangar for tiny robots that goes on tanks. The Black Hornet drone feels like a movie prop. Roughly the size and weight of a sparrow, the robotic scout helicopter has already seen use with British special forces. At the 2018 Association of the United States Army exposition in Washington D.C, Black Hornet-maker FLIR showed off the latest way to carry the drone into combat: a miniature hanger for four drones, roughly the size of a large breadbox. It’s called the Vehicle Reconnaissance System.
Like a description from a lost G.I. Joe catalog, the VRS fits four helicopters into chambers known as cassettes. The box containing cartridges full of robots can be mounted on vehicles, including people-transporting machines and also uncrewed ground vehicles. That’s right, this is a box full of robots that can go on a robot and launch more robots. It’s quite the exhibit of remote warfare.
Once a cassette flips up and the drone is ready for launch, the controller will look for a GPS signal. If it fails to find a GPS signal, the Black Hornet will stop preparing to fly, and retract back into the safety of its little hangar. (Alternatively, a human pilot can set the drone to operate under direct fly-by-video control, and command it directly, without the GPS assist).
Using GPS, the drones can fly a waypoint path drawn out by a human operator, or be steered directly by the human pilot. With two radio channels, the system can accommodate two drones flying at once, with either one human watching on a split screen or two separate pilots steering the bird-sized drones. The drones have a range of 1.25 miles, can fly for up to 25 minutes, and top out at a speed of around 13 mph. When not flying, the drones can recharge in their heated cassettes, and should the chargers be damaged or for some reason no longer needed, they can be replaced, slotting a new drone and charger into the old bay.
Putting a box of robots on a tank, or a personnel carrier, or even another robot is more about adding a capability than it is about reducing the existing labor needs of the machine in question. Yet that potential gained is great ― flying ahead, looking over a hill or around a building or through a dense cluster of trees means a chance to see new information, spot an ambush, catch a foe unawares.
It also points to a future where drones are a feature that can be added to other vehicles. With greater automation and image processing, the little human piloted scout robot could become an ambient surveillance capability, rotating shifts of drones flying preset patrols around the fixed point of the vehicle, landing and recharged to ensure persistence coverage. Those steps are years ahead at a minimum. For now, the Black Hornet VRS is a box of robots that can go on a tank or another robot.
(Source: Defense News Early Bird/C4ISR & Networks)
15 Oct 18. Brazilian frigate Defensora receives new surveillance system. Ares Aeroespacial e Defesa, a Brazilian privately owned operation of Elbit Systems, is in the process of installing the Atena electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) surveillance system to Niterói-class frigate Defensora (F41) of the Brazilian Navy, replacing the EOS 400/10B sight. The system will be operated from a dedicated console located near the operations room; however, it can also be sleeved to the ship’s SICONTA Mk II tactical control system. The work could eventually lead to installation of the system to the remaining frigates Niterói (F40), Constituição (F42), Liberal (F43), Independéncia (F44), and União (F45). The first three were built in the United Kingdom by Vosper Thornycroft and the remaining three in Brazil by Arsenal de Marinha do Rio de Janeiro (AMRJ), and commissioned between 1976 and 1980. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/IHS Jane’s)
15 Oct 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 approximately $5m in new radar orders, in recent weeks. The orders were for RADA’s software-defined radars for counter rocket artillery and mortar (C-RAM) and counter UAV and short range air defense (SHORAD). All orders were from new and strategic customers. These new customers are leading defense organizations and represent initial sales from which RADA expects significantly greater further follow-on orders in the future. Deliveries of these orders will be completed in 2018.
RADA offers advanced Pulse-Doppler, multi-mission, AESA radars for tactical applications. These Software Defined radars introduce hemispheric spatial coverage with excellent performance-to-price ratio. RADA’s radars are ideal sensors for: V/SHORAD, Vehicle protection, APS, HFD, C-RAM and Air surveillance with unique On-the-Move capabilities.
Dov Sella, RADA’s CEO, commented, “These are the result of the growing fruits of our ongoing business development efforts globally. The fact these orders represent an initiation penetration of new customers, it also brings with it a strong potential for future orders at a much greater scale. The market for our tactical radars is new and very much in the emerging phase, and the early orders we have sold in the past year across our customer base present significant potential for follow-on orders in the near future.”
12 Oct 18. Japan to buy nine more E-2D aircraft from the United States. Japan has decided to buy nine more Northrop Grumman E-2D Advanced Hawkeye airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft from the United States, Defence Minister Takeshi Iwaya announced on 12 October.
“The E-2C [Hawkeye airborne early warning] aircraft are expected to retire … in the coming 10 years, and thinking about the severe security environment, it is absolutely necessary to replace them with the E-2Ds, which have more capabilities,” Iwaya said during a press conference.
The minister said the purchase of the additional platforms is to be incorporated into Japan’s National Defense Program Guidelines (NDPGs) and Mid-Term Defense Plan (MTDP), both of which are to be published by the end of this year. The NDPGs will cover the next decade, while the MTDP will focus on the financial years 2019-23.
The move comes after the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced on 10 September that the US Department of State had approved Japan’s request to buy the additional AEW&C aircraft to augment the four E-2Ds the country has already ordered. The approval of the proposed sale, which is estimated to be worth USD3.135bn, covers the aircraft and systems, as well as training, support, and other services.
Five days earlier the US Department of Defense (DoD) had disclosed that Japan had signed for the last of four E-2Ds it was initially expected to procure. The contract followed similar awards made in November 2015, July 2016, and June 2018 for the first three aircraft.
To date Japan has spent almost USD945m on its E-2D procurement programme, including non-recurring engineering and infrastructure. This initial batch is due to be delivered to the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) before the end of 2020. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
13 Oct 18. The Pentagon’s got mechanical eyes in its sights. The wars of the 21st century will be fought with the aid of a horde of robotic eyes. Leonardo DRS announced Oct. 8 that it was the recipient of up to $800m in funding from the Department of Defense for ground combat electro-optical/infrared systems. Those electro-optical/infrared systems are the sensors that will watch the battlefields of the future, transmitting what they see to humans safely ensconced in armor, or observing the vehicles remotely, some step removed from the danger of simply watching with bare eyes. Those robot sensors include horizontal technology integration second-generation FLIR, for ground vehicles, which Leonardo boasts as providing “armored vehicle crews with the ability to see clearly, regardless of light level, adverse weather conditions, and battlefield smoke and dust.”
In another contract, Leonardo will provide stabilized infrared camera sensors for assault breaching vehicles. While most armored vehicles are designed to face some danger, the assault breaching vehicles are built to clear paths through minefields and over explosives, so anything that puts more distance between the humans in the vehicles and the danger is good.
Other contracts from Leonardo include a lightweight laser targeting system to guide precision munitions, a thermal weapon sight for SOCOM and Marine snipers, and a family of uncooled infrared weapon sights for the U.S. Army. Of those, the most stand-out futuristic feature is that ability of the improved night observation device thermal weapon sight to “import data and export images,” adding a hint of data collection and analytics to the delicate practice of putting a bullet in a person from far away. Taken altogether, the Leonardo DRS contracts are both less and more than they seem. They are, first and foremost, a snapshot of one company’s recent portfolio success, a business happy that business is well. When it comes to the actual applications of the products sold, it is instead a key component of understanding future war, where vision itself will be mediated in real time by cameras and data processing. It’s a set of super-human capabilities in the works, and also a potential new place for vulnerabilities to manifest, if basic cybersecurity isn’t taken into account. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
15 Oct 18. DroneShield has today released an ASX announcement with regards to joining the Border Security Technology Consortium. The announcement is as follows:
- DroneShield becomes a member of the Border Security Technology Consortium (“BSTC”).
- A faster path to contracting with the U.S. Government in the border security area.
DroneShield Ltd (ASX:DRO) (“DroneShield” or the “Company”) has been accepted as a member of the Border Security Technology Consortium (“BSTC” or the “Consortium”), a consortium focused on supporting the United States Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) and other potential customers within the United States Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) in providing collaborative R&D and rapid prototyping/piloting capabilities germane to the border security domain.
DroneShield was approved to join BSTC as it meets key core capability requirements for the Consortium’s key competence areas including surveillance and monitoring, identification and assessment, targeting and intelligence, communications and information management, apprehension/detention/seizure/removal and other border security-related capabilities. As a member of BSTC, DroneShield will gain access to the consortium’s innovative contracting methodologies that leverage both governmental and consortia technological, financial, and human resources to meet the United States border security requirements and close capability gaps.
Oleg Vornik, Chief Executive Officer of DroneShied commented, “DroneShield is honoured to be accepted into the BSTC. Drones are increasingly used for nefarious activities across the borders, and we look forward to working with the relevant authorities to assist with this growing problem.”
Recently reported border related incidents involving nefarious use of drones included:
- October 2018: Drones swamp US-Mexico border but federal agents powerless to stop them.
- May 2018: Drones used along the Gaza border to drop explosives on Israeli communities.
- June 2018: Drones used to scout the US border for vulnerabilities by smugglers.
- June 2018: Pakistan drug smugglers cross Indian border with drones believed to be carrying heroin.
- July 2018: Yemen rebels attack Abu Dhabi airport with a drone. Rebels warn there will be more attacks.
- August 2018: Man arrested on US-Mexico border accused of picking up a package of methamphetamine that was smuggled over the border via drone.
- September 2018: Crashed drone found my Ukrainian border patrol used to smuggle black market tobacco.
15 Oct 18. DroneShield has today officially released DroneShield CompleteTM v2.0, the single largest software update for the DroneSentry & DroneSentinel product suites. DroneShield CompleteTM offers users a ‘best in class’ drone detection and mitigation interface with enhancements to tracking, navigation, functionality and usability. DroneShield CompleteTM includes a graphic user interface (GUI) that compiles and analyses vast amounts of environmental data to display to user seamlessly and effectively. This dramatically reduces reaction and response times. The DroneShield CompleteTM GUI harnesses the advantages of each detection technology, providing the user with an early warning system and growing detection threat level as more data is gathered and processed. Remote access to your DroneShield products allows you to check status, configure your system settings, monitor threat levels and respond in real-time. The convenient browser-based monitoring application lets you view and control your DroneShield detection and response activity from anywhere.
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.