Sponsored by Blighter Surveillance Systems
25 Oct 18. Blighter to Supply Counter-UAV Technology to Liteye Systems for Multi-Million-Dollar US Department of Defense Contract. Blighter Surveillance Systems Ltd (www.blighter.com), a British designer and manufacturer of electronic-scanning (e-scan) radars and surveillance solutions, announced today that it is supplying its counter-UAV radar technology to Liteye Systems as part of a multi-million-dollar contract with the United States Department of Defense. Liteye is contracted to deliver numerous containerised anti-unmanned aircraft systems (known as C-AUDS) to the US Department of Defense by the end of the fourth quarter of 2018. See below the link to the contract announcement press release from Liteye Systems. Blighter is supplying its A400 series air security/drone detection radars to Liteye for the US Defense Department. The Blighter A400 series radars are modular non-rotating, electronic-scanning (e-scan) systems using power efficient PESA (passive electronically scanned array) and FMCW (frequency modulated continuous wave) technologies to provide reliable, small and slow drone detection even in complex environments.
Mark Radford, CEO of Blighter Surveillance Systems, said: “We are delighted to be supplying our counter-UAV radar to Liteye for the US Defense Department. Yet again, we see our field proven, mission deployed Blighter A400 series radars being selected to respond to the very real strategic threat posed by rogue unmanned systems.”
The Blighter Ku-band micro Doppler A400 series radars can detect micro-drones and larger unmanned systems at speeds from full flight down to hover-drift. The solid-state all-weather radars also feature digital drone detection (D³) technology and this enables them to extract the tiny reflections from modern plastic bodied drones even when they are flying close to the ground or near buildings.
Kenneth Geyer, CEO of Liteye Systems, said: “The Blighter A400 series radars are a key part of our C-UAS solution which is becoming the go-to defence system in combat. We are thrilled to have secured our fifth contract for C-UAS systems since we first supplied the US version of the AUDS system to the United States Army in 2016.”
Liteye’s C-AUDS system, featuring the Blighter A400 series radar, can detect, track, identify and defeat a Group 1 drone in approximately 10 seconds at a range of up to 3.5 km and has proved to be highly effective against drones, including swarm attacks. AUDS has successfully defeated more than 1,000 real world drone sorties and been tested against more than 60 types of drone including Nano drones, fixed wing and quadcopters – even drones without communications.
Liteye’s C-AUDS system features the US version of AUDS and a state-of-the-art operator suite, hardened for use in any climate. The platform can easily be moved between locations and remotely operated. Its innovative design allows for the ability to “bolt on” new technologies in the future as threats evolve in the field.
Blighter radars are deployed in 35 countries to deliver round the clock all-weather protection along borders, for coastal facilities, at military bases, and to guard critical national infrastructure such as airports, oil and gas facilities and palaces.
25 Oct 18. Russian CMD receives Nebo-U radar. The Russian military’s Central Military District (CMD) air defence division in the Samara region has received a new Nebo-U three-dimensional radar station, the Russian Ministry of Defence announced on 18 October. New radar will enhance the CMD’s ability to control the airspace in the Volga region. The Nebo-U radar station is designed to detect, position and track air targets across a range of different categories – from aircraft to cruise and guided missiles at ranges of up to 600km. The radar also provides direction finding for barrage jammers and friend-or-foe identification of aerial targets. (Source: Shephard)
25 Oct 18. New Navigation Radar Software Synapsis Naval Radar NX. At Euronaval Raytheon Anschütz presented the new Synapsis Naval Radar NX navigation radar software for the first time. The state-of-the-art software is based on an IMO radar display with optimised tracking characteristics and anti-clutter processing and is also equipped with tactical functions. In addition, there is the video merging function, which integrates the video of several radar transceivers into a single, high-quality radar video. The modular software design offers a high degree of flexibility for future upgrades to adapt to the respective mission requirements. To support specific naval requirements, Raytheon Anschütz has implemented tactical functions such as helicopter tracking, formation management, alarm and watch zones, and tactical target management in the radar software. This makes Naval Radar NX an effective and unique application for safe navigation and tactical tasks that can be performed within a single user interface. (Source: ESD Spotlight)
24 Oct 18. Cloud Cap TASE400 Laser Designator for Resolute Eagle. PAE ISR, LLC, the original equipment manufacturer of the Group 3 unmanned aerial system (UAS), Resolute Eagle, selects the UTC Aerospace Systems TASE400 LD optical and laser designation payload system.
“The TASE400 LD provides operators with day/night, visible/mid-wave infrared (MWIR) imaging capabilities for improved situational awareness and an optimized lens design for enhanced object recognition,” said Jake Jacobs, PAE ISR chief technology officer. “Weighing in at 10.6 pounds and only 7 inches in diameter, this system provides unmanned aircraft operators with a light weight option that provides true day/night reconnaissance and targeting capability.”
Integrated into this system is on-board video processing with image stabilization, overlays, picture in picture (PIP) and enhancement capability. An on-board global positioning system/inertial navigation system (GPS/INS) with integrated geo-pointing and ViewPoint tactical processing, exploitation and dissemination (PED) provides operators the ability to multitask, record and disseminate critical data for use at their fingertips. The system’s laser designator is compatible with all NATO guided munitions and semi-active laser seekers and is fully compliant with NATO STANAG 3733 requirement for low power consumption and high output energy, providing operators with extreme precision at long ranges.
“The TASE400 LD is the latest addition to the Resolute Eagle platform, said Beth Beach, PAE ISR vice president of business development. “We are pleased to be one of the first companies offering this critical functionality in a highly capable, cost effective platform.”
The single, reconfigurable aircraft comes in two configurations—standard and vertical take-off and landing (VTOL)—with a flight endurance of 12 to 18+ hours depending on configuration. It is runway independent and offers the VTOL configuration for deployment and recovery in challenging conditions, including maritime and Special Forces operations. The aircraft also features a large payload capacity of 75+ lbs (34.0 kg), very low acoustic signature at mission altitudes, small logistical footprint, and significant power onboard for multi-intelligence payload integration. (Source: UAS VISION)
25 Oct 18. French Navy to use Thales’s SonoFlash buoy for ASW missions. The French Navy has become the first customer of Thales’s high-performance SonoFlash sonobuoy, which was presented at the Euronaval 2018 event held in Paris Le Bourget. The SonoFlash systems will be deployed on the French Navy’s upgraded Atlantique 2 maritime patrol aircraft and the NH90 Caiman tactical transport helicopter to support network-centric anti-submarine warfare (ASW). Equipped with digital signal and a high-performance communication link, the sonobuoy will provide naval aviation units with intrinsic and tactical performance to help increase ASW capabilities.
Thales Underwater Systems Activities vice-president Alexis Morel said: “Navies will have a unique way to boost the performance of their ASW operations.
“The only sonobuoy of its kind on the market, SonoFlash offers outstanding acoustic performance and endurance, while its digital signal can be exploited remotely and in real-time in combination with data from other sensors. It’s a real asset for collaborative naval combat.”
Designed at Thales Brest facility in France, SonoFlash also has the capability to be deployed by unmanned platforms such as autonomous surface vehicles and rotary-wing (VTOL), as well as fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) equipped with a suitable pod.
The sonobuoy capabilities are the result of a joint investment by the French defence procurement agency Direction générale de l’armement (DGA) and Thales.
The SonoFlash system allows each aircraft to expand its coverage area and respond to evasive manoeuvres by a submarine easily and quickly.
Using its digital signal and optimal communication range, the sonobuoy data can be exploited by any vessel, aircraft or shore-based centre equipped with an appropriate processing system. (Source: naval-technology.com)
24 Oct 18. RAF transforming ISTAR to deliver Joint Force 2025. The UK Royal Air Force (RAF) is working to bring together all of the disparate elements of its intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR) force into a fully integrated capability for the first time. Speaking in London on 24 October, Group Captain Adam Northcote-Wright, Head of ISTAR Transformation at the RAF said that studies have been ongoing since 2016 to take the seven elements of the service’s ISTAR force and mould them into a single capability in line with the UK’s wider Joint Force 2025 concept.
“We are going from a tradition of using isolated forces elements together, to one where we can use a fully integrated force,” Gp Capt Northcote-Wright said at the SMi Airborne ISR conference 2018, adding “[That] we need to transform and not to do [ISTAR] the same way as we previously have is crucial to that – all of the elements have existed for a while but it is only relatively recently that we have begun to bring them together as a force.”
As outlined by Gp Capt Northcote-Wright, the six current elements of the RAF’s ISTAR force comprise the Boeing E-3D Sentry AEW1, Raytheon Sentinel R1, Raytheon Shadow R1, L-3 RC-135W Airseeker, and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc MQ-9 Reaper, as well as the recently formed 1 ISR Wing. This force is located at RAF Waddington in England. While each of these elements has seen near-continuous operations since they entered service, they have done so largely as stand-alone components in the RAF’s wider force structure. With the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) of 2015 setting out the objective for the UK military to be able to fight against peer and near-peer adversaries in a European theatre by 2025 while still being able to counter more asymmetric threats (known as Joint Force 2025), Gp Capt Northcote-Wright spelled out how the ISTAR component of the RAF is transforming itself into a more homogenous whole to achieve this goal. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
24 Oct 18. Elettronica Group at the Euronaval 2018 future naval technologies exhibition, has launched a new capability: the next-generation fully European self-protection Infra-Red solution DIRCM (Direct Infra-Red Countermeasures) for naval applications, which will be the first on the world market. This solution has been successfully tested in many scenarios and makes full use of Elettronica’s experience matured over many NATO international contexts. Some years ago Elettronica decided to start an experimentation on a Naval environment of its DIRCM, up to that moment developed for airborne applications, aimed at testing its behavior in a different domain and the feasibility of its potential naval use. The highly vibrant results achieved in the first trial worldwide on this issue, have led the Company to further invest in developing a naval DIRCM solution. The investment was aimed at acquiring high competence in managing the latest laser technology based on Quantum Cascade Laser (QCL) as a base for its development of the most innovative solution for countering I/R threats. DIRCM laser propagation can be obtained using the ELT-designed, multiple band, laser system. ELT laser, based on European Quantum Cascade Technology, is able to generate beams from the typical I/R countermeasure, mid-wave, infrared bands up to the innovative set of cold bands, designed to overcome specific maritime weather conditions. Quantum cascade is the latest development in laser technology and represents a step forward from conventional semiconductor lasers. QCL energy is generated directly in the band of interest, optimizing power consumption at the same time as output beam. This is a cutting-edge technology that is currently being introduced for next-generation systems in all fields. The immediate benefit derives from the exploitation of the aforementioned capability to address MANPADS threats, including third generation threats, also used for piracy against surface vessels in an unconventional manner.
Nowadays intrinsically asymmetric conditions of operations are now making protection against EO/IR guided threats an increasingly important requirement for active countermeasures also in maritime scenario.
The naval DIRCM is expected also to represent the future complement of recently developed Elettronica EW Suite for the Italian Naval Program to detect and counter threats overall the electromagnetic spectrum.
Elettronica is also considering extending the capability of the Naval DIRCM by countering imaging guided missiles with the combined use of DIRCM and flares, taking benefit from what has already successfully been tested in an airborne scenario. More tests are going to be conducted in order to further validate the Naval DIRCM solution, which is expected to be the merging of excellence and innovation, two pillars of our mission.
24 Oct 18. MyDefence Demonstrates Drone Swarm C-UAS Jammer. On October 12, MyDefence co-hosted the event Electric Storm to demonstrate the capability of the latest MyDefence Counter UAS products for dismounted soldiers. The event featured a live demonstration of the detection and jamming capabilities of the WINGMAN 103 drone detector and the PITBULL Counter UAS jammer. Last month, DeDrone announced the capability to detect drone swarms, and assuming the same conditions, MyDefence is now announcing drone swarm jamming capability, which was demonstrated at Electric Storm. During the event, five drone operators attempted to execute a coordinated drone attack. The coordinated attack was effectively neutralized using the MyDefence PITBULL Counter UAS jammer, and all drone operators lost control of their drones.
“Drone swarms are a concern in the military domain and it has been a priority for us to provide an effective solution to combat multiple drones for both dismounted soldiers and in fixed installations. With the WINGMAN and PITBULL setup, we have demonstrated just that, and the system will be able to defeat countless drones simultaneously,” says Christian Steinø, CEO of MyDefence.
- The only wearable Counter UAS jammer on the market
- Ultra-light form factor with a weight of only 775 grams (w/o battery)
- Up to 20 hours standby battery time and 2 hours of continuous jamming
- Both automated and manual jamming modes
- Jamming range of 1,000 meters1
- Average power output is 2W
- Software is programmable
1)E.g. on DJI Phantom 4 at a 1,250m distance to the drone operator (amounting to a jamming range of 80%)
The PITBULL Counter UAS jammer is the ideal solution for dismounted soldiers operating in hostile environments, where enemy forces utilize commercially available drones for reconnaissance and as weapon delivery systems.
The device is wearable and weighs only 775 grams. Used in conjunction with the WINGMAN drone detector, the PITBULL can automatically jam drone signals, when a drone is detected. This reduces the cognitive load of the operator, allowing the soldier to focus on the mission, without worrying about enemy drones. (Source: UAS VISION)
24 Oct 18. IAI and Airbus Maritime Heron Completes 200 Flight Hours in Civilian European Airspace for FRONTEX. Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) in partnership with Airbus DS Airborne Solutions, a subsidiary of Airbus DS successfully completed 200 flight hours with the maritime Heron Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems as part of marine patrol and coastal guard missions on Crete, Greece. The Heron flew in European civilian airspace under a civilian code. Flying for FRONTEX, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, the maritime Heron performed a series of flights equipped with an electro-optical payload for day and night vision, a marine radar made by IAI and an automatic identification receiver. Each mission lasted 14 hours on average. The surveillance platform Heron 1 used a direct link when flying within Line of Sight (LOS), switching seamlessly to a satellite link when flying Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS) to transmit real time information to multiple users in real time.
IAI and Airbus were selected by FRONTEX in a contract that includes operating the RPAS in daily security and coastal guard missions, maintenance and more. IAI and Airbus will provide the service for pre-planned assignments as well as for ad-hoc calls. The current contract covers 600 flight hours and may be extended into a longer-term agreement.
The Maritime Heron RPAS serves a range of customers worldwide, and is a part of the well-known “Heron” family which has accumulated over 300,000 flight hours, day/night missions, under all weather conditions. The Heron can fly 24 hours in full operational configuration. It carries versatile dedicated payloads to provide a clear, real-time intelligence picture to the marine vessels’ commanders and teams. The only RPAS directly controlled by a ship’s command system since 2010, the maritime Heron is in service with the Israel Navy as its key patrolling tool, successfully performing reconnaissance and security assignments for many years.
Avi Bleser, Vice President of Marketing of IAI’s MALAT Division said: “We welcome the contract with Frontex and the cooperation with Airbus. Flying in European airspace is a breakthrough for IAI. The Heron successfully completed all its missions and exceeded expectations, proving that it can fly civilian routes without any problems. We believe this is a significant step forward for IAI into other commercial markets for the Heron RPAS.”
Thomas Wehrhahn, CEO of Airbus DS Airborne Solutions (ADAS) said: “This long endurance maritime surveillance contract marks a new milestone in our ability to extend our successful unmanned operational services from military customers to civilian stakeholders such as FRONTEX and eventually other EU agencies. It also further demonstrates our capacity in selecting the right tools and collaborations for our teams to provide the best possible service to our European customers”. (Source: UAS VISION)
24 Oct 18. The joint Raytheon Anschütz/Terma naval radar solution selected for the Royal Navy’s new Type 26 Global Combat Ships recently obtained the important IMO certificate. The Terma and Raytheon Anschütz certified solution comprises Terma’s world-leading SCANTER radar and Raytheon Naval Radar NX software, the latest in tactical navigation software. This solution enables customers to operate any radar-related task from navigation to missions such as SAR, policing, surveillance, and more. One of the key benefits is that the solution can be used for both high resolution 360° navigation and situation awareness radar, which helps to save space, cost, and training efforts for the customer. In 2015, Terma was selected by Raytheon Anschütz to supply the SCANTER radars of the type 6000 for the Royal Navy’s new Type 26 Global Combat Ships. Raytheon Anschütz is selected by BAE Systems to provide the Integrated Navigation and Bridge System (INBS) including radar sensors. Terma supplies two SCANTER 6000 radars for each vessel including trackers and 12 feet compact antennas plus a land-based test site. Raytheon Anschütz is under contract to deliver the Integrated Bridge and Navigation System for the first three ships, including customer-specific design and development, a land-based integration facility, and a wide range of services up to completion of sea trials.
The SCANTER 6000 is a coherent X-band 2D solid state radar developed by Terma to address market requirements for improved surface and low airspace situational awareness. It has been specifically designed as an affordable all-weather sensor solution to plug the gap between standard marine navigation radars and more expensive military surveillance radar systems. Besides Type 26, Terma’s SCANTER 6000 naval surveillance radar is installed on French Navy’s Charles De Gaulle Carrier and L’Adroit vessel, U.S. Navy’s Stiletto vessel, and on a variety of Danish Navy vessels. It is also supplied to the navies of Germany and UAE and for new OPV programs as well as update programs.
23 Oct 18. Paseo XLR to extend gaze of FTI frigate. Safran Electronics & Defense has revealed new details of the Paseo XLR extended-range electro-optical sighting system selected for France’s five-ship Frégate de taille intermédiaire (FTI) frigate programme.
Naval Group contracted Safran at the end of 2017 to supply Paseo XLR for the FTI programme. Two turrets will be fitted on each ship, at an elevation of 25 m above sea level, on the panoramic sensors and intelligence mast structure to provide full 360° coverage. Sensor feeds from the system will be integrated into a ‘digital combat bridge’ located behind the ship’s bridge.
According to Safran, the Paseo XLR system is intended to provide the FTI ships with a long-range passive observation and identification capability, thus allowing the command to determine the intentions of small vessels at range and, if necessary, cue the appropriate self-defence systems. “This requires much higher [camera] magnifications,” said Pierre-Olivier Nougues, the company’s vice-president of sales and marketing, naval key accounts. “Paseo XLR combines high-performance sensors with a design specifically engineered for the maritime environment in order to ensure superior pointing accuracy and exceptionally clear images of the environment, day or night, even in poor weather conditions.”
Paseo XLR adopts a two-axis stabilised turret derived from the DALAS (Dispositif díaide à I’Appontage au Laser) NG deck approach and landing laser system previously developed by Safran. The DALAS NG, developed as part of the mid-life modernisation of the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, has provided the basis for the Paseo XLR concept of modular design with interchangeable modules. This will allow individual line replaceable units to be exchanged without any special tools.
According to Nougues, while the identification of potential threats, particularly asymmetric targets, is the major role for the Paseo XLR on FTI, the system also offers a capability for passive detection. “In some cases you might use a passive track [from the system] to cue a self-defence missile system which does not necessarily need range information to engage.” (Source: IHS Jane’s)
23 Oct 18. Thales presents SonoFlash, a new high-performance sonobuoy for network-centric anti-submarine warfare.
Anti-submarine warfare capabilities are increasingly crucial for naval forces throughout the world. SonoFlash is a strategic asset that complements ASW systems currently in service and provides an ideal response to the sovereignty requirements of countries today.
SonoFlash is an active/passive sonobuoy for monostatic and multistatic operations. It can be deployed and operated by any type of aircraft or surface vessel, including unmanned platforms.
SonoFlash is interoperable with the Flash dipping sonar and the Captas family of towed-array sonars.
To help customers achieve their ambitions, Thales is launching a new sonobuoy called SonoFlash. With its digital signal and high-performance communication link, SonoFlash enhances the Anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities of naval aviation units by bringing them best-in-class intrinsic and tactical performance.
Airborne ASW systems play a crucial role in anti-submarine warfare by complementing the sensors deployed by surface ships. With more than 50 years of experience as a provider of naval equipment, systems and services, Thales offers naval forces around the world unrivalled expertise and proven operational benefits.
The French Navy will be the launch customer for SonoFlash. The new sonobuoys will be deployed by the modernised Atlantique 2 maritime patrol aircraft and the NH90 Caiman tactical transport helicopter to enable naval forces to conduct their ASW missions at decisive moments, helping them assert their national sovereignty.
The product’s multistatic capabilities and active/passive monostatic modes ensure maximum flexibility for tactical deployment as part of a network of sensors. The combination of its high transmit power and high-gain antenna make SonoFlash a world first. Complementing the Flash Sonics dipping sonar system, the SonoFlash sonobuoy will bring naval forces a clear tactical advantage, enabling each aircraft to expand its coverage area and respond with greater agility to evasive manoeuvres by a submarine. Thanks to its digital signal and optimal communication range, SonoFlash data can be readily exploited by any vessel, aircraft or shore-based centre equipped with a sonobuoy processing system. SonoFlash can also be deployed by unmanned platforms such as autonomous surface vehicles and rotary-wing (VTOL) and fixed-wing UAVs equipped with a suitable pod.
SonoFlash’s capabilities, proven at sea after, are the result of a joint investment by the French defence procurement agency (DGA) and Thales. Designed by Thales at its Brest facility in France, SonoFlash benefits from the company’s extensive technological and industrial experience and incorporates advanced ceramic components developed by the Thales competence centre in Rydalmere, Australia. It will be manufactured in France.
“Navies will have a unique way to boost the performance of their anti-submarine warfare operations. The only sonobuoy of its kind on the market, SonoFlash offers outstanding acoustic performance and endurance, while its digital signal can be exploited remotely and in real time in combination with data from other sensors. It’s a real asset for collaborative naval combat,” said Alexis Morel, Vice-President for underwater systems activities, Thales.
23 Oct 18. Experts in towed sonars for 40 years and in AUV for 30 years, the engineers of ECA Group imagined, from the beginning of its design in 2016, to convert the AUV A18-M in a towed sonar: the T18-M. Ideal for implementation from a USV, the T18-M has the same launching and recovery system (LARS) as well as shared logistics with the A18-M.With the increasing number of drones, the pooling of LARS and logistic support has become a key point for the compactness and efficiency of both motherships and USVs carrying drones.
T18-M, a towed sonar derived from the AUV: What are the benefits?
The T18-M is an A18-M on which the nose is replaced by one equipped with rudders and a towing point and thruster was removed at rear. Subsequent free space makes it possible to integrate a longer interferometric SAS sonar antenna to achieve the detection performance at highest speeds.
Like a conventional towed sonar, the T18-M meets all mine warfare recommendations (especially the detection or classification phases). Like the A18-M, it is produced in accordance with the STANAG 1364 to minimize acoustic and magnetic signatures and to be able to fly near mines without triggering them.
The T18-M is equipped with the AUV A18-M’s inertial navigation system (FOG – INS + DVL) which, together with the USBL system of the USV, ensures very precise positioning in the minefield.
Conventional towed sonars receive their energy from the towline when the T18-M is self-powered. Without electrical conductors, the towing cable can be smaller and lighter which has several advantages:
- First, the performance of towed sonar at great depths is very much related to the drag of the cable and therefore to its diameter. As a result, the T18-M has outstanding navigation performance even when a long cable length is in the water and even at high sea speeds thanks to the reduced diameter of the cable.
- Second, a smaller cable can reduce the size and power of the winch on the carrier boat and the towing power requirement, and therefore the size of the boat’s engines, which is particularly important when towed sonar is launched from a USV (The drone reduces crew exposure to the minefield). In order to avoid too large motherships, the USVs shall be as compact as possible: The smaller the USVs are, the smaller will be the boats which embark them.
- Third, energy on board the towed vehicle avoids having an electric generator on towing boat, which saves space and weight (very useful for a small USV) and provides as well greater operational reliability and greater safety (electrical) for crew when operated towing boat.
- Since the A18-M and T18-M are very similar, ECA Group teams have designed a common LARS for automatic launching and recovery of both of them from a USV. This point significantly reduces the reconfiguration time of the USV between an AUV mission and a towed sonar mission which is a great operational advantage.
T18-M benefits from 40 years of ECA Group experience in towed systems
For several decades, ECA Group has been supplying its military and scientific customers with sonar towed systems.
In the 1980s, ECA Group supplied a 6000m-deep towed sonar to IFREMER, which was used to search for the Titanic wreck.
In the 70s and 80s, ECA Group successively supplied several generations of sonar towed systems (DUBM 41, DUBM 42) to the French Navy for the detection of subsea mines. Thus, the nose of the T18-M is a design from DUBM42.
In the 2000s, ECA Group supplied the towed sonar systems of the German MJ2000 program.
In 2016, ECA Group delivered to a foreign navy its USV INSPECTOR 90 equipped with TOWSCA towed sonar automatically launched and recovered by the USV.
ECA Group therefore has a great experience of these underwater vehicles and their LARS: cable, winch, power, positioning…
T18-M integrates all components of AUV A18-M
Derived from the A18-M, the T18-M benefits from all the experience of ECA Group in AUV.
It inherits, on the one hand, the A18-M’s positioning and navigation qualities and, on the other hand, the complete integration with ECA Group’s UMISTM systems and in particular the UMISOFTTM C2 suite.
T18-M reduces the cost of ownership of a drone system
With T18-M coupled with the A18-M in their UMISTM system configuration, the logistics of the UMISTM systems are optimal: The two underwater systems, which are the most bulky on USV, share the same LARS. The number of equipment and supervision software is reduced accordingly. As a result, USVs can be smaller at equal performance.
The logistic footprint of the UMISTM system is doubly reduced on the one hand because T18-M and A18-M share tools, spares or maintenance benches and, on the other hand, because the USVs take up less space on board. Similarly, maintenance training and maintenance of both systems are common.
Relying on its 60 years expertise in providing the most performant drones for missions at sea (USVs, UUVs) and in the air (UAV), ECA Group created UMISTM (Unmanned Maritime Integrated System) systems, a comprehensive, safe, time and cost-effective robotics based range of scalable systems of drones collaborating for a mission at sea.
UMISTM is especially suited to Navies and Homeland Protection operators engaged in battlefields and in survey or intervention missions at sea. Typical applications of this naval drones system are:
- Mine Counter Measures (MCM),
- Search and Rescue ( SAR),
- Security or Hydrography missions.
UMISTM is a robotics system developed by ECA Group for surveying or securing large or complex zones at sea as well as coastal areas. This comprehensive and modular solution includes a wide range of interoperable unmanned vehicles such as USVs, UUVs (AUVs, ROV, MIDS ROVs), UAVs, etc.
It integrates as well a comprehensive software suite UMISOFTTM allowing easy and complete management of the entire unmanned mission: preparation, run and supervision, data processing and analysis. UMISOFTTM manages as well parallel drones missions, robot-from/on-robot deployment (such as USV deploying and retrieving a UUV) and all automatic launch and recovery systems (LARS from USVs.
ECA Group’s UMISTM solution is modular and configurable according to the need of the user: it can equip vessels whatever the size. A mobile and air transportable containerized configuration of UMISTM is also available and meets forces projection as well as from the shore requirements.
Two world’s Navies are already equipped with ECA Group UMISTM systems.
22 Oct 18. With BlueScan, Thales takes anti-submarine warfare to the next level thanks to Big Data and Artificial Intelligence.
From Big Data to artificial intelligence, new digital technologies support real-time decision-making on anti-submarine warfare missions.
Thanks to real-time processing and fusion of heterogeneous data from complementary acoustic sensors, BlueScan will enable operators to master the underwater acoustic situation at every decisive moment.
The BlueScan system has been chosen by the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) to equip France’s five future FTI medium-size frigates.
At Euronaval 2018 future naval technologies exhibition in Paris, Thales is launching BlueScan, a new integrated acoustics system featuring real-time multi-sensor data fusion and analysis. The system is designed for naval forces conducting anti-submarine warfare missions and will equip the French Navy’s FTI future intermediate-sized frigates.
Anti-submarine warfare (ASW) missions are crucial to the ability of naval forces to manage tactical situations of ever-increasing complexity and to make the right choices at decisive moments. The BlueScan integrated acoustics system from Thales gives naval forces a tactical advantage by adopting a collaborative approach to acoustic detection with multiple sensors operating in multistatic mode when needed. The solution leverages advances in real-time Big Data analytics and artificial intelligence to provide automatic fusion, technical analysis and classification of heterogeneous data from acoustic sensors deployed by surface ships, aircraft, unmanned systems and sonobuoys.
The sonars in service today deliver increasingly high performance and relay acoustic data in such huge quantities that it is becoming more and more difficult to process by humans. The BlueScan system will provide sonar operators with an accurate picture of the acoustic situation and transmit only high-value data. With its open, scalable architecture, BlueScan is designed to adapt to evolving operational requirements while keeping through-life support costs under control and accommodating incremental capability enhancements to meet the priority objectives of naval forces.
“The BlueScan solution is going to take the acoustic detection capabilities of naval forces to a new level. It relies on artificial intelligence and Big Data analytics technologies to help human operators make the best decisions in real time on each decisive mission. Cybersecured by design, BlueScan will bring navies an unmatched tactical advantage to achieve their ambitions,” said Alexis Morel, Vice-President for underwater systems activities, Thales.
22 Oct 18. Sea Fire multifunction radar takes shape for FTI frigate. Key Points:
- Thales is developing the Sea Fire multifunction radar for the French Navy’s FTI frigate
- A first fully populated AESA antenna face has begun tower testing at Limours
Thales Land & Air Systems – France has commenced far field antenna testing of its new Sea Fire S-band solid-state multifunction radar at its Limours integration and production facility southwest of Paris.
Sea Fire is being produced by Thales under a full-scale development and production contract for the French Navy’s five-ship Frégates de taille intermédiaire (FTI) programme. It is a scalable, software-controlled 3D multifunction radar using four fixed active electronically scanned array (AESA) antenna panels to provide full 360° coverage in azimuth and 90° in elevation. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
22 Oct 18. In a world premiere: Thales introduces first ever 4D AESA radar for small-platform naval market.
With naval missions complexity increasing, all sensors must be fully operational in all types of environments in decisive moments.
Designed for smaller-size naval ships, The NS50 significantly enhances naval mission effectiveness and survivability by offering the latest 4D AESA performance.
Thales’s 4D AESA technology provides a unique combination of air and surface surveillance and weapon support functionality. Being software-defined, it offers scalability and upgradability, so NS50 remains operationally relevant for decades.
Today, during blue and brown water deployments, Navies must be able to rely on digital technologies to guarantee the full performance of sensors on board real time and at all times. To provide naval forces with the high solution they need, Thales is launching a 4D AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) air and surface surveillance radar, the NS50.
Threats for naval vessels are becoming increasingly more complex thus driving requirements for an ever broadening spectrum of missions and tasks. With NS50, Thales aims to bring the benefits of a 4D AESA radar to naval vessels where 2D radars are the standard.
Thanks to the innovative architecture the new Thales AESA radar family brings to bear 4D, not only providing bearing, range and elevation (3D), but also providing in-depth analysis of the target’s Doppler and other characteristics during that extended time-on-target (the 4th dimension), every single scan. The result: vastly superior air and surface detection, tracking & classification performance when compared to 3D (and certainly 2D) radars.
The NS50 radar is a 4D AESA dual-axis multi-beam radar conceived with a range up to 180 kilometers on a price point to meet the budget consideration of all naval services. Scalable and easily upgradable, software-defined (future-proof) 4D AESA compact radar technology is deployable across all ship classes, combining surveillance and weapon support into one. This X-band radar can integrate with the latest ship defence weapons, such as new gun-ammunition and active short-to-medium range missiles. The system’s weapon support functionality will provide military-grade 4D track data, either to the ship’s gun systems or active missile systems for “First Time Right” anti-surface or anti-air engagements. Within Thales’ NS family, the NS50 is positioned as in class, 4D radar in terms of size and range (short to medium range) and affordable for smaller platforms.
“By applying our latest digital technologies to the NS50 and other NS-radars, we enable navies to detect, track and identify any threat and make the right decisions at every decisive moment. In addition, by going to a digital software-defined, future-proof radar architecture, with inherent scalability and upgradability, navies will be ready for whatever the future may brings.” Serge Adrian, Senior Vice President for surface radar activities, Thales.
18 Oct 18. Qatar opts not to complete E-737 AEW&C deal. Qatar has decided not to proceed with the procurement of three Boeing E-737 Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft that was first announced in 2014, Jane’s was told on 18 October. The US manufacturer said that the Gulf state has chosen not to complete the transaction, which at the time it was announced during the DIMDEX 2014 exhibition in Doha was valued at QAR6.6bn (USD1.8bn in 2014 dollars). Boeing did not say why Qatar has not fulfilled its procurement, though it appears that the company had expected to complete the transaction as recently as March, with a video playing on its stand at DIMDEX 2018 featuring the E-737 in Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) markings. The Qatari Ministry of Defence did not respond to a request for comment. The QEAF currently has no airborne early warning capability and the procurement of the E-737 would have represented a significant boost in its capabilities. Having decided not to proceed with the E-737, it is unclear if Qatar is considering an alternative or if it has decided not to field an airborne early warning capability altogether. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/IHS Jane’s)
21 Oct 18. Vista contracted for additional F50-ER1 air surveillance radar. The US Naval Air Systems Command’s (NAVAIR’s) Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) has awarded Vista Research Inc a USD36.2m contract for the supply and in-service support of 2D air surveillance radar to equip Expeditionary Sea Base (T-ESB) and Expeditionary Fast Transport (T-EPF) vessels. Vista’s F50-ER1 X-band radar was developed under a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) effort and is designed and optimised to automatically track targets in difficult radar clutter conditions, eliminating the need for operator adjustments and tuning. The new five-year indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (ID/IQ) contract, awarded on 25 September, covers the supply and installation of eight F50-ER1 radar systems, and operation and sustainment support of 11 F50-ER1 radar (including three previously installed on ships). (Source: IHS Jane’s)
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.