Sponsored by Blighter Surveillance Systems
21 Mar 19. L3 WESCAM announced today that together with Korea Elecom Co., Ltd. (KEC) it has opened an L3 WESCAM Authorized Service Center (WASC) in Yongin, South Korea. The newly opened WASC will provide customers in South Korea and the region with an advanced in-country maintenance and repair capability for MX™-Series electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) systems, as well as associated peripherals, used in support of airborne, land and maritime domains. The facility is equipped with a thermal chamber, laser test room, collimator for optical alignment, and all other equipment necessary to ensure MX repairs can be performed in-country. “L3 is proud to support the Republic of Korea in its aim of establishing a foundation for selfreliant national defence,” said JD Richard, Vice President of Customer Service for L3 WESCAM. “Together with KEC’s in-country experience and dedication to customer satisfaction, we will remain a valued partner to the Republic of Korea and provide regional customers with an unmatched support capability.” For more than 30 years, KEC has designed and developed industry-leading defence products. It provides data and communication security equipment as well as live combat training (MILES), air defence radar with fire control, airborne radar, ship identification, underground sound detecting and military PDA systems.
20 Mar 19. US Army looks to put ground-penetrating radar on drones. The Army’s Engineer Research and Development Center wants to put radar systems that identify environmental phenomena on unmanned aerial and ground vehicles so they can be used to survey previously inaccessible locations and cover more territory from the air. Currently, ground-penetrating radar systems are large arrays mounted on the front of military vehicles to detect improvised explosive devices. Smaller commercial versions exist as well.
Ground penetrating radar has non-military uses as well; it is currently being used to find cracks and corrosion in pavement. The Robotics Assisted Bridge Inspection Tool – a Volkswagen Beetle-sized robotic machine has been tested by the Federal Highway Administration’s Office of Bridges and Structures. It has also been used in Haymarket, Va., to assess the condition of bridge decks.
Ground-penetrating radar devices have not yet been mounted on small unmanned systems, however, primarily because of size, weight and power constraints. The Army wants the radar-on-a-chip technology to deliver a digital map that shows the shapes, sizes and features of objects in the environment.
Contractors will be asked to collect data on inert unexploded ordinance (UXO), synthetic tracer material and flora and fauna using radar on a chip operating between 100MHz and 5GHz attached to an unmanned system. The objects of interest may be buried, unburied or partially buried in a 20-square-meter area at the Army’s Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg, Miss., consisting of flat, sloping, underground, indoor and vertical terrain. The success of the program would alleviate some of the limitations of traditional ground-penetrating radar technology for UXO detection, improve mapping of tracer material and better identify flora and fauna.
In 2018, the Army Research Lab worked with researchers at the University of Delaware on a system that combines traditional cameras, thermal infrared sensing and ground-penetrating radar that probes the surrounding environment, spotting objects buried up to three to five inches. The multi-camera system could be deployed on autonomous vehicles, drones or robots before troops are sent into an area. (Source: Defense Systems)
21 Mar 19. South Korea-Based Air Defense Battery Integrates Counter-UAS into Core Competencies. Amid the looming threat of surveillance by Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), 8th Army recently validated the reception, staging, onward movement, and integration of Army Prepositioned Stock (APS) at Camp Carroll, Republic of Korea. In order to support 8th Army and combat the UAS threat, Echo Battery, 6-52 Air and Missile Defense Battalion (E/6-52 AMD BN) established the first garrison Counter-UAS (C-UAS) defense design in the Korean Theater of Operations (KTO).
There is a plethora of combat equipment, otherwise referred to as APS, on U.S. Military installations throughout the KTO which are essential to the overall readiness of The United States Forces, Korea. Units that fall under 8th Army are required to routinely conduct mechanical validations and rehearse the movement and integration of APS within the KTO.
UAS pose an unprecedented threat to units in every branch of The United States Armed Forces in both tactical and garrison environments. UAS have the capability to conduct surveillance on military operations and can be modified to carry ordnance in order to directly attack critical assets. The proliferation of relatively cheap commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) UAS in the private market exacerbates the problem. However, new technologies allow units such as E/6-52 AMD to combat this emerging threat. E/6-52 is the only unit in the Army that conducts C-UAS operations in both tactical and garrison environments, and simultaneously maintains organic Avenger and Sentinel capabilities.
In January 2019, E/6-52 received orders to provide C-UAS protection in the garrison environment on Camp Carroll, South Korea, which included the integration of new systems into normal Short Range Air Defense (SHORAD) operations. Ultimately E/6-52, under the 2-1 ADA “Guardian” Battalion, set a new precedence that significantly changes the capabilities that a single Avenger Platoon can bring to the table. This is the concept that an Avenger Team can not only dismount with a shoulder-fired Stinger Missile (or MANPADS), but they are also equipped with a highly portable Drone Defender system for UAS engagements. This further layers our defense of assets and increases the ability to protect all aspects of the battlefield.
Leaders within Echo Battery used the Military Decision Making Process format to create a base defense design that adhered to ADA employment principles of mix, mutual support, mobility, mass and integration. The defense design consists of organic SHORAD capabilities and C-UAS systems, using the “mix” employment principle, which is “the employment of a combination of weapons systems to protect the force from the air threat”.
The platoon tactical operations center (TOC) was co-located with the Sentinel Command and Control (C2) Node, which contained the Forward Area Air Defense (FAAD) display, and the static C-UAS system. The C-UAS system was emplaced within close proximity of the defended assets to provide a C-UAS protective sphere around the area of responsibility (AOR). The Sentinel Radar sent air tracks to the nearby Avenger Weapon Systems and to the FAAD display in the TOC, integrating the SHORAD systems.
Avengers were emplaced with primary target lines (PTL) facing the most likely air avenues of approach for hostile UAS as an additional layer of protection. The Avengers were emplaced to provide mutual support by positioning the weapon systems so that the fires of one weapon system could engage targets within the dead zone of the adjacent weapon system. Additionally, the Avenger crews were equipped with a Drone Defender, a man-portable C-UAS system that has a planning range of 500 meters and encompasses the “mobility” employment principle. The Drone Defender allows the crewmembers to non-kinetically engage UAS from any direction up to 500m. One crew member manned the turret of the Avenger at all times and used the FLIR and air picture from the Sentinel Radar to search and scan for incoming aircraft or UAS.
The eight-day operation allowed for leaders of other units to see and explore the capabilities that E/6-52 has to offer. The initial emplacement took two hours from start to finish. Leaders of Echo Battery plan to reduce the emplacement time in order to expeditiously provide C-UAS protection to any operational environment in the KTO. Additionally, this mission validated the ability to conduct C-UAS operations on 8th Army installations with successful results.
The official mission of the Air Defense Artillery (ADA) branch is “to protect the force and selected geopolitical assets from aerial attack, missile attack, and surveillance” (FM 44-100). The U.S. Military invested heavily in Air Defense and developed weapon systems that could eliminate any threat to their force or geopolitical assets since its inception. Air threats can present themselves at vastly different altitudes, so ADA split itself into two main domes of responsibility: High to Medium Range Air Defense (HIMAD) and Short Range Air Defense (SHORAD).
ADA counters threats at all altitudes with its wide array of systems and capabilities. The Patriot and Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense systems were developed and designed to detect and eliminate ballistic missile threats, while the Avenger weapon system was primarily developed for protection against fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft and UAS.
The Avenger weapon system is equipped with eight FIM-92 Stinger Missiles, a M3P .50 caliber machine gun, forward looking infrared (FLIR), and has interoperability capabilities with the Sentinel Radar that gives it slew-to-cue capabilities. Furthermore, the operators can convert the stinger missiles to Man-Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS) and conduct operations as shoulder-mounted Stinger teams. These capabilities allow Avenger platoons to be attached to ground force units.
For the last two decades, the U.S. became immersed in asymmetrical warfare and faced a different aerial threat in the form of rockets, artillery, and mortars. Terrorist groups lacked an air force, so the need for organic SHORAD Avenger units and Stinger teams diminished. However, new technology has advanced UAS as an emerging low cost threat.
UAS are categorized into five Groups according to their size and capabilities. Group I and II UAS are low, slow and small UAS that are incredibly inexpensive in comparison to Group III and above, which are typically described as “military grade” UAS. Group III-V UAS are typically only used by near-peer and peer adversaries and are operated at higher altitudes, longer ranges, and are hard to detect.
UAS which fall into Groups I-II and are exceptionally easy to purchase and use. The accessibility of these products has extraordinarily increased their overall use. Not all UAS operators have hostile intent – many are just drone enthusiasts. However, foreign adversaries and insider threats can utilize COTS UAS to cause significant damage to military operations and critical assets. Distinguishing between a hobbyist and a real threat has generated a problem for the U.S. Military and the third pillar of the Air Defense Mission, “surveillance.” The utilization of UAS by adversaries has been nicknamed the “Poor man’s air force” and provides a number of advantages for those who use UAS in the operational environment.
First, it provides an economic advantage. The loss of a $250 Group I UAS would not be as catastrophic compared to the loss of a multimillion-dollar aircraft and its pilot with thousands of hours invested in the pilot’s training. Additionally, in order to defeat a UAS, the benefit has to exceed the cost. The Patriot weapon system can easily destroy a UAS with different types of interceptors. However, these interceptors range in cost from $2-6 million, while a UAS can cost as little as $100. In a battle of cost attrition, the U.S. would lose in this scenario.
The second advantage is the ability to modify UAS to carry payloads. A payload is any additional weight added to the UAS. A camera with better recording capabilities or an improvised explosive device could serve as a UAS payload. Both pose a significant risk to military operations.
Finally, multiple UAS can be used in a coordinated attack in the form of a swarm. Today every major event utilizes synchronized drones to display complex moving images from the sky. Foreign adversaries possess the same technology and can use UAS swarms with the intent to overwhelm defense systems and attack critical assets. Because of this revolutionary threat, ADA has been forced to adapt accordingly.
E/6-52, currently attached to 2-1 ADA at Camp Carroll, South Korea, has taken the lead of exposing and defeating these threats while simultaneously maintaining organic Avenger and Sentinel skills on the Korean Peninsula. Leaders within Echo Battery developed and implemented training programs for several new, non-program of record C-UAS systems in the Korean Theater of Operations (KTO). The certifications for each C-UAS system ensures Soldiers know and understand the capabilities and limitations of these systems as well as the enemy capabilities and employment techniques.
In the past, the demand for proficient C-UAS operators has been exclusive to the tactical environment – an environment with clearly defined rules of engagement. The threat now pervades both tactical and garrison environments. Most military bases in the KTO are surrounded by highly populated civilian areas with growing numbers of drone enthusiasts, making it difficult to distinguish between civilian hobbyists and possible enemy incursions. It is almost impossible to know who is operating a UAS and what their intentions are.
E/6-52 has been at the forefront of protecting friendly forces in the KTO from UAS threats since November 2017. The 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade has developed a flyaway package to defend military bases and assets against aerial threats; especially the emerging and advancing UAS capability. The purpose of the flyaway package is to provide C-UAS protection to friendly forces across the KTO at a moment’s notice. (Source: UAS VISION)
20 Mar 19. The Kemah Police Department has announced the approval and planned implementation of the FACT Duty™ Weapon-Mounted Camera (WMC™) from Viridian® Weapon Technologies. Viridian and the police department of Kemah will hold a joint press conference on Thursday, March 21 at 9:00 am at the Kemah Community Center (Jimmie Walker Community Center) located at 800 Harris Avenue, Kemah, TX 77565.
In addition to Kemah, there are more than 50 departments in Texas currently using the FACT Duty WMC. Nationally there are over 400 agencies testing and implementing this new technology. The FACT Duty fits standard police duty weapons and holsters and records automatically, providing an unobstructed view from the end of an officer’s firearm. The need for this product continues to be validated in current events throughout the United States.
“At Kemah, we try to be innovative,” said Police Chief Chris Reed. “So if there is a product out there that is going to benefit our officers as well as benefit our residents by adding transparency, then we’re going to jump all over it.
“We have tested and approved the FACT Duty Weapon-Mounted Camera and plan to implement upon securing funds. This technology supports and protects our officers and brings transparency into the highest profile event an officer may experience.”
Viridian has created an important new category for law enforcement with the introduction of the FACT camera. This unique Weapon-Mounted Camera provides an unobstructed view of critical use-of-force events from the end of the firearm, addressing limitations officers can face with body cameras. The highly advanced WMC employs a 1080p full-HD digital camera with a microphone and 500 lumen tactical light. Viridian’s proprietary INSTANT-ON® technology automatically activates the camera and microphone whenever the officer draws the firearm from its holster. Not only does this eliminate risk of failure to manually turn on the camera during a critical event, but it also keeps the officer from fumbling with cumbersome equipment.
“Our FACT Duty is truly standalone—and the need it fills in law enforcement is so important,” said Viridian President and CEO Brian Hedeen. “We’ve been able to get this in the hands of so many departments and seeing the difference it makes is encouraging. The FACT Duty WMC is the only product specifically designed to capture Officer Involved Shootings (OIS). The technology achieves this in a manner that is not cost prohibitive, requires no manual step or extra training in the field, doesn’t add to administrative duties or processes and even provides a tactical advantage to officers. At Viridian, we pride ourselves on our independence and our innovation—and we’re happy Kemah has approved omething so important to modern policing.”
Easy Purchase and Implementation
FACT WMCs do not require the purchase of supplemental equipment or services and are designed exclusively to answer the needs of today’s officers. The WMC generates just a small fraction of the data to manage compared to other law enforcement recording options because it only records when the officer’s weapon is drawn.
After the purchase of the WMC, there are no maintenance fees, monthly charges or other significant expenses required. This results in significantly lower comparative data management costs than other evidentiary camera systems. The FACT Duty is a one-and-done solution for law enforcement administrators and purchasing departments.
The WMCs fit on existing standard-issue firearms and fit seamlessly in multiple duty holster platforms, making it easy for implementation by any law enforcement agency. The cameras feature a recording time of over three hours to handle virtually any scenario. They also incorporate secured data access and are easily rechargeable.
Just last month, the Vernon Police Department became the first department in the state of Texas to complete implementation of the FACT Duty from Viridian—the leader in Weapon-Mounted technology. Body and dash cameras were not designed to capture officer-involved shootings. However, Viridian WMCs were designed specifically for this purpose.
20 Mar 19. Meet the new Thales 4D AESA family member: The Ground Master 200 Multi Mission! The complexity of battlefield environments is evolving, as is the threat-scape armed forces must face during air surveillance and weapons coordination operations. Modern combat includes smaller and more agile targets, low flying threats that can quickly change speeds to evade radar detection and tracking. In this ecosystem, timeliness and quality of information are crucial, which is why Thales has developed a new radar in the 4D AESA family, the Ground Master 200 Multi Mission.
The Ground Master 200 establishes tracks faster and keeps them locked for longer, thus maximising time on target. This gives units the time to evaluate the threat and take appropriate action. Because it makes full use of Thales’s digital technology capabilities, it also manages to acquire smaller and slower targets.
At the core of Ground Master 200 is the technological legacy of the entire 4D AESA family products (1st note), fruit of years of user experiences in operations by over 20 armed forces. It includes Thales’s scalable and upgradable antenna architecture and software defined radar technology that offers upgrade capacity over the whole life cycle. It also features “dual-axis multi-beam”, which gives unrestricted steering flexibility in elevation and bearing.
The system will be offered in two versions, an “all in one” for air surveillance and ground based air defense up to medium range, and a “compact” version scalable to specific missions like artillery Counter Battery and Weapon Locating (2nd note). Both versions are very user friendly, highly automated, and easy to transport. Both are also in advanced stage of development with first serial unit deliveries expected in 2021 (3rd note).
- 4D AESA family products:
NS100/200, Ground Master 200 Multi Mission, SM400, SMART-L MM, Sea Fire and Ground Fire.
- Ground Master 200 Multi Mission versions:
The “all in one” version, abbreviated GM200 MM/A, is mainly targeting Air Surveillance as well as Ground Based Air Defense operations up to entry level Medium Range Air Defense (MRAD). It maintains the well-known Ground Master 200 integrated C2 shelter including the radar mast to gain elevation for low level air surveillance and 2 operators on board.
The “compact” version, abbreviated GM200 MM/C, is a pallet version offering higher tactical mobility and quicker deployment as required by some specific missions like artillery Counter Battery and Weapon Locating. It also suits well Air Defense missions at very short or short range (VSHORAD/SHORAD) like its brother version, the Ground Master 200 Multi Mission “all in one”.
- First contract signed
Royal Netherlands Army/Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) have signed a first contract for 9 Ground Master 200 Multi Mission “compact”, under the projecti ‘Counter-Rocket Artillery Mortar and Class 1-UAV detection capacity’.
20 Mar 19. Belarusian KB Radar Updated Drone Gun at MILEX 2019. New Belarusian solutions and radio-electronic warfare systems to fight unmanned aerial vehicles will be presented during the international defense industry expo MILEX 2019 in May, representatives of the State Military Industrial Committee of Belarus told BelTA. In early 2017 the Belarusian company KB Radar unveiled a radioelectronic gun Groza-R. It is a jamming transmitter designed to fight multicopters. The new product was presented virtually simultaneously with similar products from leading manufacturers from the USA, Israel, Australia, and China.
The Belarusian gun was one of the most effective solutions for fighting compact mass-produced flying drones. Some of Belarusian security agencies were unhappy with the product. They spoke in favor of needing a smaller solution that can fit into one case.
The updated gun Groza-R2 is more compact and lighter. It has less powerful transmission power. The first gun had an effective range of up to 3km and was fitted with a backpack with powerful amplifiers and accumulators. Its total weight was as large as 18kg. The second gun’s components are smaller, fit into a single module, and weigh a total of 7kg, with the effective range of about 500m. The drone gun Groza-R2 is designed to suppress control links of multicopters in the two civilian radio bands – 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz. Onboard GPS and GLONASS satellite navigation systems are also suppressed. (Source: UAS VISION/Belarus News)
19 Mar 19. Fire Control System Market worth $7.3bn by 2023. The global fire control system market is projected to grow from USD 5.9bn in 2018 to USD 7.3bn by 2023, at a CAGR of 4.37% from 2018 to 2023. This growth can be attributed to the rising demand for precision weapon systems, advancements in automatic weapon systems, increasing incidences of armed conflicts, war, and terrorism, which are driving the demand for fire control systems globally.
Based on platform, the fire control system market is projected to be led by the land segment from 2018 to 2023. Fire control systems bolster the defense capabilities of land platforms and provide greater safety to soldiers during war and anti-terrorist operations. Increase in defense expenditures by US, Russia, China, and Saudi Arabia, India. Additionally, the expansion of military capabilities by emerging nations have accelerated the demand for fire control systems for different classes of armored vehicles. For instance, in January 2018, BAE Systems was awarded a contract worth USD 46.8m by the US Navy to upgrade the existing MK45 naval guns to increase the firepower and extend the range of weapons.
Based on weapon class, the launchers segment of the fire control system market is projected to lead from 2018 to 2023. This growth can be attributed to the enhancement of troop safety and the replacement of old launchers with modern automated launchers by militaries around the world for various platforms, such as land, naval, and airborne. The demand for automatic grenade, missile, rocket, and torpedo launchers has increased in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific, thereby leading to the increasing need for EO/IR and integrated fire control systems. Various US defense companies are manufacturing advanced weapon stations with integrated fire control systems.
The fire control system market in North America is expected to witness substantial growth during the forecast period due to the high demand for fire control systems from the US Department of Defense. Fire control systems are integrated into larger advanced weapon platforms for enhanced target acquisition and firing. Advanced fire control systems are manufactured mainly by US defense companies, such as General Dynamics Corporation (US) and Raytheon Company (US). These factors are leading to an increasing demand for fire control systems in North America.
Rapid growth of the fire control system market in the Asia Pacific can be attributed to the increasing defense budgets to innovate and develop robust fire control systems by emerging countries, such as China and India. China is rapidly reforming its military weapons and systems, whereas India recently signed a deal with Russia for the supply of 464 T-90 tanks with remote weapon stations mounted on them. The increase in defense expenditures by India and China and the expansion of military capabilities by emerging nations have accelerated the demand for fire control systems for different platforms such as land, airborne, and naval.
Major players in the fire control system market include companies, such as Elbit Systems Ltd (Israel), General Dynamics Corporation (US), Rheinmetall AG (Germany), BAE Systems (UK), Lockheed Martin (US), Safran (France), Leonardo (Italy), Raytheon Company (US), SAAB (Sweden), Aselsan A.S. (Turkey), Northrop Grumman (US), and Israel Aerospace Industries (Israel), which have made significant contributions to the global fire control system market. (Source: ASD Network)
19 Mar 19. Raytheon Company’s Enterprise Air Surveillance Radar just took a 12-hour trip down the Eastern Seaboard. EASR, the newest sensor in the U.S. Navy’s SPY-6 family of radars, recently completed subsystem testing at Raytheon’s Near Field Range in Sudbury, Massachusetts. The 6′ x 6′ rotating array was wrapped, loaded onto a flatbed truck and eventually crane-lifted onto a 100 foot test tower at the Surface Combat Systems Center at Wallops Island, Virginia. Once up and running, the radar will undergo system-level testing, tracking a variety of aircraft through the end of 2019.
EASR is the Navy’s next generation radar for aircraft carriers and amphibious warfare ships that provides simultaneous anti-air and anti-surface warfare, electronic protection and air traffic control capabilities.
“Going from ‘cold steel’ to a fully calibrated radar in less than one year is no small feat, but that’s exactly what we accomplished with EASR,” said U.S. Navy Captain Jason Hall, Program Manager for Above Water Sensors, Program Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems. “The scalable building block architecture developed for AN/SPY-6(V)1 enabled EASR to rapidly complete subsystem testing. We are making great strides toward delivering SPY-6 capability across the fleet.”
Raytheon is building two variants of EASR: a single-face rotating array designated AN/SPY-6(V)2 for amphibious assault ships and Nimitz class carriers, and a three fixed-face array designated AN/SPY-6(V)3 for Ford class aircraft carriers and the future FFG(X) guided missile frigates.
Both versions of EASR are built on scalable Radar Modular Assembly technology as well as a software baseline that has been matured through development and recent test successes of AN/SPY-6(V)1 the U.S. Navy’s program of record for the DDG 51 Flight III destroyers. Each RMA is a self-contained radar in a 2′ x 2′ x 2′ box. These individual radars can integrate together to form arrays of various sizes to address any mission on any ship. EASR also adds air traffic control and weather capabilities to the mature SPY-6 software baseline.
Upon completion of system-level testing in Q4 2019, EASR will shift from the engineering and manufacturing development phase to the production phase. The 1st delivery of AN/SPY-6(V)2 to LHA-8, the America Class Amphibious Assault Ship, is on plan for 2021.
17 Mar 19. Is it a drone? Or is it a rifle? Small drones are a thorny problem for militaries looking to secure their airspace. Cheap costs, small radar profiles, and the high price of existing anti-aircraft missiles mean irregular forces can harass uniformed military from the sky, without a ready countermeasure on hand. Russia, whose forces have faced attacks from irregular groups using drones in Ukraine and Syria, is experimenting with a range of approaches. On March 12, Russia’s Federal Service for Intellectual Property posted the registration of a novel counter-drone drone, an unmanned aerial interceptor vehicle built around a rifle. This still-unmanned interceptor is a tail-sitting drone. With two rotors, it can take off and land vertically, and then level off to fly horizontally, the lifting rotors now working as propellers. It has a wingspan of nearly 10 feet, a total weight of around 51 lbs, and a total flight time of 40 minutes. The flight time is short for vehicles of its size but longer than that of the cheaper commercial quadcopters that are its likely targets.
Once it gets close to those targeted drones, the interceptor is built to fire with the Vepr 12 rifle inside its fuselage.
If the design seems like something dreamed up in a dorm room, that’s not entirely far off. The origins of this interceptor date back to the work of a student design bureau in 2016, which created at least one prototype of the vehicle. The interceptor patent was granted to the Almaz-Antey defense corporation, which has been pursuing the design ever since.
“This CUAS drone is in line with in increasing number of technologies and designs created to combat hostile drones,” says Samuel Bendett, an adviser at the Center for Naval Analyses. “Russians think that it’s important to fight adversary drones not just from the ground via a number of electronic and kinetic countermeasures, but in the air itself. Hence this rifle drone joining the Carnivora cUAS drone.”
The interceptor joins a whole range of new Russian counter-drone tools. The aforementioned Carnivora drone is built to launch nets and explosives at hostile drones from the sky. Other designs, like an anti-air gun turret on the back of a technical-inspired ATV, are about brute forcing a way through a complex program with rapid firepower. All three of these solutions are likely appropriate on a battlefield, where the rules of engagement permit expenditure of ammunition, but are somewhat limited to operating in areas where civilians are present. Every bullet fired that fails to hit a drone is a potential tragedy. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
17 Mar 19. DroneShield has today released an ASX announcement with regards to a Memorandum of Understanding between DroneShield and Public Telecommunication Co (STC Specialized). The Public Telecommunication Co also known as STC Specialized (“STC Specialized”) and DroneShield Ltd (ASX:DRO or DRO.AU) (“DroneShield”), are pleased to release the following joint statement. The Saudi Telecom Company (“STC”) is the only national licensed Kingdom of Saudi Arabia operator providing the business sector, governmental, industrial and commercial sectors, with services and solutions addressing instant collective wireless communications.
STC Specialized is the executive arm of the STC whose mission is implementing solutions for Critical Communications, by aiming at boosting the communication channels between ambulatory and fixed working groups in various business sectors, at the highest standards of efficiency and effectiveness.
Under the guidance of the government of the Kingdom, STC Specialized seeks to fulfil a long-term vision for a globally integrated and diverse Saudi economy, and to operate as a trusted global player that partners with the world’s best. Among STC Specialized’s partners in the aerospace and defense industry are Airbus, Motorola and Inmarsat. STC Specialized is pleased to add DroneShield to that list.
STC Specialized’s customers include Saudi Aramco, Saudi Ministry of Defence, General Directorate of Civil Defence, Saudi Airlines, SaudElectricity Company, Rabigh Refining Company, General Directorate of Narcotics Control, and a large number of other largest Saudi Government and enterprise customers.
Nefarious use, and the potential for nefarious use, of commercial and consumer grade drones in the Middle East is now well-documented. STC Specialized is pleased to partner with DroneShield, an effective global leader in drone detection and mitigation.
DroneShield (ASX:DRO or DRO.AU) is a public Australian company whose products provide protection to people and critical infrastructure from intrusions by commercial / consumer grade drones. DroneShield’s products include DroneSentinel™ (a sensor fusion, multi-method drone detection system), DroneSentry™ (a combined detection and interdiction system), and DroneGun™ Tactical (a handheld rifle-shaped drone-mitigation device).
STC Specialized and DroneShield were pleased to execute a Memorandum of Understanding (the “MOU”) to document the start of their relationship. Under the MOU, STC Specialized and DroneShield have acknowledged that theirs is a strategic relationship for both parties, and that they will co-operate on sales opportunities in the Kingdom and the broader Middle East, with a particular focus on governmental customers in Saudi Arabia. STC Specialized will focus on managing local relationships and providing pre and post-sale customer service, education and support, while DroneShield will supply its drone detection and mitigation products.
12 Mar 19. Germany’s DFS links its developing UTM network to Rheinmetall’s drone detection system. World ATM Congress Drone incidents reported by pilots more than doubled to 158 in Germany compared to the prior year, according to a press statement by German air navigation service provider DFS Deutsche Flugsicherun. In response, DFS has developed an interface for data communication between its UTM and drone detection systems used for preventing disruptions caused by “bad” drones. In February, DFS and Rheinmetall, Germany’s largest supplier for defence technology, tested an integration together with the Bundeswehr, Germany’s armed forces. Air traffic data were exchanged with advanced radar systems, with acoustic and infrared sensors, and with optical equipment to detect a potentially threatening drone. A catch-and-carry drone threw a net over the disruptive drone and took it to the ground.
“Drones offer so many positive aspects over conventional methods,” said Thilo Vogt, Head of UAS/UTM Development and Solutions at the German air navigation service provider DFS. “However, drones also pose a growing risk to air traffic. The aviation world is at a turning point. Integrating drones into the airspace opens up new worlds – but also poses new challenges with regard to safety.”
The DFS/Deutsch Telekom UTM system is an advanced version of the air traffic control system Phoenix, a DFS in-house development which can process position data from a range of sources. Drones equipped with a special LTE transponder connect to the mobile network and transmit their position to the UTM. The UTM system then displays the air situation, shows surrounding traffic and warns of potential conflicts. Protected areas, for example around airports, can be displayed. The UTM system is highly automated and provides the required information to all parties involved. Air traffic controllers receive the data they need to ensure safety in airspace. Airspace users can see each other and can be seen. Even position data of VFR aircraft (via FLARM and ADS-B) are provided. Drone pilots can receive information over a web interface and manage their flights using a tablet or smartphone. (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
14 Mar 19. Echodyne to Provide Radar for NASA UTM Program. Echodyne, the manufacturer of innovative, high-performance radars for government and commercial markets, announced that its radar platform has been selected by two Technology Capability Level 4 (TCL4) awardees of NASA’s UAS Traffic Management (UTM) program – Lone Star UAS Center of Excellence & Innovation at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, and Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems Unmanned Aviation Safety (NIAS-UAS) Center of Excellence. NASA’s UTM project has progressed to TCL4 which will demonstrate and test UAS missions in higher-density urban areas as well as technologies to manage large-scale operations. Echodyne’s inclusion in these TCL4 awards follows from previous TCL2 and TCL3 project work at multiple FAA test sites across the US.
One of the keys to opening the skies to UAS business opportunities is situational awareness technologies that promote safe mission operations.
In dense urban areas, commercial UAS must be able to detect and avoid other aircraft and obstacles either through onboard sensors and systems or remotely through ground-based sensors and communications. For manned aircraft, the pilot performs this detect and avoid function. For unmanned aircraft, there needs to be a technological solution supported by an appropriate regulatory framework. Echodyne’s radar platform offers a technology solution for sensors mounted on commercial UAS or deployed along UAS corridors and other pre-defined UAS traffic frameworks.
As demonstrated in every national airspace every day, radar is the indispensable sensor for managing airspace mission safety. The EchoGuard radar is an innovative ground-based airspace management sensor that provides market-leading detection and tracking performance for its compact size and low weight, power, and cost. The EchoFlight airborne radar provides similar detect-and-avoid (DAA) benefits when mounted on commercial UAS airframes. Together, Echodyne radars offer unprecedented price-performance to help advance the UAS industry.
“We are proud to have worked with the NASA UTM team and FAA test sites for the past several years and are pleased our radar performance brings us back for increasingly more challenging mission parameters,” said Eben Frankenberg, CEO of Echodyne. “Our unique MESA radar technology increases airspace safety and elevates mission performance across the UAS market.” (Source: UAS VISION)
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.