Sponsored by Blighter Surveillance Systems
29 May 19. US Army Seeks Optic for Next-Gen Squad Weapon. The Army is looking to pair the next-generation squad weapon with a new optic to boost soldiers’ accuracy. The new optics are expected to help troops improve their accuracy when firing the new weapon, said Doug Tamilio, director of the Combat Capabilities Development Command Soldier Center.
“This is fire control,” he said. “If you think about the ability of a soldier to get a first round on target, it’s critical. And this device, coupled with that weapon system, will allow them to do that.”
The next-gen squad weapon is intended to replace the service’s M4 carbine and M249 squad automatic weapon. The Army chose Textron System’s AAI Corporation; FN America LLC, which is producing two rifles; General Dynamics-OTS Inc.; PCP Tactical LLC; and Sig Sauer Inc. to develop prototype rifles. Plans also include developing a new 6.8 mm round to improve warfighters’ performance in close- and long-range fights.
The service wants a technology readiness level 6 optic with a digital camera, advanced target recognition and tracking algorithms, Tamilio said at the Association of the United States Army’s Global Force Symposium in Huntsville, Alabama. TRL 6 systems have a representative model or prototype ready for testing in a relevant environment.
“We’re looking at a significant increase in the probability of the first-round hit, and that’s done by some different ways,” he noted.
Similar to features on the XM25, the optics will be able to help soldiers adjust their aim points with an electromagnetic trigger, Tamilio said. The semi-automatic XM25 counter-defilade target engagement system — also known as the “Punisher” — was canceled by the Army last year.
Requirements for the new device include a direct view optic with a digital overlay display, laser range finder, ballistic calculator and atmospheric sensor suite, according to a special notice released on FedBizOpps in December. Additionally, soldiers must be able to use the system in an environment without power, meaning that digital imagers must be a supplementary feature, it said.
The total weight of the fire control system on the next-generation squad weapon must not exceed 2 pounds with the direct view optic, digital imager, batteries and any ancillary processors or sensors, the notice stated. (Source: glstrade.com/National Defense)
30 May 19. Leonardo to supply PicoSAR radars for CAF’s ISTAR drones. Leonardo has been awarded a contract to provide its PicoSAR active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars for new surveillance drones for the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).
The contract was awarded by QinetiQ, which is the prime contractor for the delivery of unmanned intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) aircraft to the CAF.
Designed and manufactured by Leonardo in Edinburgh, Scotland, PicoSAR is capable of providing ground mapping and surveillance capabilities in all weather conditions.
AESA radars will be deployed at sea and on land, for domestic and international operations.
Leonardo noted that the radar can deliver high-performance E-Scan surveillance capabilities in an extremely compact package.
The ISTAR drones due to be delivered to CAF are based on the lightweight UMS Skeldar V-200 unmanned aerial system (UAS).
Equipping these aircraft with the AESA radar will enable operators to benefit from different modes, including high-resolution synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imaging and ground moving target indication (GMTI), the company added.
In a statement, Leonardo said: “The contract is an example of Leonardo’s open approach to partnerships in the service of providing the best solution for a customer’s needs.
“In this case, Leonardo has worked closely with QinetiQ to ensure that the PicoSAR radar is the perfect fit for the needs of the Canadian Armed Forces.”
The company has delivered its E-Scan surveillance radars to 30 countries. PicoSAR has been installed on more than ten different aircraft.
QinetiQ was awarded the unmanned aircraft systems contract earlier this month. The drone will help enhance situational awareness and deliver ISTAR services to the Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Special Operations Forces Command. Leonardo is one of QinetiQ’s four principal partners to deliver ISTAR services. The remaining three partners include Canadian-UAV, UMS SKELDAR and Wescam. (Source: army-technology.com)
30 May 19. ABOM® Introduces First Fully Integrated Augmented Reality (AR) Goggle Designed to Meet Military Standards and Extreme Use-Case Performance. The new ABOM® P3 AR Goggle design features the integrated VX Inc. CNED AR display technology and an array of integrated image sensors and highly advanced embedded electronics applications to meet the demands of AR used in Safety, Industrial and Military market applications.
The ABOM P3 Goggle design integrates display technology that feature stereoscopic dual displays with ultra-high brightness output with adjustable control and 1080p output. The P3 AR solution features 3D spatial mapping and tracking, extremely accurate tracking of orientation, velocity and positioning using IMU/GPS-GNSS/INS capability. ABOM also introduces the first augmented reality display solution optimized with Military Ballistics rated Lens (MIL-PRF 32432A) to the MCEP compliance meeting many challenging elements of the US ARMY’s IVAS specification (HUD 3.0). ABOM P3 features also include advanced thermal image sensors, advanced image and visual processing, and extremely accurate tracking capability of orientation, velocity and positioning using embedded GPS/GNSS/INS receiver technology. Embedded within the Goggle Chassis is an ultra-high performance Depth Camera supported by two Infrared (IR) cameras optimized for low-light conditions up to 10 meters.
ABOM P3 AR goggle is field-use ready and designed for extreme environmental durability and cold-weather climate conditions where demanding ruggedized performance is critical. The P3 for Industrial applications also meets ANSI Z87.1+ high mass impact rating and IP-55 Ingress Protection for water and dust protection, which opens the door for supporting the National Safety Council technology initiatives and requirements for meeting extreme IP-67 rating compliance.
“ABOM P3 AR goggle solution is a purpose-built Augmented Reality eyewear system that incorporates ABOM’s patented ultra-low power thin-film technology, making it impossible for fog to survive on the inner surface of the eyewear,” said Kyle Cherry, CEO of VX Inc.
“ABOM’s award-winning heated goggle technology, now Military approved, has made integration and optimization with immersive, augmented reality display technology the perfect solution for highly ruggedized extreme use-cases that exceed industry standards for both quality and performance. ABOM’s development partner for the P3 Goggle, VX Inc., has pushed the limits of mechanical and electrical engineering design performance,” said Jack Cornelius, ABOM CEO. “We are thrilled to have achieved this level of advanced embedded electronics and application integration based on ABOM’s goggle form factor requirement and ABOM’s goal to meet the majority of the challenging US ARMY IVAS HUD 3.0 specification. This new level of advanced AR design and integration brings a vast amount of exciting new functionality, capability and applications for safety, industrial and military markets.” (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
29 May 19. Counter Drone At Open Spirit 2019. The two-week NATO exercise Open Spirit 2019 included the Harbour Protection Exercise (HPEX 19). Within the framework of HPEX 19, the Lithuanian Navy practiced the protection of port facilities for civil and military seafaring in the port of Klaipeda. The Lithuanian forces were supported by the NATO Center of Excellence for Operations in Narrow and Shallow Waters (NATO COE CSW), the German Seebataillon and the Bundeswehr Technical Center for Ships and Naval Weapons, Maritime Technology and Research (WTD 71).
In this context, ESG demonst rated its modular drone defence system GUARDION in front of numerous h i g h – r a n k i n g spectators. The system was able to safely detect and track a drone launched at sea and classified as uncooperative. In the end, a series of suitable defence devices for the challenging scenario of a port environment was demonstrated.
The mobile or stationary GUARDION drone defence solution is a cooperative project between ESG, Rohde & Schwarz and Diehl Defence, with the components command, control, intelligence/reconnaissance and defence. The solution is open for the integration of additional sensors and defence measures and can be adapted to the requirements of the respective users. (Source: ESD Spotlight)
29 May 19. Anti-Drone System. Indra recently presented its anti-drone system that can operate in an integrated manner with anti-aircraft defense systems to multiply its effectiveness in the protection of military bases and installations. According to the company ARMS (Anti RPAS Multisensor System) increases security because it works both independently and autonomously, and might also be integrated with most anti-aircraft systems.
“It has the most advanced countermeasures to disrupt and saturate the drone‘s communications, along with its location and navigation systems. It also uses spoofing techniques to distort the real GPS signal, hindering or even blocking its ability to navigate,” Indra stated.
Indra’s ARMS system has already been tested in the area of operations against real threats, in addition to having been acquired by the Ministry of Defense of an Asian country, having confirmed its effectiveness. (Source: ESD Spotlight)
29 May 19. As members of Team SkyGuardian Canada and supporters of the MQ-9B SkyGuardian Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) for Canada’s RPAS Project, L3 WESCAM and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) are integrating WESCAM’s MX™-20 electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) imaging system onto the SkyGuardian RPAS, as well as the MQ-9 Reaper that is currently being operated by several NATO countries. Team SkyGuardian Canada is a coalition of Canadian companies committed to delivering the best RPAS for Canada. Field-proven, with extensive deployment, WESCAM’s MX-20 is equipped with high-sensitivity multi-spectral sensors for day, low-light and nighttime missions, and offers low-risk “plug-and-play” installation. The MX-20 operates with detection and recognition capabilities at high altitudes in support of persistent surveillance missions.
“Integrating capabilities from L3 WESCAM and our other Team SkyGuardian partners – CAE and MDA – provides the most capable RPAS solution and the best economic value for Canada,” said Linden Blue, CEO, GA-ASI. “The MX-20 integration on MQ-9 builds on our successful integration of the WESCAM MX-15 onto our Predator XP aircraft. Taking advantage of our close North American relationship, our companies can cooperate to provide unprecedented levels of innovation and business opportunity with our RPAS.”
GA-ASI has been proactive in integrating L3 WESCAM products onto their RPAS. “Team SkyGuardian is a significant benefit to L3 WESCAM and provides more opportunities for the modular growth path of the WESCAM MX-20 as mission portfolios evolve and the battlespace continues to change on a global scale,” said Jacques Comtois, Vice President and General Manager of L3 WESCAM. “MX systems are the eyes of customers across more than 80 countries worldwide.”
L3’s WESCAM MX-Series has been engineered to focus on the three factors that drive maximum range: resolution, magnification and stabilization. As a result, each turret has outperformed its major competitor in every performance area, giving WESCAM the longest EO/IR target identification and designating ranges in the industry.
GA‑ASI is the world’s leading manufacturer of RPAS and related mission systems. Team SkyGuardian Canada combines the best of Canadian industry with the world’s most advanced Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance (MALE) RPAS, the MQ-9B SkyGuardian, being developed to fulfill Canada’s RPAS project requirements.
29 May 19. Fire Control Unit For 40mm Grenades. At SOFIC FN Herstal presents the FN fire control unit FCU Mk3. The complete sighting and aiming solution for 40 mm low (LV) and medium velocity (MV) grenade launchers calculates the trajectory of grenades and provides an adapted point of aim which enables the grenadier to achieve first strikes under all conditions – day and night. The FN FCU Mk3 consists of a laser rangefinder, a large aiming window for easy target acquisition, sensors for temperature, angles of elevation and cant, a ballistic calculator and a self-adjusting electronic reticle. It also has a quick detach base through a MIL-STD-1913 interface and a manually operated lever.
Taken together, all these functions contribute to drastically increase the hit probability of the 40mm grenade system in defence and security operations. The FN FCU Mk3 can be mounted on any rifle or carbine. www.fnherstal.com(Source: ESD Spotlight)
29 May 19. ASW sonar system to undergo at-sea trials. Marine acoustics house GeoSpectrum Technologies is preparing to undertake new at-sea trials of its Towed Reelable Active Passive Sonar (TRAPS) antisubmarine warfare (ASW) sonar system in conjunction with the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN). Trials from a Kingston-class coastal defence vessel are planned to take place off Halifax, Nova Scotia, in the coming weeks. These will be followed towards the end of 2019 by an evaluation of the system’s torpedo detection functionality at the Canadian Forces Maritime Experimental and Test Ranges facility in Nanoose Bay, off Vancouver Island. A first set of sea trials was performed from the Kingston-class coastal defence vessel HMCS Shawinigan in mid-2018.
GeoSpectrum, a wholly owned subsidiary of Elbit Systems (Booth 1421) based in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, has developed TRAPS to meet requirements for a compact, lightweight and low-cost active/ passive variable depth sonar that can be accommodated on smaller ships. According to the company, the system is unique because it uses a 2kHz active sound source that operates as a vertical projector array, but stows on a single winch drum with the receive array and tow cable. This configuration allows for a single tow, thus negating the need for a complex launch and recovery system, and so reducing footprint weight and cost.
The containerised TRAPS system incorporates the sonar projector as well as the winch drum/ fairlead (supplied by Curtiss-Wright’s INDAL business), receive array and tow cable. An operator console can also be accommodated in the container to provide a fully self-contained capability. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
29 May 19. Protecting Military Satellites. Indra is developing a new radar that should be capable of detecting the approach of hostile satellites that attempt to damage, interfere with or spy on space military assets for the Spanish Armed Forces. According to the company the radar will also monitor the position of spy satellites of other powers and follow the trajectory of ballistic missiles
“The radar that Indra has developed and that continues to evolve for the Spanish surveillance and space monitoring system S3T will offer our country the ability to protect satellites and space assets from unintentional threats, such as spatial debris, and deliberate, such as enemy missiles or satellites. Implemented at Morón Air Base, in Seville, it is one of the most powerful radars in Europe and the world, with the capacity to detect objects at altitudes of 2,000 kilometers,” Indra stated. “The radar has already demonstrated its high accuracy in the detection and calculation of the trajectories of objects that orbit out of control in low orbits. The information collected in this case reduces the risk that the International Space Station and satellites in operation might suffer an impact and it increases the safety of new launches.”
Within these tests Indra’s radar detected, just several hours after the event, the cloud of debris that India generated by destroying one of its own satellites, known as Microsat-R, in a demonstration of strength that highlighted the military capabilities of India as a military power. (Source: ESD Spotlight)
28 May 19. India in advanced negotiations for two A330 aircraft for indigenous AEW&C programme. India’s government-run Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is in advanced negotiations with Airbus Defence and Space to procure two A330 military transport aircraft for fitment with indigenously designed airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) systems that will enable for longer-range surveillance and target detection. Industry sources told Jane’s on 28 May that price negotiations to acquire the two platforms for the Indian Air Force (IAF) are expected to be concluded “imminently”, with a contract set to follow by the end of the year. According to the sources, Airbus would be required to deliver the A330s with structural modifications, power and endurance adaptations as well as assorted provisions to support the AEW&C systems designed by the DRDO’s Centre for Airborne Systems (CABS).(Source: IHS Jane’s)
24 May 19. Saab: First GlobalEye plane for UAE will be ready next spring. The first of three GlobalEye surveillance aircraft developed for the United Arab Emirates by Swedish defense group Saab is on schedule to be delivered in April 2020, says Håkan Buskhe, Saab’s CEO.
Meanwhile, the second of the aircraft undertook its first flight last January so the test program is on schedule, Lars Tossman, head of radar solutions for Saab, confirmed at a media event here.
The first aircraft is currently being tested in Granada, Spain, where weather conditions more closely resemble those of the client than in Sweden. The third aircraft is under production.
The $1.27bn launch contract for this airborne surveillance program was signed in November 2015, and 28 months later GlobalEye undertook its maiden flight. Based on a Bombardier Global 6000/6500 ultra long-range aircraft, modified by Saab to be able to carry the tonne-weight of the new Erieye ER (extended range) radar on its back, GlobalEye also carries a maritime surveillance radar which can detect targets as small as a jet-ski. Tossman explained that the maritime radar, when used in combination with Erieye ER, would enable a periscope to be detected. The aircraft also carries a long-range, wide-area, ground-moving target indicator.
Erik Weinberg, senior director for radar solutions at Saab, explained that the S-band used by the new Erieye is extremely difficult to jam given its narrow beam and low side lobes. It was not developed specifically for GlobalEye but because “anti-jamming has always been an important consideration [for Sweden] given our neighbour [Russia],” he explained.
Despite the payload, the aircraft apparently handles well, “flying very much like the VIP version,” says Tossman, adding that GlobalEye would compete in the global market for surveillance aircraft even for “customers who might not choose the same configuration.”
Saab has been able to set up a wholly owned radar company in Abu Dhabi, Saab Ltd., to help service the system and be a base for its radar systems in the Middle East. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/C4ISR & Networks)
24 May 19. New German corvettes to be better protected thanks to Thales monitoring fire control system.
- All new German corvettes will be equipped with the Electro-Optical Director MIRADOR Mk2.
- Thales makes full use of its expertise in key digital technologies to complete its share in the German K130 project.
- MIRADOR Mk2 is a fully digitized system and will provide the German Navy better information on targets with accurate tracking data for fire control.
The MIRADOR Mk2 is a compact, Electro-Optical observation and tracking system that Thales will deliver to the German Navy for the new corvettes (K130). This contract, together with the one signed in March 2018 for the delivery of the TACTICOS infrastructure for the Combat Direction System (CDS), completes the share Thales has in the K130 project.
The signed MIRADOR Mk2 contract includes 12 systems. Thus, all five new German corvettes will be equipped with two MIRADOR Mk2 systems. In addition, two ‘land-based’ systems are to be supplied for test and training purposes.
MIRADOR Mk2 is a monitoring, tracking and fire control system with an unobtrusive design that will contribute to the efforts of a ship to remain unnoticed. MIRADOR Mk2 is designed for use on a large number of platforms, from small patrol vessels to large frigates companies, where it functions as an observation system and fire control director for optical surveillance at a distance, but also for anti-surface warfare and anti-air warfare against fighters and missiles.
The fully digitized system gets a cutting edge Electro-Optical sensor suite and has a strongly improved operational performance (Detection, Recognition and Identification). This will give the German Navy even better information of the target as MIRADOR Mk2 complies with all European directives and German regulations, including cyber security by design IT Security. The signed contract also includes an option for supplying 10 additional MIRADOR Mk2 systems for the modernization of the first batch of K130 vessels.
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.