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RADAR, EO/IR, NIGHT VISION AND SURVEILLANCE UPDATE

Sponsored by Blighter Surveillance Systems

www.blighter.com

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05 June 19. DroneShield Ltd (ASX:DRO or DRO.AU) (“DroneShield” or the “Company”) and Collins Aerospace Systems, a unit of United Technologies (NYSE: UTX), have entered a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) to collaborate on opportunities with the Australian military and globally, with a focus on adding DroneShield’s counter-drone capabilities to customers already utilising the broader surveillance systems produced by Collins Aerospace. Collins Aerospace is one of the world’s largest suppliers of aerospace and defence products. In Australia, it holds a number of current contracts within the Australian Defence Force. DroneShield is a public Australian company whose products include a suite of counter-drone technologies, capable of protecting bases and forward deployed groups against enemy drone threats. The products include DroneSentinel™, a sensor fusion, multi-method drone detection system and DroneSentry™ (a combined detection and interdiction system), DroneGun TacticalTM (a handheld rifle-shaped drone-mitigation device) and RfPatrolTM (body-worn drone detection device).

DroneShield’s Chief Executive Officer Oleg Vornik commented, “Collins Aerospace has a leading position in the Australian defence market and we’re pleased to work together on opportunities that complement our capabilities to enhance customer value.”

04 June 19. DroneShield has today released the following announcement to the ASX. DroneShield Ltd (ASX:DRO) (“DroneShield” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that it has commenced the rollout of firmware version 1.1 of its DroneShieldCompleteTM software for its DroneSentinelTM and DroneSentryTM counterdrone systems. The enhancements include a number of features, such as pinpointing locations of pilots of detected drones. This allows for additional counterdrone procedures by customers, such as apprehending the pilots instead of neutralising the drones directly. This is expected to be of a substantial benefit for customers who are not legally able to deploy drone countermeasures, as well as enabling them to deal with the cause of the drone-related issues.

DroneShield’s CEO Oleg Vornik commented, “The addition of the capability to locate and apprehend drone pilots without the need for taking down the drone has been developed in response to significant customer demand, and we expect this feature to be utilised by a number of our customers”.

06 June 19. SNC wins USAF contract to develop DVES for HH-60G aircraft. Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has secured a contract from the US Air Force (USAF) to provide the Degraded Visual Environment System (DVES) for HH-60G aircraft. The contract covers system design, development, integration and testing of the system on the HH-60G aircraft.

The DVES system is designed to allow pilots to safely take off or land in aircraft-induced brownout and whiteout conditions.

Integration of the system will help overcome operational limitations, increase safety and lower equipment costs.

SNC electronic and information systems business area executive vice-president Greg Cox said: “We are honoured to provide the most advanced and capable DVE solution available today to our country’s combat search and rescue aircrews.

“Our DVE solutions leverage over a decade of experience and investment to provide the most mature, safe and comprehensive solution available for mitigating the effects of DVE.”

SNC stated that 58% of helicopter losses and 52% of fatalities occurred during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

The causes of these include controlled flight into terrain, wire and object strikes, or hard landings in degraded visual environment (DVE) conditions. Using the DVES technology, USAF HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter combat search and rescue aircrews will be equipped to address the operational limitations posed by ‘loss of visual situational awareness in aircraft-induced DVE’.

The DVES programme will provide situational awareness of uncharted terrain and obstacles for safe flight operations in DVE.

This will ensure increased mission capability and enhanced safety.

In a statement, SNC said: “SNC’s DVE solutions provide increased flight safety and operational capability for all modes of flight in natural and aircraft-induced DVE by restoring pilot situational awareness through real‐time, multi‐sensor fused imagery.”

The company’s systems use input from several passive and active sensors to provide real-time, multi-sensor fused imagery and command guidance symbology. (Source: airforce-technology.com)

04 June 19. Navantia presents ground surveillance vehicle at FEINDEF expo. Spanish shipbuilding firm Navantia has showcased its ground surveillance vehicle system designed to meet the needs of the intelligence units of the Spanish Army. Known as VVT in Spanish, the system was presented at the International Defense and Security Exhibition (FEINDEF) in Madrid, Spain. The VVT system is incorporated with an unmanned aerial system developed by Aeronautica Star Defense Logistics & Engineering (SDLE) to expand its situational awareness capabilities.

In November, the Navantia system was integrated into an Uro VAMTAC S3 4×4 military vehicle and put through tests by the Spanish Army.

Aeronautica SDLE director Ángel Castro stated that the range offered by the UAS helps increase the strategic capabilities of the ground surveillance vehicle system.

Castro said: “It provides the possibility of elevating communications and the information obtained from a high point of view, broadening the situational awareness and giving unknown and really interesting capabilities, to make an even more innovative vehicle.”

SDLE designed the hexacopter UAS according to the needs of the VVT ​​system.

The drone has a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 15kg. SDLE noted that it can be customised by making changes to materials, weights and software equipment. The UAS is connected to the station in the land surveillance vehicle by a cable and is powered by the battery of the vehicle.

This will help increase endurance in flight, as well as enhance the scope and capacity of surveillance. In June last year, Navantia unveiled a prototype of the VVT ground surveillance vehicle at the Eurosatory 2018 exhibition in Paris, France. (Source: army-technology.com)

05 June 19. US Indo-Pacific Command completes Quickstrike-ER mine demonstration. The US Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM) has performed the final and largest demonstration of the Quickstrike 64-ER (QS64-ER) 2,000lb aerial maritime mine. A US Air Force B-52H Stratofortress bomber, assigned to the 49th Test and Evaluation Squadron at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, completed the operational demonstration on 28 May from the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. The aircraft released four inert QS64-ER 2,000 lb mine shapes on a remote shallow water location of the PMRF. The QS64-ER combines technology from the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) and an additional wing kit and battery section with existing Quickstrike mine components. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

04 June 19. Northrop Grumman Successfully Demonstrates LTAMDS Capability to the US Army. Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) demonstrated its in-production, innovative solution for the U.S. Army’s Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor (LTAMDS) program during an open “Sense Off” competition at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico from May 16 – June 1.

Northrop Grumman’s 360- Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

“Our mature, gallium nitride (GaN)-based design demonstrated an advanced system with our current capabilities aligned with the Army’s requirements,” said Christine Harbison, vice president, land and avionics C4ISR division, Northrop Grumman. “Our solution supports the need for rapid deployment with an architecture that allows for significant margin of capability growth to protect our warfighters today and in the rapidly changing threat environment.”

Northrop Grumman’s LTAMDS solution demonstrated a mission capable system with growth potential leveraging advanced, affordable, low-risk, in-production and fielded technologies from across the company’s active electronically scanned array (AESA) portfolio. The system provides a 360-degree full-sector mission capability. Designed from the outset to meet the warfighters’ current and future needs, Northrop Grumman’s LTAMDS solution aligns with the Army’s top requirements, including speed to field. An embedded logistics capability enables quicker and more affordable modernization and better sustainability over the life-cycle of the program.

Northrop Grumman’s LTAMDS solution builds upon the company’s decades of expertise in sea, land, air and space-based military radar technology and high-performance microelectronics. The company’s offering is the latest Northrop Grumman sensor product to incorporate and use GaN high power density radio frequency components from our trusted foundry for greater performance.

Having successfully completed the demonstration phase, the company will deliver its final LTAMDS proposal to the Army in the coming weeks for evaluation.

05 June 19. US Army eyes near-term fielding of combat capable hypersonic and directed energy weapons. The US Army wants to field its first hypersonic missile battery by 2023, as well as a battery of Strykers equipped with 50 kW high-energy lasers by 2022, in a bid to compete with China and Russia in the race to field new weapons.

Lieutenant General Neil Thurgood, the head of the army’s Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office, sat down with reporters on 4 June to discuss efforts to quickly spin out hypersonic and directed energy technologies to the force. The three-star general explained that the service will combine new capabilities along with existing ones to field one hypersonic battery in fiscal year 2023 (FY 2023) and four Strykers equipped with 50 kW lasers in FY 2022.

As part of the Pentagon’s Conventional Prompt Strike effort, the army is teaming up with the US Navy (USN) to develop a launcher for a hypersonic missile, while the US Air Force (USAF) develops their own. The three services will combine efforts and divide up work to transition the common hypersonic glide body out of the science and technology (S&T) world and into production. Under a memorandum of agreement, the USN is charged with the design piece of the equation, while the army focuses on the future production piece, Lt Gen Thurgood explained. He noted that the service is in the process of negotiating with a vendor to produce the hypersonic glide body, and a decision should be finalised in August.

Once these pieces of the equation are ready, along with a transporter erector launcher, Lt Gen Thurgood said the service will take four MH70 trailers, integrate two launchers on each, and tie the system together with the existing command-and-control system – the Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System (AFATDS). (Source: IHS Jane’s)

04 June 19. Sofradir and its subsidiary ULIS today announce their merger and new company name: Lynred. Lynred was created to respond to a need for an all-inclusive infrared (IR) product offering to the global aerospace, defense, industrial and consumer markets. In response to increasing market requirements, the company has attained a critical mass geared to shortening the time-to-market process of new products. Its US entity remains a subsidiary and has been renamed Lynred USA. Lynred is the new identity under which its 1,000 staff will provide the widest range of advanced IR technologies to global markets, assure a long-term and reliable product supply and accompany client projects with the best possible IR design and equipment integration support.

“Lynred will enter the market with a new vision for the future in an increasingly competitive market, which has seen the number of players double over the last five years,” said Jean-François Delepau, chairman of Lynred. “We are the established European leader in infrared technologies. Now, Lynred gives us more punching weight in R&D and increased visibility within the IR ecosystem. Thanks to the commitment of our employees in forming Lynred and increased support from our partners, we will be able to offer new attractive solutions to our customers.”

Lynred is actively pursuing growth in this market. The world military infrared imaging systems market was estimated at $8.5bn (approx. €7.6bn) in 2018 and is expected to grow to $14bn (approx. €125bn) in 2023. Extrapolated market data also indicates that the market for cameras for industrial and consumer applications has the potential to increase from $2.9 (approx. €2.6bn) to $4.1bn (€3.7bn) in the same period. This translates to a global potential annual market growth rate of around 10% at camera and system level.

Lynred will advance developments of next generation IR detectors with the €150m ($167.4m) financial investment it is making in the Nano2022 project over the next five years. These IR devices will be designed to address trends in autonomous systems for smart buildings (workspace management, energy savings), road safety and in-cabin comfort of vehicles. Developments also include the very large dimension IR detectors needed for space and astronomy observations as well as compact and light IR detectors that can be used in portable devices and on drones. Lynred will continue enlarging its product catalog, strengthening its R&D investments and hiring in support of activities.

About Lynred

Lynred and its subsidiary US-based Lynred USA are global leaders in designing and manufacturing high quality infrared technologies for aerospace, defense and commercial markets. Their vast portfolio of infrared detectors covers the entire electromagnetic spectrum from near to very far infrared. The Group’s products are at the center of multiple military programs and applications. Its IR detectors are the key component of many top brands in commercial thermal imaging equipment sold across Europe, Asia and North America. The organization is the leading European manufacturer for IR detectors deployed in space.

04 June 19. Sellmark Acquires Kopfjager. Sellmark  announced the addition of Kopfjager to the corporation’s family of popular brands. Launched in 2012 with the design of an innovative rifle rest, the popularity of Kopfjager products has skyrocketed.

Kopfjager began humbly with a rifle rest designed, tested and redesigned by two SWAT officers, Garret Hellinger and Matt Banes. Given their LE experience, the two officers were looking for a way to minimize human factors, especially stress-induced, detrimental to precise shot placement. They also wanted to ensure their shooting rest solution was lightweight and mobile, yet rock-solid with fluid horizontal and vertical tracking.

Beginning in 2013, trials, errors and re-designs led to the introduction of the Reaper Rest, a tripod-mountable system that changed the way law enforcement and military operators were able to engage targets with precision accuracy. Shortly after the Reaper Rest was developed, Gabe Snyder joined Matt and Garret as a partner and began managing product design and development. Gabe’s efforts enhanced design, development and patentable innovation efforts tremendously and, in 2015, Kopfjager unveiled the Reaper Grip.

With the immediate rise of Kopfjager’s popularity among special-operations law enforcement officers and military personnel, scores of hunters and competitive shooters also took notice. The Reaper Grip took hunting and shooting by storm and positioned Kopfjager on the industry’s leading edge.

“Kopfjager’s position as a leading rest manufacturer committed to enhancing shooting experiences for law enforcement and military personnel, as well as recreational hunters and shooters, made it a perfect fit in our family of brands,” stated Sellmark Founder and CEO, James Sellers.

Sellmark Corporation’s Executive Vice President of Sales, Jeff Murray added, “With Kopfjager already recognized as the industry leader in its category, we can dedicate resources to both product innovation and continued growth. The opportunities are unlimited. This is an exciting time for Kopfjager and Sellmark Corporation as a whole.”

Effective immediately, Sellmark Corporation has assumed Kopfjager’s day-to-day operations. Kopfjager now joins Sellmark Corporation’s other brands headquartered in Mansfield, Texas.

03 June 19. DroneShield has today issued the following ASX announcement.  DroneShield Ltd (ASX:DRO) (“DroneShield” or the “Company”) has shipped the first order of RfPatrolTM, a body worn drone detector, to a Western military customer. The initial small quantity of the units will be used for an expedited evaluation by the customer, with a view for subsequent larger purchases and rollout of the product. This shipment comes only approximately a month after the Company announced the launch of RfPatrolTM. DroneShield’s CEO Oleg Vornik commented, “DroneShield continues to lead the counterdrone market globally with rapid development, rollout and first customer purchase of the RfPatrol product line. Key differentiators between DroneShield and its competition include products which are evaluated and actually deployed downrange (in the field), and our ability to provide a range of dismounted warfighter and fixed site/mobile detection and defeat products. This customer shipment continues to reinforce these differentiating features and our leadership in the space, as the counterdrone market continues to rapidly grow. We also continue to work on shortening the sales cycle, as demonstrated by this shipment only approximately a month after the launch of the product.”

03 June 19. Maxar Technologies Awarded Study Contract with U.S. National Reconnaissance Office for Commercial Imagery Capabilities. Maxar Technologies (NYSE:MAXR) (TSX:MAXR) today announced that it has been awarded a study contract with the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) that will enable the U.S. Government to gain a greater understanding of Maxar’s current and future commercial imagery capabilities. The one-year contract will support the NRO’s efforts to further research and assess the U.S. commercial electro-optical (EO) imagery industrial base’s ability to task, collect, process and deliver satellite imagery.

As previously announced, Maxar signed a three-year extension of its existing EnhancedView Service Level Agreement (SLA) with the NRO in November 2018, reinforcing the U.S. Government’s continuing demand for commercial imagery and confidence in Maxar’s current and future capabilities.

“This new study contract with the NRO, coupled with our recent EnhancedView Follow-On agreement, demonstrates that the U.S. Government recognizes the value of procuring commercial satellite imagery both now and into the future,” said Dan Jablonsky, Maxar CEO. “For nearly 20 years, Maxar has been a trusted partner of the U.S. Government, delivering commercial capabilities with superior quality, cost and reliability. We are proud to support the U.S. Government mission and look forward to continuing to work with the NRO as they increasingly adopt commercial imagery.”

The operations of DigitalGlobe, SSL and Radiant Solutions were unified under the Maxar brand in February; MDA continues to operate as an independent business unit within the Maxar organization. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)

04 June 19. BIRD Aerosystems, the leading developer of Airborne Missile Protection Systems (AMPS) and Special Mission Aircraft Solutions (ASIO), will officially launch the OSCAR – Ocean Surveillance Control and Reconnaissance solution, and demonstrate it for the first time at the Paris Air Show 2019.  

Combined with a secure over-the-cloud deployment and multi-sensor integration, OSCAR is an affordable and quick to deploy Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) solution delivering real-time intelligence and threat assessments for the vessels within the country’s areas of interest. Alongside the OSCAR, BIRD will also present its SPREOS DIRCM in its latest production configuration.

“Fully autonomous and personally customized for the needs of each customer, BIRD’s OSCAR solution drives operational costs down and detection probabilities up, and I am confident that it will be a real game-changer in the field of maritime surveillance and patrol” Says Ronen Factor, Co-Chief Executive Officer and Founder at Bird Aerosystems. “The OSCAR Solution and the SPREOS DIRCM are two of our latest innovative and advanced solutions, that demonstrate BIRD’s unique capability of combining operational know-how with high-end technology and engineering capability. We are happy to present them at the 2019 Paris Air Show”.

BIRD’s OSCAR is an ideal solution for a nation’s maritime protection needs, as it provides 24/7 protection of the maritime domain and Tier 1 Level of prevention against illegal activities at sea such as Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing, oil theft, smuggling and illegal transshipment, as well as for Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) monitoring.

Fully autonomous and advanced multi-sensor system, OSCAR applies machine-learning algorithms on real-time data sources such as satellite and terrestrial AIS, satellite SAR/EO/IR, LRIT, coastal radars, tactical sensors and more, and uses it to detect, analyze and prioritize suspicious vessels while providing automatic alerts to the user once these threats are found.

Once OSCAR detects potential threats, it plans an effective flight plan for the ASIO special mission aircraft which is then loaded into the MSIS mission management system to enable an effective surveillance mission. Additionally, during the mission OSCAR receives the real-time tactical sensor data of the aircraft which is then further analyzed and detect additional possible threats.

BIRD Aerosystems will also present its patented Self Protection Radar Electro-Optic System (SPREOS) DIRCM, which combines a radar-based confirmation sensor and an active laser jammer to ensure optimal protection against different MANPADS threat types. The patented SPREOS uniquely performs threat confirmation to ensure zero false alarms hence jamming will be activated only once the threat has been confirmed and analyzed.

03 June 19. BlackSky Awarded NRO Contract for Commercial Imagery to Support U.S. Government Mission Needs. BlackSky, a leading provider of geospatial intelligence, satellite imaging, and global monitoring services, announced it has been awarded a Study Contract through the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) to provide commercial satellite imagery. The NRO is responsible for providing the defense and intelligence communities with access to high-resolution commercial imagery to support homeland defense, national security, disaster and emergency response missions enabling them to make informed decisions with confidence.

“Being selected by the NRO to participate in the study contract validates how BlackSky has quickly become a trusted partner of providing mission-critical global intelligence,” said Brian O’Toole, CEO of BlackSky. “We’re combining high-revisit satellite imaging with a unique analytic solution for site monitoring, all at a price point not seen before with traditional providers. We look forward to building a long-term partnership with the NRO and continuing our support of the U.S. government’s existing and emerging security and intelligence needs.”

BlackSky recently announced it has successfully achieved significant on-orbit milestones of its first two Earth-imaging spacecraft, Global-1 and Global-2, and has started commercial availability. The company is on track to launch Global-3 and Global-4 in the coming months and plans to launch four more satellites in the constellation later this year.

(Source: BUSINESS WIRE)

03 June 19. US Air Force Unit seeks Dronebuster counter-UAS jammer or equivalent. The 377 MSG/PKB at Kirtland Air Force Base seeks sources to provide a single component specifically designed to produce radio frequency signals to deprive the enemy of electronic equipment through position fixing, signal identification, deception, and jamming with resultant tactical advantage to our own operating forces. Looking for brand name or equal for the below listed items.

  • Dronebuster Block 3 / NSN: 5865-01-664-7864 or equal.
  • High Capacity BB-2847A/U Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery / NSN: 6140-01-493-8092 or equal.
  • Single Day on-site training which includes CONUS travel, per diem, training materials.
  • Manufacturer Warranty

377 MSG/PKB anticipates conducting a competitive acquisition for this effort. The effort is expected to result in a Firm-Fixed-Price contract. NAICS code is anticipated to be 334511, size standard 1,250 employees.

Solicitation Number: RFQ1369372_Dronebuster_Sources_Sought

Deadline for responses: 10 June 2019

Agency: Department of the Air Force (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)

30 May 19. Invisible Interdiction to develop rifle-mounted counter-UAS jammer for US defense department. Florida based Invisible Interdiction reports it has been awarded a contract to design, test and qualify a very small, lightweight rail-mounted C-UAS jamming module.

According to the company: “This Phase 3 contract is the result of a Special Topic SBIR award originally envisioned by the Air Force’s Las Vegas-based innovation hub called AFWERX. Several barriers to working with the Air Force were removed including a shorter application process, an accelerated contract award and a shorter period of performance. This effort started in the fall of 2018 in response to the Air Force’s pursuit of innovative counter-drone technologies. Invisible Interdiction submitted a concept that was selected and proven feasible late last year. This UAS denial system will be similar in size and weight to existing rail-mounted aiming lasers that are mounted on the Picatinny rail of issued shotguns or M4 rifles.

According to Invisible Interdiction CEO Bryan Sydnor, “We already have considerable experience designing small and lightweight hand-held and modular jamming systems. This weapon attachable jamming module will test our ability to design an effective capability that easily attaches to the service rifle or shotgun.”

Prototype testing and qualification is scheduled for later this summer with production units available by the end of 2019. (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)

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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.

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