Sponsored by Blighter Surveillance Systems
22 Aug 19. Budget spat puts Boeing contract for AWACS upgrades at risk – sources. A dispute over budgeting processes could delay NATO’s efforts to finalise a $1bn (£815.73m) contract to extend the life of 14 ageing Boeing (BA.N) E-3A surveillance aircraft, often called NATO’s “eyes in the sky,” sources familiar with the programme said.
NATO officials have invited the 16 member nations in the Airborne Warning & Control System, or AWACS, programme to an extraordinary meeting on Sept. 12 to mark the programme’s 40th anniversary and resolve the budget dispute, the sources said.
Unless the issue is resolved soon, the contract will not be awarded to Boeing in time to be announced as planned at the Dec. 3-4 NATO summit in London, the sources said.
“It’s disappointing that a one-sided interpretation of the rules is putting this much-needed upgrade programme at risk,” said one of the sources.
The upgrades would keep the 1979/1980-era airplanes, with their distinctive radar domes on the fuselage, flying until 2035. NATO needs the planes to carry out missions such as air policing, evacuations and counter-terrorism operations.
A second source said the dispute was not expected to kill the upgrade programme outright, but could well push a contract award to Boeing off until next year, marking a setback for the U.S. contractor at a time when it still is struggling to get its 737 MAX commercial airplane back in the air.
NAPMA, the NATO agency that manages the AWACS fleet, said in June it expected to finalise by December a $750m contract with Boeing to extend the life of the aircraft through 2035, with $250m more earmarked for design, spare parts and testing.
But unanimous consent of member states is needed to proceed, and Norway has raised concerns about an uneven flow of funds to the programme until its completion by 2027, the sources said.
They said Oslo wants the biggest programme states – the United States, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands – to transfer the bulk of their payments at the start, but that is not possible due to budgetary rules in those countries.
In the United States, for instance, funding for weapons programs is generally authorized and distributed on an annual basis, subject to approval by the U.S. Congress.
Ann-Kristin Salbuvik, spokeswoman for the Norwegian defence ministry, said Norway remained committed to the AWACS Final Life Extension Programme and was prepared to finance its share of the programme in coming years.
But she said a decision to launch the programme was contingent on approval by all member states, and the Boeing offer had to be “compliant, affordable and feasible.”
Boeing spokeswoman Melissa Stewart on Thursday had no comment on the dispute, saying Boeing continued to work with NATO “to assess needs and present the best options and upgrades that will keep their AWACS fleet operational for years to come.”
Once NAPMA presented its recommendations later this fall, member nations still have to agree on technical, financial and managerial aspects of the programme, she said.
A NATO official downplayed the risk to the upgrade programme but acknowledged that it still required securing final signatures on multilateral agreements, confirmation of budget arrangements and negotiation of other “last-minute details.”
“Despite the complexity of a $1 billion multinational programme being conducted by 16 Allies, these preparations are on track. The plan remains to award the contract in December,” the official said.(Source: Reuters)
22 Aug 19. VuWall and Matrox Join Forces to Showcase the Most Advanced Video Wall and Visualization Technology for Command and Control Rooms at GSX 2019. Exhibiting in InfraGard’s Booth, VuWall and Matrox Will Highlight Integrated, Easy-to-Deploy, Performance Control Room Solutions. VuWall, a leader in video wall control and AV network management solutions, and Matrox Graphics Inc., a world-class provider of capture, video and graphics processing, real-time encoding, KVM extension and switching, and AV-over-IP technologies, will partner at Global Security Exchange (GSX) 2019 conference and expo, Sept. 10-12, in Chicago. On InfraGard’s Booth 1187, attendees will see state-of-the-art technology from the two companies integrated to deliver the best deployment and visualization experiences inside command and control rooms.
“As more and more organizations expand their facilities with command and control rooms, they require advanced solutions that streamline the configuration and deployment process, and simplify the user experience,” said Paul Vander Plaetse, CEO at VuWall. “Matrox is a trusted provider of a broad range of advanced video wall, IP KVM extension, and streaming and recording technologies for security applications that are at the heart of VuWall’s integrated solutions. GSX 2019 is a great opportunity to see how our respective technologies integrate, creating the most advanced, yet easy-to-manage command and control rooms.”
For the first time, VuWall will demonstrate its VuStation visualization and control workstation with Matrox’s Extio 3, a high-performance IP KVM extender, across four full HD displays. The KVM solution for personal video walls, VuStation, enables operators to seamlessly interact with multiple sources from a single KVM station, having all critical controls and information at their fingertips. Matrox Extio 3 works as either a point-to-point or networked KVM extender and creates a scalable and cost-effective KVM matrix switching environment using standard 1-Gigabit network switches. Designed for high-performance applications, Matrox Extio 3 Series IP KVM extenders deliver 4Kp60 4:4:4 or quad 1080p60 4:4:4 over a standard Gigabit Ethernet network (fiber optic or copper) at unprecedented low bitrates. The integrated solution delivers the best visualization experience and the easiest AV network management system for the control room market.
“Operators rely on our solutions to provide unmatched performance,” said Samuel Recine, director of sales for the Americas and Asia Pacific at Matrox Graphics Inc. “When paired with VuWall’s ecosystem, they can quickly visualize information for collaboration and improve communication and critical decision making, helping them keep pace with the 24/7 demands of any command and control environment.”
21 Aug 19. First system-level tests of USN EASR completed. Raytheon and the US Navy have completed the first system-level tests of the SPY-6(V)2 Enterprise Air Surveillance Radar (EASR) at the Surface Combat System Center at Wallops Island in Virginia. In the first test the radar searched for, detected, identified and tracked numerous targets – including commercial aircraft – and during a second exercise, EASR tracked multiple targets continuously for several hours during a test event involving another system.
EASR is the newest of the USN’s SPY-6 family of radars, and provides simultaneous anti-air and anti-surface warfare, electronic protection and air traffic control for aircraft carriers and amphibious warfare ships.
‘Moving quickly from radar installation at Wallops Island to “tracks on glass” in less than three months is a major accomplishment,’ Capt Jason Hall, the USN’s programme manager for above water sensors, Program Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems, said.
‘The EASR programme is progressing extremely well. We are now one step closer to production and delivering the radar’s unmatched capability to the surface fleet.’
Two variants of EASR are being built: a single-face rotating array designated AN/SPY-6(V)2 that will be used on-board amphibious assault ships and Nimitz-class aircraft carriers; and a three fixed-face array designated AN/SPY-6(V)3 that will be used on-board 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 test successes of AN/SPY-6(V)1, the navy’s programme of record for the DDG 51 Flight III destroyers.
These individual radars can integrate together to form arrays of various sizes to address multiple mission requirements, and EASR also adds air traffic control and weather capabilities to the mature SPY-6 software baseline. Upon completion of system-level testing in the final quarter of 2019, EASR will transition from the engineering and manufacturing development phase to the production phase. The first delivery of AN/SPY-6(V)2 will be to LHA-8, the America-Class amphibious assault ship. (Source: Shephard)
22 Aug 19. US Navy Littoral Combat Ships operate HENSOLDT’s naval radars. First TRS-4D radars successfully installed. Sensor solutions provider HENSOLDT Inc., Vienna, Va., has successfully installed the first two of its TRS-4D naval radars aboard the U.S. Navy’s “Freedom” Variant Littoral Combat Ships (LCS). After passing acceptance trials on Lake Michigan without issue, the radar on-board LCS 17 (Indianapolis) was delivered by Freedom Variant LCS prime contractor, Lockheed Martin, to the US Navy. The second radar has been installed aboard LCS 19 (St. Louis) and is preparing for acceptance trials.
“System characteristics of the TRS-4D are an excellent match for the environment LCS faces,” says Ken Loy, Managing Director of HENSOLDT Inc. “The radar’s AESA technology delivers increased sensitivity to detect smaller targets with greater accuracy, as well as faster track generation to give LCS more time to react to advanced threats.”
The TRS-4D (recently designated by US Navy as AN/SPS-80) radar for LCS is a rotating version of the Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) fixed panel TRS-4D radar currently going aboard the German F-125 frigates. The TRS 4D will be the first AESA rotating radar aboard a US Navy ship. Currently, 8 TRS-4D are under contract for the Freedom Variant LCS. Six of them have passed factory acceptance. The new radar combines mechanical and electronic azimuth scanning to achieve fast generation of target tracks. This software-defined radar is programmable by the customer, enabling changes to radar characteristics to match future threats that evolve over the life of the ship. The ability to customize the characteristics of the TRS-4D radar enables designers to maximize the inherent modularity of LCS variants to best suit a specific LCS configuration.
21 Aug 19. DARPA disruption: New radar concepts could reshape the market. Key Points:
- DARPA’s progress in maturing key technologies could spur disruption and growth in the radar market
- The agency has advanced projects for Machine Learning Systems, Software-Defined Radar, and Dynamically Composed RF Systems
The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has three projects that could, if they succeed in developing some seed technologies, potentially disrupt the radar market.
DARPA’s Radio Frequency Machine Learning Systems (RFMLS) could affect performance requirements, reduce the need for hardware upgrades, and yield opportunities for new software service packages. The Software-Defined Radar (SDRadar) project aims to consolidate radar hardware into virtualised systems, possibly putting historic subsystem suppliers at risk but providing more opportunities for developers. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
21 Aug 19. American Defense Mfg. Begins Delivery of Flik3™ and Flik5™ Magnifiers and Spek™ Red Dot. American Defense Manufacturing, a leading manufacturer in high quality, high performance firearms and accessory mounts, announced that delivery of the Flik3 and Flik5 fixed power add-on magnifiers and Spek Micro Red Dot to dealers and wholesalers has begun. ADM’s Flik3 and Flik5 fixed power magnifiers are high-performance, high-quality optics that offers a generous 2.6-inch and 2.5-inch eye relief respectively, adjustable diopter for precise focus, as well as a unique optic plate that provides additional eye relief solutions if needed. As with all ADM firearms and mounts, the Flik3 and Flik5 patent pending mounts are ambidextrous in design, allowing the user to configure the mount to flip away for left or right handed shooters. The optic can be mounted in a low position or the user can add either a 4mm or 8mm riser, both included, to properly position the magnifier to their favorite red dot or holographic set up. The standard mount includes ADM’s new titanium lever assembly that is 60% lighter than the standard ADM lever assembly, provides 2X stronger thread strength, and reduces movement related to extreme thermal temperatures by approximately 60%.
There are several factors that stand the Flik3 and Flik5 magnifiers apart from others. First, the Flik3 optic is only 3 inches in length and the Flik5 is only 3.74 inches. This is considerably shorter than other expensive, competitive add-on magnifiers. Second, the Flik3 and Flik5 include high-quality optics, flip mount, rubberized armor for added durability, more compatibility with a variety of red dots, and a limited lifetime warranty. Flik3 MSRP starts at $369 and Flik5 at $475.
The Spek Micro Red Dot offers an easy-to-see 2MOA aiming dot and is powered by a lithium AAA battery, included with the sight. The Spek offers rubberized push-button controls to manipulate the 10 day/3 NV brightness settings. Lastly, the Spek is offered in either low, co-witness, or lower-third co-witness in either an aluminum mount with titanium lever assembly or the new full titanium mount reducing mount weight by 45%. MSRP starts at $369. Full Titanium mount will be available in late October.
21 Aug 19. Leupold goes after Sig Sauer over SOCOM scope contract. The US Navy’s go-to division for special operations weapons and accessories procurement, Navy Surface Warfare Center Crane, is under fire from Oregon-based optics manufacturer Leupold & Stevens.
According to Soldier Systems Daily, the company filed an official protest with the Government Accountability Office regarding a contract between NSWC Crane and firearms giant Sig Sauer for the Squad-Variable Powered Scope (Second Focal Plane).
Sig was initially awarded the contract in October 2018 after submitting a version of its TANGO6 optic as part of the bid.
Crane’s Expeditionary Warfare section functions as the de facto small arms and accessories procurement and development house for US Special Operations Command’s various unconventional warfare units.
If all went according to plan, the new Sig scopes, officially dubbed the SU-293/PVS, would be used on SOCOM-operated M4 carbines at effective ranges of up to 600 meters.
Officials with Leupold declined to comment on the record. Representatives from Sig Sauer did not respond to requests for comment.
The protest has nothing to do with the product itself, and no mention was made of the SU-293/PVS′s capabilities, strengths or weaknesses. Instead, the protest revolves around a modification to the original contract which Leupold asserts is against the rules of the competition. Leupold’s primary issue is with the adoption of a different reticle with Sig’s S-VPS winning bid, due to a shift in SOCOM’s changed preference for a Tremor8 etched and illuminated reticle instead of the wire reticle the SU-293/PVS first came with, according to a letter reportedly Leupold’s counsel and posted by Soldier Systems Daily.
Thanks to the change in requirements on SOCOM’s part, the modification to the scopes resulted in a $9.4m addition to the S-VPS(SFP) contract, stacked on top of the $12.1m which was awarded by Crane on the original winning bid — a jump of over 75% of the contract’s value.
Leupold’s protest hinges around the claim that a new competition should have been launched by Crane instead, and not doing so was a violation of the rules governing the solicitation and procurement of hardware by the government. The GAO is set to investigate the matter, though no prospective timeline has been released. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Military Times)
21 Aug 19. DroneShield Ltd’s (ASX:DRO or DRO.AU) (“DroneShield”) passive (non-emitting) body-worn drone detector RfPatrolTM has achieved accredited notified body compliance testing to the European Commission Electromagnetic Compatibility Directive 2014/30/EU. Along with compliance to the RoHS and applicable EN60950-1 Safety Directives as required for Article 30 of Regulation (EC) No 765/2008, the RfPatrolTM conforms to the requirements for CE marking for the product to be sold within the European Economic Area (EEA). The certification was obtained in response to DroneShield’s European partner and end user feedback, as the product receives a high level of interest not only from military, but also civilian customers. DroneShield’s CEO Oleg Vornik commented, “RfPatrolTM is expected to appeal to a wide range of users due to its portable size, cost competitive pricing and passive nature. Non-military markets such as sports and public venues, commercial and VIP security and critical infrastructure are an important part of our business, and achieving the CE certification is an important part of European market adoption process. We believe this is the world’s first counterdrone product that has achieved CE compliance certification.”
20 Aug 19. US Army nears decision on who will build new missile defense radar prototypes. The Army is nearing a decision on who will build its Lower-Tier Air-and-Missile Defense Sensor, or LTAMDS, which will provide the sensing capability for the future Integrated Air-and-Missile Defense System the service is developing.
The service is planning to award a contract no later than the end of the fiscal year to one of the three vendors that participated in a “sense-off” competition at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, over the spring, Daryl Youngman, the deputy director in charge of Army AMD modernization, told Defense News in a recent interview.
According to other sources, that decision is expected next month.
The radar is part of a new AMD system that will replace the Army’s Raytheon-made Patriot system. Raytheon, Northrop Grumman and a Lockheed Martin-Elta Systems team all brought radars to the White Sands sense-off and subsequently submitted proposals for the prototype competition in July.
The winner will build six prototypes by the end of FY22 to prove whether the radar can be built and then fielded to a unit for evaluation. A follow-on contract for 16 additional radars is expected if all goes well.
The plan leaves an opening for other radar solutions to get back in the game if the prototyping effort does not pan out.
While the Army has dropped its long-prioritized requirement for a radar capable of detecting threats from 360 degrees, it now seeks a broader baseline requirement to “expand the battle space beyond what the current Patriot radar has,” Youngman said. And the system will ideally have a lot of growth potential baked in, he added.
Replacing the Patriot radar has been a long time coming. The radar was first fielded in the 1980s, and the Army previously attempted to replace the system with Lockheed Martin’s Medium Extended Air Defense System through an international co-development effort with Germany and Italy. But that program was canceled in the U.S. after closing out a proof-of-concept phase roughly six years ago.
Since then, the Army has studied and debated how to replace the Patriot radar while Raytheon continues to upgrade its radar to keep pace with current threats. It is acknowledged that there will come a point where radar upgrades will be unable to keep up with future threats.
Taking years to decide, the service moved forward on a competition to replace the radar in 2017 and chose four companies to come up with design concepts for the capability — Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Technovative Applications.
Toward the end of 2018, Raytheon and Lockheed were chosen to continue technology development under that program.
Defense News first broke the news last fall that the Army was attempting to hit the reset button on the LTAMDS program, deciding to host a “sense-off” to identify available radar capabilities.
While LTAMDS is considered the fourth priority out of four major lines of effort with which the Cross-Functional Team in charge of AMD has defined, it is not because it’s the least important, Youngman noted, but more related to schedule — where the system is in the development and fielding timeline.
The AMD CFT’s top priority is its command-and-control system — the Integrated Battle Command System — for its future IAMD architecture. Limited user testing will occur next spring with a decision to move into production in the fourth quarter of FY20. Manuever-Short-Range Air Defense — or M-SHORAD — is the second priority as the Army . The service is set to begin development testing of its prototypes this fall.
The Indirect Fire Protection Capability (IFPC) Increment 2 program is ranked third as the Army prepares to take receipt of its interim cruise missile capability — two Iron Dome Systems — soon. The Army is in the midst of coming up with a new strategy for the IFPC system that will ultimately defend against rockets, artillery and mortar as well as cruise missiles and drone threats. The IFPC system will have to tie into the Army’s IBCS system as well. (Source: Defense News)
21 Aug 19. R&S ARDRONIS Counter-UAS solution provides reliable drone control uplink signal detection and disrupting capabilities, even under challenging signal scenarios. Drones are increasingly becoming a real and growing danger, with off-the-shelf unmanned aerial systems (UAS) rarely out of the headlines these days and drone incidents an almost weekly occurrence. The EU Commission recently gave out a warning about the potential use of drones to carry out terrorist attacks. Not only critical national infrastructure is in danger; commercial facilities, such as arenas and stadiums, are also vulnerable to a wide array of threats, not to forget invasion of privacy, smuggling and industrial espionage. Regardless of the UAS operator’s intension, drones pose a serious security risk.
To counter rapidly developing UAS threats, accurate classification of the type of drone detected is critical to the subsequent decision-making process. R&S ARDRONIS Counter-UAS solution by Rohde & Schwarz provides reliable drone control uplink signal detection and disrupting capabilities, even under challenging signal scenarios. Modular and scalable, R&S ARDRONIS can be deployed on a variety of platforms and readily integrated to suit specific threat profiles, with numerous systems operational with government users.
R&S ARDRONIS effectively detects and disrupts a UAS control uplink signal at a very early point. It monitors remote control uplink and drone downlink signals (in all relevant frequency bands) and can detect and locate those at an approx. range of up to 5-7 km under optimal conditions.
“R&S ARDRONIS combines leading Rohde & Schwarz sensors to form a reliable, high-performance solution for, e.g. securing a predefined airspace against drones,” says Dietmar Vahldiek, Executive Vice President Monitoring and Network Testing, Rohde & Schwarz. “Highly sensitive antennas and monitoring receivers collect the extremely agile platforms’ signals. Through repeated involvement in protecting high-profile events and high-ranking VIPs, R&S ARDRONIS has proven to be a valuable asset for security services involved and a future-proof solution. We are skilled experts with the expertise needed to get the job done, combining German engineering with an international mindset.”
With its partners ESG and Diehl Defence, Rohde & Schwarz furthermore offers a mission-proven modular multisensor UAS detection and defense system called GUARDION that includes the R&S ARDRONIS sensors and countermeasures. Already tried and tested in various major political events and in operation with many customers worldwide, GUARDION provides secure detection and defense against drones in stationary, mobile or deployable configurations, adapted to the individual requirements of customers and situations.
20 Aug 19. Drone Aviation Delivers Aerostats to US Border Patrol. Drone Aviation Holding Corp, a manufacturer of specialized tethered aerial monitoring and communications platforms, has announced that it has delivered an initial set of WASP unmanned aerostat systems in support of the United States Border Patrol (USBP); U.S Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The delivery paves the way for USBP agent training and operational support services on the Southwest border of the United States. The procurement of the WASPs and operational support services was recently awarded under an exclusive teaming agreement and subcontract received from a U.S. government prime contractor. In the first quarter of 2019, Drone Aviation announced that its Winch Aerostat Small Platform (“WASP”) was selected by a prime contractor for the USBP; Customs and Border Protection (CBP). In June 2019, the Company was also awarded, and commenced providing, integrated services under a contract in support of the WASP award which will be performed on the southern border. Drone Aviation expects to fulfill the additional deliveries of WASP systems and services to the customer throughout the remainder of 2019.
“Drone Aviation is honored that our WASP technology and team have been selected to support the Border Patrol in their critical mission on the southern border and to work closely with the men and women who protect our Nation’s borders every day,” said Jay Nussbaum, Chairman and CEO of Drone Aviation.
The WASP is a highly tactical and mobile aerostat system which can be deployed and managed by as few as two operators. It provides situational awareness with day/night video, secure multi-frequency and multi-wave form wireless communication range extension capability from either a stationary position or while being towed. Based upon the same proven technology already deployed by the U.S. Army as a persistent aerial platform, the WASP will support the Border Patrol’s role in homeland security and law enforcement by providing enhanced situational awareness, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities. (Source: UAS VISION)
20 Aug 19. Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) and the U.S. Navy completed the first system-level tests of SPY-6(V)2, the Enterprise Air Surveillance Radar, at the Surface Combat System Center at Wallops Island, VA. In the first test the radar searched for, detected, identified and tracked numerous targets – including commercial aircraft. In a second exercise, the maturity of EASR integration enabled the radar to track multiple targets continuously for several hours during a test event involving another system. EASR, the newest sensor in the Navy’s SPY-6 family of radars, provides simultaneous anti-air and anti-surface warfare, electronic protection and air traffic control for aircraft carriers and amphibious warfare ships.
“Moving quickly from radar installation at Wallops Island to ‘tracks on glass’ in less than three months is a major accomplishment,” said U.S. Navy Captain Jason Hall, Program Manager for Above Water Sensors, Program Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems. “The EASR program is progressing extremely well.
We are now one step closer to production and delivering the radar’s unmatched capability to the surface fleet.”
Two variants of EASR are being built: 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, or RMA, technology as well as a software baseline that has been matured through development and 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 will be to LHA-8, the America Class Amphibious Assault Ship.
19 Aug 19. USN calls EASR development “critical” for FFG(X). The successful development and integration of the Enterprise Air Surveillance Radar (EASR) will be vital for future operations of the US Navy (USN) proposed guided-missile frigate (FFG[X]), the Government Accountability Office (GAO) noted in a recent report.
“Navy officials stated that EASR—a complex radar system expected to provide long-range detection and engagement of advanced threats—is critical to FFG(X)’s air and surface warfare missions,” the GAO said in a report released 9 August on the ship programme.
EASR, as the GAO points out, is a scaled down version of the navy’s Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) that is in production and scheduled for initial integration with the Aegis combat system on a DDG 51 Flight III destroyer in fiscal year 2020 (FY 2020). (Source: IHS Jane’s)
18 Aug 19. Boeing completes RNZAF P-3K2 Orion UWISR upgrade. Boeing has completed the underwater intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (UWISR) upgrade of the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s (RNZAF’s) six-strong P-3K2 Orion maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) fleet.
Awarded by the New Zealand Ministry of Defence (MoD) in late 2016, the NZD36m (USD23m) contract has covered the integration of new acoustic processing and training simulation technology into the P-3K2 aircraft. The upgrade provides the RNZAF fleet with improved anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability intended to bridge the gap until replacement by the P-8A Poseidon from 2023.
The UWISR project included upgrades and modifications to mission systems and aircraft components, as well as inflight and ground-based simulation for training, spares, and maintenance support. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
14 Aug 19. NATO tests passive and active tracking of small UAVs in urban environments. Electro-optical sensors were among tracking devices used during six days of testing at France’s Centre d’entrainement aux actions en zone urbaine (Cenzub) as part of a wider NATO programme exploring the use of passive and active technologies to detect Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) which pose a threat. Gradiant provided the intelligent video analysis technology for the detection and surveillance trials. NATO Science and Technology Organisation is managing the SET-260 programme which runs from 2018 to 2021 to test technologies in the infrared, near-infrared and/or visible bands such as FLIR thermal cameras and other sensors in the visible RGB spectrum. The tests focus on the urban environment where the background is non-uniform and varies over time and where NATO’s Research Task Group (RTG) is evaluating the strengths and limitations of electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) techniques to sense UAVs. RTG plans to collect a sharable databank of calibrated data that can used for the development of UAVs tracking and recognition algorithms.
The programme focuses on micro UAVs with a mass less than 5kg, and mini UAVs with a mass less than 150 kg. The remotely controlled aspect of the UAVs and their payload, that can reach 10 kg, are suitable for hostile activities, such as spying and targeting. As these UAVs become threats, it is important to be able to detect them sufficiently in advance to counter them. Moreover, these UAVs have low radar cross section which represents a challenge for conventional radar technologies. In addition to their small cross-section, these small UAVs could exhibit high relative acceleration and speed which make them harder to track.
The technologies deployed during the trial include, but is not limited to: Active imagery in the SWIR NIR and VIS bands; scanning LIDAR; and passive, multispectral or wide band imagery in the LWIR, MWIR, SWIR, NIR and VIS bands. (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
13 Aug 19. US Air Force Research Laboratory tests high power microwave technology to bring down drones. The US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is testing high-power microwave technology in collaboration with US manufacturers to provide deployable Counter-UAS systems, according to US Air Force Magazine. The technology can operate over a wider range than existing net gun or firearm systems. Two programmes are underway, intended to respond to short-range targets and long-range threats. The Tactical High-Power Operational Responder (THOR) is designed to pursue multiple short-range targets, while the Counter-Electronic High-Power Microwave Extended-Range Air Base Air Defense (CHIMERA) is a more powerful transportable system designed to take out middle to long range targets. AFRL is running an accelerated development programme funded by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) and began testing prototype equipment in the first half of 2019. Tests have been carried out at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico and Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque in cooperation with equipment suppliers including Raytheon, BAE Systems, Leidos and Verus Research. The AFRL hopes to field an initial development system in 2020 under a USD15m programme. (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
18 Aug 19. DroneShield has released the 3rd edition of its Counterdrone Handbook – an introduction to the counterdrone sector, using our experience as the original pioneers and market leaders in this space.
The Handbook can be downloaded here: https://www.droneshield.com/counterdrone-handbook
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.