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17 Mar 14. The U.S. Air Force declared initial operational capability (IOC) for Lockheed Martin’s Sniper® Advanced Targeting Pod – Sensor Enhancement (ATP-SE) and has now deployed the system to support combat operations in theater. An enhanced configuration of Sniper ATP, Sniper ATP-SE provides U.S. Air Force strike fighter and bomber aircraft with advanced modes for non-traditional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; improved combat identification; expanded air-to-air and maritime capability; and two-way data link communication. Lockheed Martin won the U.S. Air Force’s ATP-SE competition in 2010. Sniper ATP-SE is also equipped with Net-T capability, which enables a point-to-multipoint networking architecture. When used with other platforms, it gives operators and analysts access to real-time data beyond their line of sight. B-1 bombers at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, were the first operational aircraft to deploy with Sniper ATP-SE.
17 Mar 14. UK Dstl seeks proposals for novel infrared technology development. The UK Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) defence science and technology laboratory (Dstl) is seeking support from industry and academia to develop a novel electro-optic and infrared (EO/IR) technology capability. Run by Dstl’s centre for defence enterprise (CDE), the competition is expected to provide up to £600,000 for proof-of-concept research projects. CDE has already funded Amethyst Research, a small Glasgow-based company under a similar call for proposals, for development of a new IR detector capability. Amethyst then partnered with Selex to develop a plan to exploit its proprietary detector technology and the latter’s expertise in camera read-out circuitry to effectively compare and benchmark the emerging technology against current sophisticated technology. The programme demonstrated significant advantages over existing products, and a credible supply chain for the technology’s production and distribution was established in the UK within four months. Amethyst is currently collaborating with Lancaster University, CST and IQE to consider how to take the novel detector technology to the next level of refinement and production, with an aim to commercial exploitation that will support defence requirements. All bids for new competition are scheduled to be submitted through the CDE online portal by 8 May 2014. (Source: army-technology.com)
19 Mar 14. The U.S. will soon have another system to defend against ballistic missiles. Raytheon Company delivered its ninth AN/TPY-2 ballistic missile defense radar to the Missile Defense Agency, six months ahead of schedule. AN/TPY-2 is an integral element of the Ballistic Missile Defense System. It is a mobile X-band radar that helps protect civilians and infrastructure in the U.S., deployed warfighters, and allied nations and security partners, from the growing ballistic missile threat. U.S. public intelligence estimates indicate there are more than 6,300 ballistic missiles not controlled by the U.S., NATO, China or Russia, with that number expected to reach almost 8,000 by 2020.
“Delivering this ninth radar is crucial because our nation’s enemies continue to improve and proliferate their ballistic missile technology and tactics,” said Raytheon’s Dave Gulla, vice president of Integrated Defense Systems’ Global Integrated Sensors business area. “The AN/TPY-2 consistently demonstrates its ability to pace the evolving threat, and test after test has proven it effectively defends against every category of ballistic missile.”
The radar will be integrated into the U.S. Army’s fourth Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile defense battery, serving as the “eyes and ears” of the system by searching, detecting, tracking and discriminating threats, and guiding the intercepting missile. Raytheon serves as one of MDA’s prime contr