14 Feb 22. InVeris Training Solutions to Highlight Augmented-Reality Training and Live-Fire Range Systems at World Defense Show 2022. InVeris Training Solutions (booth #M7) will showcase its newest training technology SRCE™ (See | Rehearse | Collectively Experience or “Source”) at World Defense Show in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, March 6-9. Debuting in late 2021, SRCE is the world’s first and only augmented reality-based training simulator, providing groundbreaking mission rehearsal for militaries and law enforcement. In addition to SRCE, InVeris will also be displaying a full array of live-fire.
“Augmented reality enables us to combine virtual training in real-world locations,” said InVeris Chief Executive Officer Al Weggeman. “SRCE provides mission readiness training to global defense forces that is totally lifelike, seamless and customizable. Live-fire training is equally important, and our comprehensive selection of shooting range equipment underscores why InVeris has been a leader in the live-fire space for over 95 years.”
At World Defense Show, InVeris will feature its industry-leading shooting range equipment, including the XWT wireless target carrier, GranTrap™ rubber bullet trap, as well as a Multi-Function Stationary Infantry Target (MF-SIT) with a LOMAH (location of miss and hit).
To speak with an InVeris representative during World Defense Show, visit booth #M7 or schedule an appointment at https://www.inveristraining.com/request-a-meeting. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
17 Feb 22. Germany considering joint Dutch-German training helicopter fleet. The German Army has expressed interest in a new light helicopter to provide a common platform for the initial flight training of Dutch and German student helicopter pilots. Speaking at the International Military Helicopter conference in London on 16 February, Brigadier General Andreas Pfeifer, deputy commander of the Rapid Forces Division said that the army would be interested in a new platform to improve interoperability for basic flight training and introductory weapons training for new military pilots from both countries. The Bundeswehr runs basic flight training at the German International Helicopter Training Centre (IHAZ) at Bückeburg Air Base, and in 2014 the Netherlands started to send future crews for its NH90 NFH and AS532U2 Cougar helicopters. The training fleet is formed of leased Bell 206B JetRanger III and Bundeswehr-owned and leased EC135 helicopters, both of which are likely to be replaced by the winning platform from the German triservice light utility helicopter acquisition programme, which is ongoing. (Source: Janes)
16 Feb 22. New GPS simulator will support US Air Force swarming munitions testing The U.S. Air Force is integrating a new GPS simulator at its Guided Weapons Evaluation Facility to support testing of the service’s swarming munitions program, Golden Horde.
The service has selected Orolia Defense and Security’s BroadSim Wavefront simulator to help test electronic protection technology at the Guided Weapons Evaluation Facility, which is located at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. Orolia didn’t disclose the value of the contract.
The new simulator will help the service test Controlled Reception Pattern Antennas, which offer protection against GPS jamming and spoofing — an important capability for a program like Golden Horde that relies on positioning, navigation and timing information. Orolia’s software-defined solution offers automated calibration and flexibility to bring on future sensors and signals, according to a Feb. 15 company press release.
“Because of the software-defined architecture, many upgrades don’t require additional hardware, which has been a crucial advantage for customers who are already using the solution,” Tim Hohman, Orolia’s director of products, said in the release.
Golden Horde is one of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s four Vanguard programs — a designation the lab reserves for high-priority, transformational technology development efforts. Through Golden Horde, the service is working to network swarms of munitions to operate autonomously using a common playbook.
AFRL conducted its first Golden Horde test in December 2020 during in which an F-16 dropped two laser-guided Collaborative Small Diameter Bombs that established communication links and were able to detect multiple targets. However, because of a software issue, the onboard processor — after opting to shift from an initial target to a higher-priority one — was unable to redirect to the new target.
The program has since completed two more live demonstration exercises, and last September AFRL announced it would partner with the Defense Innovation Unit and John Hopkins Applied Physics Lab to transition the program into a new virtual competitive technology demonstration phase.
The initiative, dubbed Operation Protovision, will use Golden Horde’s virtual environment to test industry capabilities like autonomous software and networked radios. L3Harris, Lockheed Martin, EpiSci, Autodyne, Shield AU and Systems & Technology Research were the first six companies to receive contracts. The first of four planned virtual competitions occurred in December, and the testing phase will culminate with the winners participating in a live demonstration later this year. (Source: Defense News)
15 Feb 22. Russia sends warplanes to Syria for naval drills in Mediterranean. The Russian military on Tuesday deployed long-range nuclear-capable bombers and fighter jets carrying state-of-the-art hypersonic missiles to its air base in Syria for massive naval drills in the region amid soaring tensions with the West over Ukraine. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu arrived in Syria to oversee the drills that mark the biggest Russian naval deployment to the Mediterranean Sea since the Cold War times. Shoigu met with Syrian President Bashar Assad on Tuesday to inform him about the drills and discuss plans for further military-technical cooperation. The Defense Ministry said the exercise in the eastern Mediterranean that involves 15 warships and about 30 aircraft is part of a series of sweeping naval drills that started last month amid a standoff over Ukraine. It said the maneuvers were intended to train for action to “protect national interests” and “fend off military threats against the Russian Federation.” Long-range, nuclear-capable Tu-22M3 bombers and MiG-31 fighter jets carrying the latest Kinzhal hypersonic cruise missiles landed at the Russian air base of Hemeimeem in Syria’s coastal province of Latakia as part of the drills. The military says the Kinzhal has a range of up to 2,000 kilometers (about 1,250 miles) and flies at 10 times the speed of sound, making it hard to intercept. The deployment of Kinzhal missiles to Syria appears to be intended to showcase the Russian military’s capability to threaten the U.S. carrier strike group in the Mediterranean.
The Defense Ministry said the Russian navy chief reported to Shoigu that the drills envisaged practice in targeting enemy warships.
The Hemeimeem air base has served as Russia’s main outpost in Syria, where it has waged a military campaign in Syria since September 2015, allowing Assad’s government to reclaim control over most of the country after a devastating civil war.
Russia also has expanded and modified a naval base in the Syrian port of Tartus, the only such facility that Russia has outside the former Soviet Union.
The massive Russian naval drills and the deployment of additional warplanes to Syria demonstrated an increased Russian military foothold in the region amid the worst Russia-West security crisis since the Cold War.
U.S. officials say Russia has amassed over 130,000 troops near Ukraine and warned that an invasion could come at any moment.
Moscow has denied any plans to invade its neighbor, but demanded that the West provide guarantees that NATO will not allow Ukraine and other ex-Soviet nations to join, will not station weapons there and will roll back alliance deployments in Eastern Europe. The U.S. and its allies have roundly rejected those demands but have offered to discuss with Moscow ways to increase security in Europe. (Source: Defense News)
15 Feb 22. SparkCognition Government Systems Brings Cutting-Edge AI to Naval Exercise. AI company demonstrates the power of digitizing ocean data during International Maritime Exercise 2022. SparkCognition Government Systems (SGS), the first artificial intelligence (AI) company devoted entirely to government and national defense, announced its participation at International Maritime Exercise (IMX) 2022/Cutlass Express. IMX/CE 2022 is not only the largest multinational naval exercise in the Middle East, but also the largest unmanned maritime exercise in the world with more than 80 unmanned systems from 10 nations participating. SGS joins more than 9,000 personnel, 60 partner nations and international organizations, and more than 50 ships to show the power of aggregating sensor data, imagery, and acoustics into AI models that spot abnormalities and prescribe solutions in real time.
A combined task force called Task Force X was established to allow participating forces to test unmanned systems and artificial intelligence in different training scenarios, and ultimately apply the lessons learned to future real-world operations.
SGS leverages proven commercial technologies and customizes them to meet government customers’ needs, ultimately empowering mission readiness, enhanced decision making, and efficient operations. These solutions have an open architecture, are hardware-agnostic, and can be easily integrated with SGS’s allies and partners. Through its participation in IMX/CE 2022, SGS is demonstrating how intelligent software transforms physical systems’ capabilities by applying SGS’s world-class solutions, built with AI, machine learning, and natural language processing technologies, to maritime missions. These enhanced missions lead to increased efficiency, reduced costs and asset failures, and increased warfighter and civilian safety–especially in the case of life-saving missions.
“At SGS, we are focused on helping operators and analysts leverage data from a wide variety of sensors and sources across multiple domains to help improve the speed and quality of decisions on the battlefield,” said Logan Jones, President and General Manager of SGS. “The hardware-agnostic technologies we built are transforming the way government and military leaders around the world are thinking about security and mission readiness–and as a key participant of the IMX exercise, we’re pleased to help build the future of national security.”
To learn more about SparkCognition Government Systems, visit www.sparkgov.ai.
About SparkCognition Government Systems
SparkCognition Government Systems (SGS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of SparkCognition, is the first artificial intelligence (AI) company devoted entirely to government and national defense. By developing and operationalizing next-generation AI-powered systems, SGS enables government organizations to meet the needs of their most pressing national security missions. SGS advances government operations by analyzing complex data to inform and accelerate intelligent decisions, applying predictive and prescriptive analytics to improve logistics, deploying autonomy technology for power projection systems, using AI and machine learning for large-scale processing of unstructured data, and more. For in-depth information about SGS and its offerings, visit www.sparkgov.ai. (Source: PR Newswire)
16 Feb 22. US and Bangladeshi air forces to take part in exercise Cope South 22. Several flight operations will be carried out during the tactical airlift exercise. Air forces of the US and Bangladesh are set to take part in a Pacific Air Forces-sponsored, bilateral tactical airlift exercise. Named as Cope South 22, the exercise will be conducted at Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) Kurmitola Cantonment, Dhaka; and Operating Location-Alpha, Sylhet, Bangladesh.
It will witness the participation of nearly 77 airmen, along with two US Air Force C-130J Super Hercules from the US Air Force (USAF) 36th Airlift Squadron (AS) of the 374th Airlift Wing at Yokota Air Base in Japan.
Around 300 members of the Bangladeshi Armed Forces and two C-130Js will join the US personnel.
The exercise aims to enhance interoperability between the USAF and the BAF and will support the latter’s long-term modernisation efforts.
During the exercise, aeroplane generation and recovery, daytime low-level navigation, tactical airdrop, and air-land missions will be conducted, including subject-matter expert exchanges.
36 AS operations director lieutenant colonel Kira Coffey said: “The Bangladesh Air Force is one of our most important regional partners, and Cope South allows us to strengthen this partnership through tactical airlift sorties and subject-matter expert exchanges. This is critical to bolstering regional stability for our shared goal of a Free and Open Indo-Pacific.”
The exercise represents the first iteration since the Covid-19 pandemic started. In addition, Bangladesh has received more than $121m in Covid-19-related aid from the US, since 2020.
Coffey added: “Covid-19 has only accelerated the need to improve our ability to work together during a potential Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief scenario.”
In 2015, the US and Bangladeshi air forces concluded their bilateral tactical airlift exercise, Cope South 15 at the BAF Base Bangabandhu. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
15 Feb 22. Multinational military exercise Allied Spirit 22 concludes in Germany. The exercise included approximately 5,200 soldiers from 15 nations. Allied Spirit 22, a multinational military exercise involving troops from 15 nations, has concluded in Hohenfels, Germany. The long-planned exercise was undertaken to improve Nato and key partner readiness across specified warfighting functions. The exercise also facilitated the sharing of strategies, procedures, and tactics across militaries. A total of approximately 5,200 soldiers from Germany, Hungary, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Moldova, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, the UK, and the US participated in the exercise. It was hosted by the US Army’s overseas combat training centre Joint Multinational Readiness Center (JMRC). German Brigadier general and commander of the 1st Panzer Division Heico Hübner said: “The preparations for this exercise took more than a year.
“The possibility that Allied Spirit offers us, to plan with the commanders of the brigades and battalions in this multinational configuration, to give orders, to see how we tactically work together, is unique. This is a huge enrichment for the management process at the multinational level.”
The US contingent included approximately 1,100 soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 66th Armored Regiment from the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division from Fort Riley, Kansas; the 2nd Squadron, 227th General Support Aviation Brigade from Fort Hood, Texas; and 5th Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment stationed in Ansbach, Germany.
US Army Lieutenant colonel and JMRC’s chief of plans Jason Turner said: “We have four brigades’ worth of combat power here all from different nations with another 5,000 soldiers in the training area, in the mud training together. All different nations, all coming together to fight one fight together.”
Last year, the US Army participated in the Dynamic Front 21 Phase 2 exercise in Turkey. (Source: army-technology.com)
26 Jan 22. Second EDA Live Cyber Exercise for Military CERTs Concluded. EDA’s second-ever live-fire cyber exercise specifically dedicated to improving European cooperation between Member States’ national, military Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) has wrapped after a two-day exercise. The exercise gathered more than 200 experts from 19 EDA Member States and Switzerland, all of them connecting remotely from their working locations. The exercise kicks-off the technical track of the 2022 edition of the EU MilCERT Interoperability Conference (MIC). The second phase is scheduled to take place in June in Lille (France) where the lessons learnt from the exercise and more strategic topics will be discussed with senior military leaders and decision makers.
The objective of this week’s exercise was to bring together military CERTs and observe incident management dynamics with a particular focus on information-sharing, a key factor in modern cyber defence. The exercise also builds upon the lessons learned from the first MIC cyber exercise held in February 2021.
Opening the exercise, EDA Chief Executive, Jiří Šedivý, said; “The EU Cyber Defence Policy Framework identified already in 2014 the absence of a milCERT network, and the EU Cybersecurity Strategy called for developing such a dedicated network, welcoming EDA’s efforts in this regard. Last year’s MIC was the first step to start closing this gap. This year’s MIC edition can be seen as the second step in what for sure will be a long journey.”
MIC 2022 was first planned under the Slovenian Council Presidency last year. Luxembourg is contributing with their National Cyber Range to make the MIC2022 technical track a success. The exercise preparation, execution and evaluation are furthermore supported by the Estonian company Cybexer Technologies who also provide their cyber range for the exercise.
Red versus Blue
The operational environment created for the exercise is based on advanced Cyber Range technology, with professional attackers from the military and industry, launching live cyberattacks against infrastructure defended by teams from other Member States. The exercise that ran this week tested fictional cyber-attacks, pitting an attacking (red) team against defending (blue) ones.
The MIC exercise was specifically designed for military CERTs and included platforms, tools and technology specific to the military domain; the entire exercise scenario was conceived to use military planning and strategy similar to what is used in real cyber military operations. The intent was not only to provide a realistic scenario, but also to push participants out of their comfort zone, asking them to use all tools, processes and procedures possible, even those not directly at hand in the exercise platform. Thus, creating an exceptionally realistic exercise environment.
At the end of the exercise, Finland was awarded overall winner of this MIC22 technical track while Hungary (task solving), Austria (situational report) and Italy (information sharing) won awards for specific categories.
Towards a new EDA Collaborative project
Today, EDA cyber activities range from defining key priorities at EU level looking at the capability development, R&T and industrial dimensions, including initiatives in support of cyber defence training, education and exercises. To build on the benefits and lessons of the MIC, EDA envisages the possibility to establish an EU milCERT Operational Network as a new ad hoc project within the Agency, with Member States currently invited to signal their interest in participation. In order to close the gap as identified in the EU Cyber Defence Policy Framework and the EU Cybersecurity Strategy the project will provide a solution to identify, develop and sustain the establishment of a network of MilCERT, which will ultimately facilitate the exchange of information and foster a stronger response to cyber incidents. (Source: EDA)
15 Feb 22. U.S. Air Force Procures Orolia’s CRPA Testing Solution. Orolia Defense & Security, the No. 1 provider of software-defined simulation solutions for navigation warfare, was selected by the U.S. Air Force Guided Weapons Evaluation Facility to deliver a BroadSim Wavefront. BroadSim Wavefront is a pillar of innovation among Orolia’s Skydel-powered advanced GNSS simulators. The GWEF provides laboratory testing and simulation tools for developing precision-guided weapon technology, including a comprehensive scope of GPS/INS systems and integrated components like sensors, signals of opportunity and Controlled Reception Pattern Antennas. CRPAs are fundamental in many platforms due to their enhanced protection against electronic attacks in NAVWAR environments.
The Broadsim Wavefront simulator will be integrated into a test environment for networked, collaborative and autonomous weapon systems being developed under the Golden Horde program. Golden Horde is one of four Air Force Vanguard programs designed to rapidly advance emerging weapons systems and warfighting concepts through prototype and experimentation.
Of the several capabilities the GWEF required, features such as low-latency hardware-in-the-loop, automated calibration, and the flexibility to quickly integrate future signals and sensors were the most critical and serve as a key reason Orolia’s BroadSim Wavefront was selected. This system will also be capable of testing eight-element CRPA systems, eight simultaneous Fixed Radiation Pattern Antenna systems, or a combination of CRPA and FRPA systems.
“When designing BroadSim Wavefront, we re-imagined every aspect for the user,” said Tyler Hohman, director of products for Orolia Defense & Security. “Though the GWEF unit contains eight nodes (corresponding to each antenna element), it can be scaled from four to 16 antenna elements. One of the greatest advancements is our continuous phase monitoring and compensation technique. It automatically monitors, aligns and adjusts the phase of each RF output continuously throughout the duration of a scenario.”
“Gone are the days of re-calibrating each frequency on your system, limiting your scenario duration or re-calibration every time you power cycle your system,” added Hohman. “Simply turn the system on, start the scenario, and your Wavefront system phase aligns and remains aligned for the entirety of the test.”
Leveraging the Skydel Simulation Engine, BroadSim Wavefront also supports high-dynamics, MNSA M-Code, alternative RF navigation, open-source IMU plug-in and 1000Hz iteration update rate.
“Because of the software-defined architecture, many upgrades don’t require additional hardware, which has been a crucial advantage for customers who are already using this solution,” Hohman said.
14 Feb 22. Philippine Navy receives four Cessna 172S trainers. The Philippine Navy (PN) received four new Cessna 172S Skyhawk trainer aircraft. The aircraft, which were procured under the US Foreign Military Financing (FMF) programme, were formally received on 10 February, the Philippine Department of National Defence announced.
“These air assets will significantly improve the navy’s ability to prepare naval pilots for the crucial task of monitoring and safeguarding our maritime territories and domain”, Secretary of National Defense of Philippines Delfin Lorenzana was quoted as saying during the ceremony.
The turnover, blessing and activation ceremony, which took place at Sangley Point, Cavite, Philippines, was attended by Lorenzana and US Chargé d’Affaires ad interim Heather Variava. According to the US Embassy in the Philippines, the aircraft first arrived in the Philippines in December 2021 and were reassembled in situ before the ceremony, whereas 24 Philippine servicemen received pilot and mechanic training in Kansas City, the US, between August and September 2021. (Source: Janes)
15 Feb 22. Iraq’s L-159s return to operational service. The Iraqi Air Force’s L-159 jets are operational again, but can only conduct airstrikes with unguided bombs, according to a report by the US Department of Defense’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG).
Released on 8 February, the quarterly report on Operation ‘Inherent Resolve’ in Iraq and Syria said the return of the Aero L-159s was particularly notable as they have not been used for operations for five years. Iraq received 10 second-hand L-159A light combat aircraft and two twin-seat L-159B trainers from the Czech Republic from 2015.
The report included a table of 30 airstrikes that were conducted in the last quarter of 2021 showing that L-159s were used in six of them, compared with 10 conducted by Iraq’s F-16 multirole fighters. All the L-159 strikes used 500 lb Mk-82 unguided bombs because laser designator pods have not been delivered to the squadron, the report cited the US-led coalition as saying. In comparison, Iraq’s F-16 multirole fighters conducted 10 airstrikes, according to the table, most with GBU-10 or GBU-12 guided bombs, although two with Mk-82 and one with heavier Mk-84 bombs. (Source: Janes)
13 Feb 22. The multinational Exercise ALLIED SPIRIT 22 saw the participation of an Aviation Task Force provided by the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade of the 1st Cavalry Division of the US Army out of Fort Hood, Texas. The helicopter unit took part in the exercise under its Operation ATLANTIC RESOLVE rotational deployment to Europe. Featuring Combat, Transport and MEDEVAC helicopters, the force supported both friend and foe during the combat phase of the exercise; namely the multinational training audience of the exercise, with its HQ provided by the German 1. Panzer Division, and the in-house Opposing Forces (OPFOR) of the Joint Multinational Readiness Center (JMRC) of the 7th Army Training Command in form of the Hohenfels based 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment of the US Army.
30 January 2022, 11:29. One kilometre south of Kittensee on the Hohenfels Training Area. Seconds ago it was absolutely quiet in the valley, with the only audible sound being that of the strongly blowing winter wind. Now the air is filled with the screaming noise of turbine engines and the constantly up-swelling and fading ‘hub-hub’ originating from the rotors of helicopters.
A force of four UH-60L Black Hawk utility helicopters and two CH-47F Chinook transport helicopters is approaching the valley from the east at tree top level. Within seconds the aircraft have landed close to the edge of a wood on the south side of the valley. Behind the trees is situated the command post of the German Panzer Grenadier Bataillon 401, an armoured infantry battalion. Doors swing open and ramps are lowered. This is the moment the soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment have waited for. At high speed they disembark from the helicopters of the “Having deployed UAS in combat for 20 years, we are excited about XTENDER because, for the first time, forces can now carry out indoor missions without approaching the combat arena, and without putting themselves at risk,” says Steve Ball, Sales Operations Manager of XTEND. “This platform applies the wealth of knowledge held by our team, which is 100% comprised of army and Special Operations Forces veterans. It is this authentic insider view of forces’ experience in the battlefield that makes our solutions so successful.”
The XTENDER has already been operationally deployed by the US DoD, the Israeli MOD, and in other countries. XTEND is now expanding its activity in the United Kingdom as well, another major market for its innovative, combat-proven systems.
Cavalry Division and pepper out around them on the ground.
Once all troops have disembarked the noise of the helicopters swells up again and the aircraft take off as one wave, racing away at low level and at high speed in order not become victims of enemy fire. With the helicopters gone, the inserted US infantrymen sprint away from the helicopter landing zone, making their way to their target. Minutes later heavy small arms fire can be heard from the forest when the raiding force engages with the German Panzer Grenadiers guarding their unit’s command post.
Variety of Tasks: Lifting troops in order to conduct air assault raids was only one task performed by the helicopters of the US Army Aviation Task Force provided by the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade during Exercise ALLIED SPIRIT. Among the others were, for example, airborne reconnaissance, close air support to ground forces engaged in combat, airborne anti-armour warfare, supporting logistic assets with an airborne heavy lift capacity and casualty and medical evacuation.
The Aviation Task Force participating in Exercise ALLIED SPIRIT 22 was centred around the 2nd Battalion (General Support Aviation Battalion), 227th Aviation Regiment ‘Lobos’ of the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade of the 1st Cavalry Division, but it also involved assets of most other units of the brigade. Its main combat power for example was provided by AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters of the 7th Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment ‘Pale Horse’.
The rotary inventory of the force on this exercise numbered seven AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters, five UH-60L Black Hawk utility helicopters, three HH-60M Black Hawk MEDEVAC helicopters and two CH-47F Chinook transport helicopters.
AH-64E Apache Guardian Attack Helicopter: The AH-64E Apache Guardian is the latest in-service variant of the famous and combat-proven attack helicopter that was first fielded by the US Army in the AH-64A configuration in the second half of the eighties; across all variants it has so far achieved more than 4.8 million flight hours and 1.3 million combat hours. The first AH-64E Apache Guardian were fielded in 2013.
The main advantage of the AH-64E is its open systems architecture that allows to incorporate the latest communications, navigation, sensor and weapon systems. The aircraft features many enhancements compared to its predecessor, the AH-64D. One is the Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight / Pilot Night Vision System (MTADS/PNVS) which incorporates a new infrared laser that allows for easier target designation and enhanced infrared imagery which blends both infrared and night vision capabilities. The helicopter is also fitted with the Small Tactical Terminal radio that includes the LINK 16 capability required to communicate in a joint environment. Its updated Fire Control Radar has the ability to operate in a maritime mode, enabling the Apache to be an integral asset in most environments.
Another key improvement of the AH-64E is its Manned-Unmanned Teaming (MUMT) ability, which allows the crew of the helicopter to receive video footage and information gathered by Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and display them in the cockpit. AH-64Es are fitted with the UAS Tactical Common Data Link Assembly (UTA) that features MUMT Level of Interoperability (MUMT LOI) 3 and 4 and is compatible with non-Tactical Common Data Link (TCDL) equipped UAS. But the crew does not only get access to the data generated by the UAS, it can also control its sensors and direct its flight path. The system has an effective range of more than 50km and also allows transmittal of data to another AH-64E or even to ground forces, if they are equipped with the One Station Remote Video Terminal (OSRVT). For the Apache aircrews MUNT LOI 3 and 4 mean increased situational awareness, earlier identification of possible targets, net-centric interoperability with significantly reduced sensor-to-shooter timelines and increased survivability, as they are exposed to hostile fire only for a minimum of time.
The AH-64E Apache Guardian also features more powerful T700-GE-701D engines with upgraded face gear transmission to accommodate more power and new longer composite main rotor blades. As a result of this the aircraft can reach a maximum combat mission speed of 164 knots, about 20 knots more than the AH-64D. It has a combat range of 260 nautical miles and an endurance of 150 minutes. The maximum gross weight of the AH-64E is 20,600 pounds. In addition to its 30 mm M230 Chain Gun with a combat load of up to 1,200 rounds the AH-64E can be equipped with up to 16 AGM-114 Hellfire missiles or 2.75-inch rocket pods containing up to 76 unguided rockets, or a mix of both weapon systems.
ATLANTIC RESOLVE Aviation Rotation: Operation ATLANTIC RESOLVE was launched by the USA as a reassurance measure for its European allies in the wake of Russia’s 2014 intervention in Ukraine and the annexation of the Crimea, and as a demonstration of continued US commitment to the collective security of NATO and to enduring peace and stability in Europe. Under Operation ATLANTIC RESOLVE forces based in the USA rotate to Europe for a duration of approximately nine months. Currently the Operation ATLANTIC RESOLVE rotations number about 7,000 troops and consist of a Division Headquarters (Forward) as well as an Aviation, Armored and Sustainment Task Force. During their rotations the deployed units participate in bilateral, joint and multinational training activities and exercises in countries across central and eastern Europe, primarily in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.
Since the 15th of December 202,1 under its eight rotation, the Aviation Task Force role of Operation ATLANTIC RESOLVE has been inherited by the Fort Hood, Texas, based 1st Air Cavalry Brigade ‘Air Cav’ of the 1st Cavalry Division. This brigade took the role over from the 1st Combat Aviation Brigade (1CAB) ‘Demon Brigade’, 1st Infantry Division, which is usually based at Fort Riley, Kansas. It is the second time, after 2017/2018, that the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade deployed to Germany under Operation ATLANTIC RESOLVE. Under the current deployment some 2,000 troops of the brigade with 25 AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters, 35 UH-60L Black Hawk utility helicopters, 15 HH-60M Black Hawk MEDEVAC helicopters and ten CH-47F Chinook transport helicopters moved to Europe. In addition about 1,000 ground vehicles belong to the force.
The Aviation Task Force includes assets of all units of the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade. The brigade itself consists of the following units:
- Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC), 1st Air Cavalry Brigade ‘Air Cav’.
- 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment ‘First Attack’ ~ Attack Helicopter Battalion, equipped with AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters.
- 2nd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment ‘Lobos’ ~ General Support Aviation Battalion, equipped with UH-60L Black Hawk utility helicopters, HH-60M Black Hawk MEDEVAC helicopters and CH-47F Chinook transport helicopters.
- 3rd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment ‘Spearhead’ ~ Assault Helicopter Battalion, equipped with UH-60L Black Hawk utility helicopters
- 7th Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment ‘PaleHorse’ ~ Attack and Reconnaissance Helicopter Battalion, equipped with AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters.
- 615th Aviation Support Battalion ‘Cold Steel’
During its rotation the Aviation Task Force provided by the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade operates out of the Storck Barracks in Illesheim, a municipality in the district Neustadt (Aisch) – Bad Windsheim in Bavaria in southern Germany. (Source: www.joint-forces.com)
About InVeris Training Solutions
InVeris Training Solutions combines an agile approach with an unmatched expertise in training technology to design and deliver customized, cutting-edge, first-rate training solutions that keep military, law enforcement and commercial range customers safe, prepared and ready to serve – Because Seconds Matter™. With a portfolio of technology-enabled training solutions, and a team of 400 employees driven to innovate, InVeris Training Solutions is the global leader in integrated live-fire and virtual weapons training solutions. With its legacy companies, FATS® and Caswell, InVeris Training Solutions has fielded over 15,500 live-fire ranges and 7,500 virtual systems globally during its 95-year history. The Company is headquartered in Suwanee, Georgia and partners with clients in the US and around the world from facilities on five continents.