23 Jun 22. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) completed a series of Electronic Intelligence (ELINT), Communication Intelligence (COMINT), and Link 16 payload flight test events near Palmdale and Edwards Air Force Base in California in preparation for Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022 exercise. The sensors were integrated onto GA-ASI’s MQ-9B SeaGuardian® Unmanned Aircraft System, which will be featured at RIMPAC 2022.
RIMPAC is the world’s largest international maritime exercise involving more than 40 ships and 150 aircraft from 27 partner nations. The 2022 exercise will take place late June to early August in Hawaii and Southern California.
“GA-ASI is proud to be participating in the U.S. Navy’s RIMPAC exercise,” said GA-ASI Vice President of DoD Strategic Development, Patrick Shortsleeve. “SeaGuardian is the ultimate unmanned system for maritime security, with its multi-domain Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), targeting Signal Intelligence (SIGINT), and sonobuoy monitoring and control. The Edwards AFB test flights helped ensure and enhance the accuracy of our systems ahead of the exercise.”
The flight tests near Palmdale and Edwards AFB were conducted April 20-June 9, 2022. The ELINT payload on SeaGuardian is supplied by Sierra Nevada Corporation and the COMINT payload is made by L3Harris Technologies.
SeaGuardian is the maritime version of GA-ASI’s MQ-9B SkyGuardian®. The MQ-9B line of UAS provide industry-leading endurance and interoperability with allied partners. What differentiates SeaGuardian is its advanced maritime Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) capability, which features a multi-mode maritime surface-search radar with Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar imaging mode, an Automatic Identification System (AIS) receiver, Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) capabilities, and a High-Definition, Full-Motion Video sensor equipped with optical and infrared cameras.
21 June 22. Denmark receives upgraded prototype of T-17 aircraft. The Danish Air Force operates a total of 27 T-17 aircraft, which are primarily used for training new pilots. Denmark has received an upgraded prototype of the SAAB T-17 Supporter pilot training aircraft after the completion of flight tests. The aircraft was handed over to the Danish Ministry of Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organisation (DALO) at the Danish Air Show in Karup. The move comes after the older aircraft was upgraded with new digital equipment as part of a larger plan that seeks to future-proof the T-17 fleet.
SA Group’s Scandinavian Avionics was the main supplier of the prototype.
The company’s engineers and design specialists developed hardware and documentation, including a new layout of the instrument panel, connections, diagrams, wiring and placement of instruments.
DALO, the Danish Armed Forces Maintenance Service, the Royal Danish Air Force and 2M Ståldesign ApS were also involved with the initiative.
DALO T-17 capacity manager major Jens Vinther said: “What Scandinavian Avionics has professionally delivered will also form a foundation for modification of the T-17 aircraft, which will ensure the continued relevance of the capacity for the Armed Forces for many years to come.”
The upgraded aircraft features a GTN750Xi GPS navigation and communication tool, a digital engine indication system (EIS), an ADS-B out solution, and LED indicators to save power and reduce maintenance needs.
The analogue equipment in the aircraft’s cockpit has been replaced by digital touchscreens, with an option for wireless uploading of flight-related planning and relevant databases.
The new system has a Garmin G500 TXi display, delivering an enhanced overview of primary flight data including altitude and speed.
The company has also installed a battery-powered GI275 standby indicator in case the aircraft loses its primary power source.
Apart from prototype delivery, the company has prepared a training programme for T-17 technicians. It will be organised and performed by SA Group company AEROTEAM Training Solutions.
Besides, the overall delivery to DALO includes the prototype’s specification and documentation for a forthcoming EU tender for Danish Armed Forces’ T-17 fleet modification. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
21 June 22. LM Partners with US Indo-Pacific Command in Successful Multi-Domain Experiments. Lockheed Martin paired its DIAMONDShield™ battle management system with four Virtualized Aegis Weapon System (VAWS) nodes deployed across hundreds of miles to successfully demonstrate multi-domain operations during a recent U.S. military exercise.
The exercise, called Valiant Shield 2022, is a biennial training activity involving thousands of U.S. military personnel and more than 200 ships, aircraft and ground vehicles with a focus on integrating forces in multiple domains, and is a cornerstone of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s integrated deterrence strategy to prevent conflict in the region.
During the 12-day event in Guam and other locations in the Pacific, Lockheed Martin partnered with the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command to experiment with using artificial intelligence to enable rapid decision-making—in seconds or minutes compared to hours—at strategic, operational, and tactical levels of missions across air, land, sea and space.
“We recognize our customers’ need to rapidly integrate emerging technologies into mission-focused solutions,” said Joe Ferrara, Lockheed Martin’s advanced concepts director supporting the exercise. “Through experiments like Valiant Shield, we are learning collaboratively with our customers to advance Joint All Domain Operations, with the intent of delivering capability faster to the warfighter.”
With 14 Lockheed Martin engineers in the field, the company introduced DIAMONDShield and VAWS into a series of offensive and defensive scenarios involving Lockheed Martin’s High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) and PAC-3® Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE). DIAMONDShield’s artificial intelligence technology analyzed operational command and control data in real-time during dynamic fires, and provided commanders with decision aids to recommend assets to respond to incoming threats.
After commanders decided how to engage, the VAWS next-generation combat system routed precision targeting data and detailed orders to front-line assets like the PAC-3 MSE and HIMARS. Using machine-to-machine interfaces, VAWS transmitted the information digitally across existing military service data stovepipes—a concept known as coordinating “digital force orders.” In this case, the Marine end user was able to execute a commander’s intent without having to manually translate the order into Marine doctrine, regardless of whether the order came from an Air Force, Army, or Navy commander. This also saved users time because they no longer had to read coordinates over a radio, and it reduced room for error by eliminating the risk of misinterpreting spoken instructions.
The command and control technologies, designed to augment legacy systems, synchronized people and platforms to give the right operator the right information at the right time.
“Real-time feedback from the operators that live this daily is invaluable,” said Andrew Cook, Lockheed Martin’s technical lead supporting Valiant Shield. “You see what works well for them, what features they might struggle with, and what we could do to make their jobs easier and faster. As an industry partner, we are constantly trying to understand the most pressing needs, engineer solutions to them, and incorporate feedback on what we built. The faster we can get that feedback, the faster we can turn around new innovations.”
The team will use the experience and feedback to optimize trainings and improve the systems for the next exercise.
This is the fifth military exercise in which the company has partnered with the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command. Beginning in 2019 with Talisman Sabre and as part of the command’s Pacific Deterrence Initiative, Lockheed Martin has participated in a series of exercises that have each demonstrated progressively expanded capabilities:
- Talisman Sabre 2021 and 2019
- Northern Edge 2021
- Valiant Shield 2020
With the additional experimentation at Valiant Shield 2022 and guided by our 21st Century Security vision to meet the warfighter’s needs of the future, Lockheed Martin is helping to promote integration and interoperability among joint forces and advance our military’s Joint All-Domain Operations goals. Each successive exercise builds upon lessons learned from the last to validate and enhance capabilities, helping the U.S. and its allies to always be ready for what’s ahead. (Source: ASD Network)
22 June 22. RAF and Turkish Air Forces conduct bilateral air-to-air training. This training involved simulated beyond visual range missile-firing drills. The UK Royal Air Force (RAF) and the Turkish Air Force have carried out air-to-air training as part of a Nato bilateral training programme.
The exercise involved the participation of RAF’s Typhoon aircraft from the 3 Fighter Squadron and Turkish F-16 aircraft.
RAF Typhoon fighter jets, which have been operating from the Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base in Romania under the 140 Expeditionary Air Wing, carried out simulated beyond visual range missile firing training exercises along with the Turkish aircraft.
During this training, the air-to-air refuelling (AAR) tanker aircraft Voyager, from RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus, refuelled the Typhoon jets to extend their time in the air.
An RAF 3 Fighter Squadron pilot said: “It is with great pride that we reassure our Nato partners of our commitment to both them and to the wider organisation.
“It was a wonderful opportunity to fly over the beautiful western part of the country, whilst continuing to ensure that our fighter pilot skills are kept at the highest level of readiness.”
The latest training plays a crucial role in maintaining interoperability amongst the Nato partner nations.
This training also falls ahead of the multinational exercise Anatolian Eagle. Organised by the Turkish Air Force, Anatolian Eagle will see the participation of RAF Typhoon fighter jets later this month.
According to the RAF, the 140 Expeditionary Air Wing will secure more opportunities over the coming months to train with the Nato partners.
The air wing will continue to support Nato’s enhanced Air Policing mission in the Black Sea region until July. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
21 June 22. Lockheed Martin blends AI decision aide, virtual Aegis combat system in drill near Guam. Lockheed Martin and U.S. Indo-Pacific Command demonstrated an artificial intelligence planning tool paired with the Virtual Aegis Weapon System to conduct joint-service, multi-domain strike operations.
The demonstration took place during Valiant Shield 2022, a biennial U.S. exercise that rehearses high-end maritime warfare around the Guam area.
The company used its DIAMONDShield battle management system and four virtual Aegis system nodes to feed precision targeting data to Lockheed-made High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems and Patriot Advanced Capability-3 Missile Segment Enhancement systems, according to a news release.
In one scenario, DIAMONDShield’s artificial intelligence technology “analyzed operational command-and-control data in real-time during dynamic fires, and provided commanders with decision aids” that recommended which ship, aircraft or ground vehicle should respond to which incoming threats.
Once a human operator chose a course of action, the Virtual Aegis system routed relevant targeting data to the rocket launchers. This machine-to-machine interface saved time, eliminated the possibility of human errors while reading coordinates or instructions over the radio, and translated “digital force orders” into the right wording and doctrine for the Marine Corps shooters despite the orders coming from a commander in a different service who may be trained to use different phrases.
“Real-time feedback from the operators that live this daily is invaluable,” Andrew Cook, Lockheed Martin’s technical lead supporting Valiant Shield, said in a company news release. “You see what works well for them, what features they might struggle with, and what we could do to make their jobs easier and faster. As an industry partner, we are constantly trying to understand the most pressing needs, engineer solutions to them, and incorporate feedback on what we built. The faster we can get that feedback, the faster we can turn around new innovations.”
The company has now participated in five exercises with INDO-PACOM to demonstrate an increasingly capable set of technologies that could enable Joint All-Domain Operations, and lessons learned from Valiant Shield will be fed back into plans for the next demonstration.
“We recognize our customers’ need to rapidly integrate emerging technologies into mission-focused solutions,” Joe Ferrara, Lockheed Martin’s advanced concepts director supporting the exercise, said in the company news release. “Through experiments like Valiant Shield, we are learning collaboratively with our customers to advance Joint All Domain Operations, with the intent of delivering capability faster to the warfighter.”
The U.S. Navy has used the Aegis Weapon System on its surface combatants since 1983 to manage data from shipboard and offboard sensors and cue offensive and defensive missile launches. Improvements in the Aegis system over time have enabled a launch-on-remote capability, where one ship could prompt another ship in a more advantageous position to fire on a target, even if the second ship can’t yet see the target.
As the Aegis combat system capability becomes more portable through the VAWS effort, which packs the cruiser- and destroyer-based combat system into portable cases, Aegis in the future could be used to fire missiles from unmanned surface vessels or from ground-based systems for joint operations. (Source: Defense News)
21 June 22. Australia hone amphibious warfighting capabilities. Over 1,000 ADF troops have engaged in amphibious warfighting training, integrating Boxer CRVs for the first time. Exercise Sea Explorer 2022 has officially wrapped up, following over two weeks of ship-to-shore training at Cowley Beach in North Queensland. Approximately 1,400 Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel took part in the exercise, which involved the integration of sailors, soldiers and aviators.
The training aimed to bolster the Australian amphibious force’s (AAF) capability, improving the effectiveness of ground combat element.
Troops were supported by landing helicopter dock HMAS Adelaide, which supported landing craft and aircraft deployments, while the United States Navy’s Japan-based USS Ashland embarked AAF forces.
“USS Ashland is one of our nearest and closest coalition partners. Together, we have demonstrated our ability to interchange and operate as a cohesive force to develop and deliver an amphibious effect,” Commander of the Australian Amphibious Task Force, Captain Phillipa Hay said.
“The AAF is now certified to deploy on Indo-Pacific Endeavour, Defence’s premier deployment into the region and beyond, where we will be enhancing our interoperability and relationships with key partners and friends in the region.”
The AAF trained in wet and dry conditions as part of an exercise component called “Wader”, with troops training around the clock in a bid to familiarise themselves with amphibious operations on HMAS Adelaide’s dock and on its flight deck.
Australian Army liaison officer Captain Jonathan Unicomb said Exercise Sea Explorer helped personnel from each service to strengthen interoperability.
“The Royal Australian Navy plays an important role for the ground combat element — without them, we wouldn’t be able to get Army vehicles, equipment and personnel to the shore to conduct operations on land,” CAPT Unicomb said.
The exercise incorporated a range of military platforms and equipment, including M777 howitzer artillery pieces, all-terrain vehicles (ATV) and Tiger armed reconnaissance and CH-47 heavy-lift helicopters.
Notably, two Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicles (CRV) landed ashore for the first time during the exercise.
“The Boxer disembarked from HMAS Adelaide by way of lighter landing craft to conduct Wader, rehearsing ship-to-shore movements, enabling us to be certified to conduct a live-fire exercise in Exercise Sea Raider later this year,” Troop leader Lieutenant Stefano Rankin, from 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment (Queensland Mounted Infantry), said.
Exercise Sea Explorer 2022 was the forerunner to Exercise Sea Raider, which is expected to involve a larger and more intensive joint maritime and land forces training. (Source: Defence Connect)
20 Jun 22. US Navy concludes joint field training exercise Valiant Shield 22. It provided opportunity to gain real-world proficiency to detect, locate, track and engage adversary units.
The US Navy has concluded the ninth iteration of biennial joint field training exercise (FTX) Valiant Shield 2022 (VS22).
The 12-day-long exercise, which concluded on 17 June, aimed to enhance integration between the US forces by conducting joint operations at sea, on land, in air, and in cyberspace.
VS22 provided the joint forces with an opportunity to practise capabilities such as detecting, locating, tracking and engaging adversary units in a real-world setting.
The exercises were carried out in the Joint Region Marianas area of operations, including Palau, Naval Base Guam, Andersen Air Force Base, off-shore Mariana Island Range Complex and in the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands.
VS22 lead planner and US Navy commander Logan Ridley said: “Conducting Valiant Shield in Western Pacific provided precise opportunities to exercise Joint Task Force’s real-world tactical mission, execute long-range fires, and visualise those successes.”
This year’s iteration included a series of events and exercises, including a sinking exercise (SINKEX), which involves a synchronised sequence of live-fire drills. It was conducted aboard a decommissioned vessel USS Vandegrift (FFG 48).
The drill allowed the US joint forces to evaluate new weapons and communication technologies to conduct long-range, lethal, precise and multi-domain strikes against a surface target at sea.
Apart from SINKEX, the US Marine Corps’ (USMC) III Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) also conducted high mobility artillery rocket system (HIMARS) rapid infiltration in Palau.
Additionally, the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) demonstrated several capabilities including port security, coastal patrol, expeditionary diving, logistics support, construction, explosive ordnance disposal and Automated Construction of Expeditionary Structures (ACES).
The 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command (AAMDC) also conducted a Patriot missile live-fire exercise in Palau.
Furthermore, the US has started planning for the next Valiant Shieled in 2024 to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific region. (Source: naval-technology.com)
22 June 22. Boeing joins fuselages for final EMD T-7A, completes bird strike redesigns. Boeing completed attaching the fuselages for the last engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) T-7A Red Hawk jet at its St Louis, Missouri, facility, the company announced on 16 June.
Boeing said that the aft fuselage from Sweden’s Saab and the forward fuselage were joined in under 30 minutes, “a fraction of the time it takes for traditional aircraft builds”. Once the two sections are joined, the wings, fins, and tail are assembled onto the aircraft, Saab said in a 16 June release.
Saab has provided five aft fuselages for the EMD programme since its first delivery in April 2021. Future fuselages from Saab will be shipped to Boeing’s new manufacturing facility in West Lafayette, Indiana.
The US Air Force (USAF) awarded Boeing a USD9.2 bn contract for 351 T-7A trainers, 46 ground-based training systems (GBTSs), and support in September 2018. The air force expects the trainer to reach initial operational capability in fiscal year (FY) 2024. (Source: Janes)
20 Jun 22. RAF’s F-35Bs participate in exercise Ocean Hit in Bay of Biscay. The combat training was conducted with Nato and European partners, including France, Greece, and Switzerland. The UK Royal Air Force (RAF) has deployed four F-35B Lightning II aircraft to participate in the air combat training exercise, Ocean Hit.
The exercise was conducted in the Bay of Biscay, a gulf of the north-east Atlantic Ocean located south of the Celtic Sea.
As part of the exercise, the F-35B aircraft trained with Nato and European partner nations in a combat scenario.
The exercise focused on preparing Nato and partner nations to respond collectively to threats.
The deployed F-35B aircraft are from the 617 Squadron based at RAF Marham. It showcased RAF’s ability to integrate with various partner nations.
Apart from the RAF’s aircraft, Ocean Hit witnessed the participation of a total of 20 combat aircraft, including Greek F-16 jets, Swiss F-18, French Rafale and Mirage 2000.
During the exercise, all the aircraft were assigned to perform different combat roles.
The British F-35B carried out simulated air attacks while partner aircraft defeated the enemy air defence systems.
The aircraft performing defensive roles opposed the simulated attacks during the combat scenarios.
Additionally, the RAF’s only air-to-air refuelling (AAR) tanker aircraft Voyager refuelled the participating fighter jets to extend their air combat sortie duration.
RAF 617 Squadron executive officer said: “This has been a demanding but extremely productive exercise, where the Lightning F-35B’s have again demonstrated their potency.
“Working with Nato and European partners in a realistic combat scenario provides an opportunity to integrate complementary capabilities and learn from each other.
“In particular, we have learnt some valuable lessons regarding fast jet air-to-air integration with partner nations.”
After the completion of the exercises, the participants exchanged their mission feedback with each other to develop a shared understanding. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
20 Jun 22. US and Indonesian air forces commence exercise Cope West 22.
The latest iteration of the exercise is being conducted at Abdulrachman Saleh Air Force Base (AFB) in Malang, Indonesia. The US Air Force (USAF) and the Indonesian Air Force have commenced a bilateral tactical airlift exercise called Cope West 22 (CW22) in Indonesia.
The exercise is being conducted at Abdulrachman Saleh Air Force Base (AFB) in Malang and will run from 17 to 24 June.
Around 70 service members from the USAF’s 374th Airlift Wing (AW) from Yokota AFB in Japan will be participating in this exercise.
The USAF’s two C-130 Hercules aircraft from Yokota AFB along with two C-130s from the Indonesian Air Force will also be a part of the latest iteration.
36th Airlift Squadron commander lieutenant colonel Kira Coffey said: “Cope West allows us to strengthen our partnership with one of our most valuable partners in South-East Asia.
“This year, we are focused on developing and expanding our combined airlift capabilities with the Indonesian Air Force.”
US and Indonesian contingents will participate in personnel and equipment airdrop, rigging, formation, all-weather and night flight operations, among other capabilities integral to a variety of bilateral missions.
Coffey added: “The tactics, techniques, and procedures we exchange with the Indonesian Air Force in Cope West help prepare us for a real-life event in which we will have to work together to secure common interests.
“We are going to ‘practise how we would play’ and be stronger as a result.”
Cope West was first conducted in 1989, and this is the ninth time that the tactical airlift exercise is being hosted in Indonesia. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
17 June 22. UK Soldiers, sailors, and aviators will race from arctic warfare to fast jet landings thanks to a new virtual reality training system, under a £7.2m contract secured by Defence, Equipment and Support.
DE&S has secured a £7.2m contract with Bohemia Interactive Simulations (BISim) to deliver DVS2 – a training environment capable of simulating multiple military environments and operations. Personnel will be able to train anywhere in the world, across multiple terrains and with a range of weapons and equipment.
Front-Line Commands are set to receive the state-of-the art game-based simulation for immersive training opportunities that can be used individually, as a team or for training alongside NATO allies.
The capability will revolutionise training for the armed forces, bringing the forefront of virtual reality innovation to military exercises. DVS2 has already begun its rollout across UK military sites home and abroad supporting existing jobs at BISim.
With over 60 countries using similar or compatible technologies – including 14 NATO allied countries – UK military personnel can train with their peers and other militaries around the world in a secure training network. By using this technology, the Scottish and Northern Irish Yeomanry successfully conducted manoeuvres and Fires training with the Australian Light Cavalry over 9,000 miles away.
DVS2 hosts over 100 training scenarios including:
- Piloting a fast jet
- Parachuting into a warzone
- Supporting humanitarian work from an aircraft carrier
- Operating weapons, equipment and vehicles
- Tactical support for an individual
- First aid training
DVS2 has high flexible networking options for distributed training and integrating with external simulators, such as complex flight or gunnery simulators. This enables trainees to conduct Battlegroup-level training and experimentation events, playing as any type of character with any type of vehicle.
Head of the Solider, Training and Special Projects at DE&S, Nick Taylor, said: “As our Armed Forces evolves so does the nature of the equipment and technology that we provide to them. This virtual training capability will allow for additional, accessible training outside of the more traditional physical operations that our military personnel regularly undertake.”
Users can conduct Dismounted and Mounted training with infantry on the ground, as well as in vehicles and platforms operating weapons, radios and targeting systems and optics. The virtual training capabilities can be tailored using the intuitive Editor tool to place buildings, vehicles, infrastructure and objects for users to train and experiment in complex environments, such as in urban warfare or vehicle recognition training as well as offering Virtual Reality training capability.
SO1 Training Capability Strategy, Lieutenant Colonel Jes Giles, said: “The introduction of DVS2 is a significant step forwards as we move to transform Army training; it will deliver a richer and more demanding virtual environment and will enable the exploitation of emerging technology such as Virtual Reality, creating immersive training experiences for soldiers across the spectrum of operations.”
BISim offers training courses and support, as well as professional services to meet new training needs. Guided by military Subject Matter Experts, the software is the result of almost two decades of iterative development, and it is the most easy-to-use and capable tactical training simulation available. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
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.