September 19, 2020
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Increased mobility
Heavy laden troops performance with motion assist systems

A recent study conducted by the University of Michigan Human Neuromechanics Laboratory suggests that motion assisting exoskeleton utilizing the Knee-Stress Relief Device (K-SRD) can help battle-equipped soldiers to better perform in inclined terrain. K-SRD is part of the FORTIS system, the latest exoskeleton developed by on inclined terrain.

The independently funded study held by the University of Michigan indicated that K-SRD consistently decreased the cost of transport of walking up an incline with a load. Through the study, four trained participants used the exoskeleton carrying 40-pound backpacks while walking at various speeds on a treadmill inclined to 15 degrees. The tests results show all participants conserved energy using the K-SRD, reducing overall exertion.

The study results show K-SRD’s potential to increase mobility for dismounted troops.

By reducing the effort in walking and climbing, there’s less fatigue. This technology can literally help fighting men and women go the extra mile while carrying mission-essential equipment. More testing is anticipated and will be expanded to reflect urban scenarios, including ascending and descending stairs with weight to assess the potential for first responders.

K-SRD uses Dermoskeleton technology licensed from Canadian developer B-TEMIA. The system assists its wearer in completing repetitive or physically demanding tasks, such as lifting or dragging heavy loads, holding tools or equipment, repetitive or continuous kneeling or squatting, walking with load, walking up or downhill, and using stairs while carrying loads.

Built of a combined assembly of rigid and flexible elements K-SRD employs sophisticated sensors and motion algorithms. The system understands and predicts user motions, particularly in repetitive movements on inclined terrain.

Soldiers that tested the system could run, climb and squat, take cover, crawl and change position like combat soldiers do. The system assists troops in most situations, but if required, it can be turned off with a flip of a switch.

The powered assistive device uses a robotized mechatronic structure to generate computer-controlled active support to the lower extremities to counteract overstress on the lower back and legs and provide additional power to the knee. The lightweight and flexible device is sized and integrated with combat fatigue and individual equipment systems worn by the user.

The K-SRD does not initiate any movement but waits for the user’s lead. Once the user makes the first move, the device assists according to the activity, relieving stress from the knee or by generating additional biomechanical energy on the lower extremities. The system includes a controller box that contains sensors that collect information about the user’s body’s kinematics and the kinetics, software that recognizes the user’s mobility intentions and actuators that transfer biomechanical energy to assist those motions.
Multispectral sight
Meprolight’s new EO weapon system

Warfare in complex terrain demand soldiers to be prepared to operate in open areas and enclosures, in the higher levels of the built-up urban area, or in the underground. The varying scenes are demanding not only to the warfighter but to the sensors used for situational awareness and targeting.

To be able to cope with different situations, and maintain readiness and fighting ability on missions that may span daylight and night time, soldiers often carry multiple sighting systems suitable for each scenario. Additional equipment means more carrying weight and space for devices and the energy they consume, and the cost for redundant sensors.

Electro-optics sight expert Meprolight has introduced the MEPRO NYX-200. The device is designed as weapon mounted or handheld ‘all in one’ sighting system that offers military users a common, multi-spectral EO weapon sight that combines an uncooled thermal channel with a sensitive, high-resolution digital day/night camera to provide the user effective situational awareness under all visibility conditions, including total darkness encountered in operations underground.

The new multispectral NYX-200 is available in two configurations: the thermal channel with digital night camera or thermal channel with digital day camera. The main channel is the thermal one, using a 640×480 microbolometer core sensor based on 17-micron pixel size technology for high resolution. The secondary channel comprises a low-light camera or day camera, with 1280×640 resolution. The sight is available in two versions, the x1 magnification weighs about 750 grams or an x2 magnification, weighing about 900 grams. NYX200 can run for up to seven hours on four AA batteries.
In addition to the vision channels, the device also includes an infrared pointer and digital video recorder to improve team coordination and post-mission debriefing.

The combination of thermal channel and digital day camera (DDC) enables the soldiers to use the sight for both day and night operation, eliminating the need to change sights/devices between day and night, and allowing soldiers to move between dark and light environments, such as entering dark places also during daytime.

The combination of thermal channel and digital night camera (DNC) enables enhanced situational awareness with a maximum view at any level of darkness in any environment. The thermal channel can be used in total darkness and through the fog, camouflage, etc. The sight’s digital night vision is optimized for Close Quarters Battle (CQB), face recognition, and more.
Identifying threats
Space Kits help soldiers recognize jamming

A crash course on how to recognize jamming on communications devices and networks now helps prepare Soldiers for obstacles they may face while deployed or during rotations to combat training centers.

The biggest problem at the moment is that units aren't able to recognize that they are being GPS jammed. They immediately assume it's an equipment issue or an operator issue. Failure to realize that some electromagnetic interference may be an actual enemy attack can have major implications for a unit.

Using "space training kits," small teams from US Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command travel around the Army to locations where home station training is conducted. The kits help Soldiers there learn how to identify when an enemy is interfering with their communications or navigation equipment.

These space kits enable the user at the lowest level to recognize when jamming is taking place and to prevent that sort of issue from arising.

There are two training kits. One of them, Space Kit 3, can replicate GPS jamming on handheld Defense Advanced GPS Receivers, also known as DAGRs. The Army provides DAGRs to Soldiers downrange to help them find their position and navigate while operating in unfamiliar locations.

In a classroom setting, instructors use Space Kit 3 to emit interference that Soldiers can then learn to detect using the DAGR's built-in analyzer.

After they recognize their devices are being jammed, Soldiers would then report the problem to the rest of their unit. Soldiers can also use the DAGRs to locate the source of the interference.

The newer Space Kit 4 can replicate enemy interference on satellite communications. While satellite communications receivers don't have an internal analyzer, Soldiers can use an external spectrum analyzer to help identify interference.

With just one training kit, instructors are able to train more than 100 Soldiers a day. Soldiers need only about 20 minutes to get up to speed.
Augmented technology
Saab launches new tool for military training


Saab has launched a new tool for military O/C (Observer/Controller) and exercise leaders. The new application, We:Are, is built on Augmented Reality for smart phones and tablets.

With We:Are, Observers/Controllers will have a 360 degree overview of the battlefield. The system also offers real time visualisation of targets, engagements and movements. During both night and day-exercises the O/C can easily locate the troops in the terrain. With just one click the view changes between the real training environment and an overview image of the exercise area. The training application is based on Google Maps, but it is compatible with any maps. We:Are is fully compatible with all Saabs instrumented training systems.

We:Are makes it possible for the observer to introduce new threats to the exercise, such as minefields and artillery. It also makes it easy for the observer to get an overview of the troops when it comes to how many that are wounded, killed or alive. What kind of injuries soldiers have and how many vehicles that are damaged can also be visualised. The O/C has full situational awareness in real time.

Saab serves the global market with world-leading products, services and solutions within military defence and civil security. Saab has operations and employees on all continents around the world. Through innovative, collaborative and pragmatic thinking, Saab develops, adopts and improves new technology to meet customers’ changing needs.
Strong alliance
Saab and Adani collaboration

Saab and Indian infrastructure conglomerate Adani Group have announced a collaboration plan within aerospace and defence in India, aligned with the Government of India’s Make in India initiative. The intended collaboration would encompass design, development and production of Gripen for India and other high-tech products of national importance for India and also the creation of joint ventures in India in line with and in support of the Make in India policy.

Saab, in partnership with Adani Group, will discuss possibilities to offer solutions to bring required design and manufacturing capabilities in defence and aerospace to India. A collaboration between Saab and Adani will combine the technical and product excellence of Saab, along with the industrial engineering, system integration and mega project execution capabilities of Adani with the intention to manufacture defence systems locally in India.

With India’s focus on creating future-proof and home-grown capabilities across all industries, Saab and Adani will explore how to cooperate to develop a wider aerospace and defence ecosystem in India. A critical part of a joint roadmap would be to encourage the development of small and medium sized enterprises along with a robust national supply chain.

The intended collaboration would include Gripen for India. Gripen would be offered to the Indian Government as the best solution for India’s single-engine fighter aircraft programme. The collaboration would also include projects, programs and technologies of national importance to India. The parties’ plan to develop the relationship into a structure of joint ventures in India for execution of the programs, including the single engine fighter program, in order to support the Make in India policy and exhibit the parties long term scommitment to be jointly successful.
Rapid response
Thales unveils two fire control platforms

At a time when threats to civilians and military forces are evolving faster than ever, Thales is providing versatile fire control platforms that can be used in a variety of environments against a wide range of ground and air-based targets.

Thales is answering the uncertainty of modern conventional bettlefield with two advanced fire control platforms – one vehicle-mounted and the other man-portable – which bring a versatile, rapid response defence capability to a wide range of environments and missions.

RAPIDRanger is a lightweight, highly automated multi-missile launcher which can be fitted to most tracked and wheeled military vehicles.

It is capable of defeating airborne threats as diverse as unmanned air vehicles (UAVs), cruise missiles, fixed wing ground attack aircraft and late-unmasking helicopter targets.

RAPIDRanger can also be loaded with a range of missiles from Thales and other providers, adding the ability to attack ground targets such as armoured personnel carriers, static installations and terrorist platforms.

The addition of an integral 360° surveillance sensor provides the RAPIDRanger with completely autonomous system operation for 24/7 force protection.

RAPIDRanger can also be integrated into a network-enabled force structure and can be coordinated with early warning Command and Control system, tracking a number of prioritised targets.

Lightweight Multiple Launcher – Next Generation, LML-NG, is the latest iteration of Thales’s Lightweight Multiple Launcher. This man-portable system can be mounted on a tripod or vehicle and loaded with Thales’s STARStreak and Lightweight Multirole Missiles for rapid reaction to a wide range of threats.

The high-speed flight of STARStreak is ideal for head on and fast-crossing aerial targets and helicopters, while the Lightweight Multirole Missile adds the capability to defeat surface targets such as Light Armoured Vehicles (LAVs), trucks and fixed installations, as well as aerial targets such as UAVs and helicopters.

An extremely accurate stabilised laser guidance system is included and LML-NG supports a choice of manual and Automatic Target Tracking modes.

The LML-NG can be assembled and made ready for firing in just a few minutes. All that is required is to erect the tripod, fit the head assembly and sensor unit. Two missiles can be loaded, allowing the engagement of multiple targets in quick succession.
Multi mission
Elbit Systems develops USV Seagull

Elbit Systems has developed an unmanned anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and mine countermeasure (MCM) vessels that enable navies to detect and defeat enemy submarines and neutralize sea mines in a safer, more efficient and affordable way.

At the DSEI exhibition the company demonstrated how the unmanned Seagull boats can autonomously perform anti-submarine operations over a distance of 1,890 nautical miles (3,500 km), with the mission controlled over a satellite link.

Operating its dipping sonar and Elbit Systems proprietary software, Seagull performed real-time detection and classification of objects, demonstrating the capability to deter and dissuade hostile subsurface activity. The Seagull team included two operators, a USV operator and sonar operator.

Seagull is a 12-meter long USV that can be operated from a mother-ship or from shore stations. It provides multi-mission capabilities including ASW, Mine Hunting & Mine Sweeping (MCM), Electronic Warfare (EW), maritime security and underwater commercial missions, leveraging modular mission system installation and offering a high level of autonomy. It features inherent C4I capabilities for enhanced situation awareness and mission endurance of more than four days.

ASW operations with Seagull are particularly effective as the boats can deploy to a theatre packed in standard 40-foot containers, or be flown into the theatre by A-400M or C-17. Once they arrive at the operational area the boats can be operated from a ship or from shore, using a line of sight communications or satellite link. The boats are designed for operation in a rough sea. The Seagull proved its high performance in a recent MCM trials held by the Dutch and Belgian navies in the North Sea. During the trials, Seagull operated successfully in sea state 6, at winds exceeding 35 knots and 1.5 meter high waves. Seagull can also assume other missions, including protection of harbor, offshore facilities, and vessels at sea. On routine missions the boat surveys the sea surface with its sonar, providing detailed maps of the sea surface at coastal areas and waterways, thus improving detection capabilities in familiar waterways.
Micro drone
Lockheed Martin UK unveils submarine launched UAV

A miniature, expendable drone launched from submarines while underwater at periscope depth was unveiled by Lockheed Martin UK at the DSEI exhibition. The OUTRIDER is a lightweight, canister launched UAS designed to be used in environments where conventional, larger unmanned air systems are not practical.

At only four inches wide and weighing only 1.7 kilograms, OUTRIDER is small enough to be launched from a NATO standard submarine signal ejector. The drone can also be launched from vehicles or dropped from aircraft and helicopters.

Despite its size, OUTRIDER can travel up to 50 knots and reduces speed to loiter over the target area for an extended endurance of up to 2.5 hours. The key to the drone’s performance is the patented, high aspect ratio folding wing design that maximizes endurance whilst folding into a small package for storage and launch.

OUTRIDER can be operated remotely or has the ability to be autonomous. The micro drone carries a small EO payload placed at the tail, taking high-definition TV and infrared imaging. The system currently uses a commercially available controller that is already used with other Lockheed Martin UAS. The system has the capacity to operate multiple OUTRIDERS simultaneously from one controller.

The system has already demonstrated the most complex launch from the underwater canister, successfully deploying the drone using a specially designed buoyant structure and compressed air launch. Similar canister launched systems will be used for vehicular applications while on air-dropped deployments the drone will be dropped down from its storage canister.
Major upgradation
Rheinmetall to modernize German MBTs

Rheinmetall will soon be modernizing part of the Bundeswehr's fleet of Leopard main battle tanks, implementing a comprehensive array of upgrade measures. The Düsseldorf-based technology group for mobility and security will be responsible for key parts of a combat performance upgrade programme that will bring 104 Leopard 2 tanks up to state-of-the-art design status.

Coupled with additional services, the modernization package is worth a total of €118 million. The first serially retrofitted Leopard 2 A7V tanks will reach the Bundeswehr starting in 2020.

Rheinmetall will be transforming a total of 68 Leopard 2A4, 16 Leopard 2A6 and 20 Leopard 2A7 main battle tanks, bringing them up to A7V standard. In the process, Rheinmetall specialists will be eliminating obsolescent features in the fire control computers and control consoles as well as installing a new laser rangefinder and thermal imaging device.

In addition, Rheinmetall will be supplying the new L55A1 gun for the 68 Leopard 2A4 MBTs to be modernized. These tanks will therefore be able to fire the latest generation of armour-piercing ammunition in the upper pressure zone. All 104 Leopard 2A7V tanks will be capable of using Rheinmetall's new programmable DM11 multipurpose round.
Loitering munition
IAI introduces maritime version of Harop

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has developed a Maritime version of its Harop Loitering Munitions (LM) family. The new marine capabilities of the HAROP extends the operational capability of surface ships, from offshore patrol vessels to naval frigates. The technological adjustments of the marine Harop include a launcher with new marine configuration and adjustments of the communication channel of the loitering munition.

In the past year, IAI unveiled several new types of LMs, including the New Generation Harpy autonomous anti-radiation weapon designed for air defence suppression missions (SEAD/DEAD) and Green Dragon, a smaller, tactical and affordable LM offering enhanced situational awareness and superior firepower for tactical land forces. The company also introduced a smaller killer drone – Rotem, a tactical LM based on a light multi-rotor platform that delivers outstanding capabilities against low signature enemy systems in urban and complex environments.

HAROP is a long endurance LM which can be launched from a variety of platforms. It combines the capabilities of a tactical UAV and guided missile as it is equipped to search, detect and attack high-value relocatable targets that are exposed for a very short time, thus becoming ‘time critical targets’. The weapon’s EO seeker comprises a high-performance FLIR/ color CCD with 360 degrees hemispherical coverage. In maritime operations, HAROP can be employed against targets on land as well as targets at sea.

When used on marine platforms, the HAROP provides an excellent operational alternative to sea-sea missiles as well as a range of additional uses such as intelligence gathering and allowing the operator to choose the precise timing of the attack.
Improved performance
BAE unveils new MCM system

BAE Systems has unveiled NAUTIS 5, the latest version of its flagship Mine Counter Measures (MCM) system.

BAE Systems’ Naval Autonomy Tactical Information System (NAUTIS) is used to counter the ever-present threat of naval mines. It is installed on board more than 65 ships from seven navies across the world, including the Royal Navy’s Hunt and Sandown class Mine Counter Measure Vessels (MCMVs).

NAUTIS 5 is the result of BAE Systems’ long-term investment in MCM capabilities. It incorporates a number of new and improved features including: improved command and control for autonomous and off-board systems, which can be easily integrated thanks to a new Open Architecture; a new and improved Human-Computer Interface (HCI) utilising the very latest graphical technologies; and embedded onboard training.

For MCM ships using the current version of NAUTIS, a simple upgrade can be installed in short maintenance periods without the need to change on-board consoles. The system uses commercial, off-the-shelf hardware based on Shared Infrastructure technology, an innovative hardware solution that hosts software from multiple combat system technology providers on a single system.

Altogether, NAUTIS 5 offers a reduction in through-life costs, increased operational capabilities, improved user experience, improved agility and the capacity for further growth.

NAUTIS 5’s new autonomous systems capabilities have been developed following BAE Systems’ leading roles in a number of autonomous systems projects and programmes, such as the Royal Navy’s 2016 Unmanned Warrior exercise, the DSTL Maritime Autonomous Platform Exploitation (MAPLE) consortium and the recently launched National Maritime Autonomy Centre.

Easy integration
Remotec introduces multi-mission robot

Northrop Grumman Corporation’s subsidiary Remotec has unveiled the newest member of the Andros line of proven unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs), the Interoperability Profile (IOP)-compliant Nomad.

IOP is a US Department of Defence initiative to organize and maintain interoperability standards for UGVs. With IOP-compliant software messaging and hardware interfaces, Nomad can easily integrate the best available capabilities, sensors and payloads for multiple functions and missions.

Nomad was designed using a proven concurrent engineering process to develop a superior product at an affordable price. Like other robots in the Northrop Grumman Andros fleet, Nomad incorporates the feedback from decades working with first responder and military customers to offer advanced technology, ease of use and reliability.

The mid-size Nomad weighs 164 pounds and measures 35.5 inches long, 23 inches wide and 26 inches high when its mast is horizontal or 42 inches high when the mast is fully vertical. Nomad’s manipulator arm has a lift capacity of 15 pounds when fully extended and impressive dexterity through extensive shoulder pitch, shoulder rotation, elbow pitch and wrist roll abilities. Its four independent track pods provide extreme mobility with stability climbing uneven terrain, complex obstacles and inclines as steep as 60 degrees.

Northrop Grumman is the largest provider of ground robots to the first responder market in the US In addition, the company’s UGVs are fielded across all US military services and bomb squads in 36 countries.
Active armour
Leonardo-led team to protect British army vehicles

Leonardo has been selected by the UK Government’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) to lead a team of UK companies in work that will help protect British Army vehicles against current and future weapons.

Under a Technology Demonstrator Programme (TDP) called ‘Icarus’, the team will develop and demonstrate a way to affordably integrate ‘best of breed’ technologies in a category known as ‘Active Protection Systems’ (APS), preparing them for deployment across the Army’s fleet of land vehicles.

Part of the TDP will see the Leonardo team demonstrate and evaluate an operational prototype against ‘live fire’ weapon engagements. Team members working with Leonardo to deliver the Icarus TDP are BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin UK, Ultra Electronics, Frazer-Nash, Brighton University, Abstract Solutions, Roke Manor Research and SCISYS.

The project is responding to an operational environment where armour by itself will not be sufficient to defend against the capabilities of future weapon systems, in particular threats such as Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs) and Anti-Tank Guided Weapons (ATGW). In order to counter this growing threat, a number of Active Protection Systems (APS) technologies have been developed by industry and are available as off-the-shelf solutions to supplement the physical protection that is offered by an armoured vehicle.

These APS technologies generally fall into either of two categories: ‘soft’ APS solutions that are focused on early threat detection and which attempt todisrupt, decoy or spoof the incoming threat and ‘hard’ APS systems that seek to defeat the incoming weapon system by physically intecepting it, known in military terminology as a ‘kinetic effect’.

Whilst these APS technologies are currently available and will continue to be developed by industry, it is clear that no single solution is suited to every threat scenario or indeed all threats. The key challenge is to be able to rapidly and affordably tailor a vehicle’s combination of APS technologies to optimise survivability prior to, or during, deployment.

Against this backdrop, the primary objective of the Icarus TDP is to develop and demonstrate a UK sovereign Modular, Integrated Protection System (MIPS) Electronic Architecture (EA) that enables “best of breed” APS sensors and countermeasures to be selected, integrated and deployed as necessary to defeat a wide range of current and future battlefield weapon threats.
Accurate monitoring
Elbit Systems unveils SmarTrack

Forces operating in urban, indoor or underground operations face real challenges to effective command, control and situational awareness (SA) due to three-dimensional positioning of forces, limited line of sight and physical partitions. Loss of satellite signal and disrupted communications compound those challenges, significantly increasing risks of blue-on- blue fire, abandonment or loss.

Having accumulated operational experience with its C4I and modern soldier systems
suites, Elbit Systems has unveiled  SmarTrack - an innovative system that enables dismounted forces to maintain situational awareness in GPS Denied environments, providing the fighting or response forces with continual friendly forces tracking capability.

Using Radio Frequency (RF) ranging patented technology, SmarTrack provides force commanders operating in urban areas, inside buildings or when GPS signal is jammed, with three-dimensional location of force members and a data link to transmit C2 data between users, thereby enabling continued operational level command; control and effective SA. SmarTrack weigh less than 150gr per unit and its SA output can be transmitted and read on any end user device held by either the individual operator or the commander. SmarTrack is a natural addition to the Elbit Systems DOMINATOR infantry modern soldier suite, further enhancing safety and operational effectiveness of dismounted units.

SmarTrack enables dismounted soldiers, special-forces and first responders to immediately locate, reliably track and monitor up to 100 members of a network.
Loitering weapon
Rostec develops modernized anti-submarine bomb

At the International Maritime Defense Show in St. Petersburg, State Corporation Rostec presented the Zagon-2E guided anti-submarine aerial bomb .

The bomb has been developed by experts of the State Engineering Research Institute in Balashikha. The weapon has the unique ability to hover above the water surface for up to four minutes. At present, there is no similar model in the world.

The Zagon-2E aerial bomb is used against submarines when they are surfaced, at periscope depth, or up to 600 meters below the surface. The weapon which weighs 120 kg and is 1.5 meters long descends on a parachute from an anti-submarine aircraft carrier-Il-38 and Tu-142M jets, and Ka-27 helicopters- and, while hovering above the water surface for up to four minutes, uses its active hydroacoustic guidance system to locate targets within 450 meters. The bomb is three times more effective than the previous generation models-Zagon-1-and its production cost is three times lower.

The weapon is silent, has no engine, and carries about 35 kg of explosives. This amount is enough to breach the hull of any submarine. The bomb also has a self-destruct mechanism that activates if the target is not detected within a specified period of time.
Combined solution
IAI-Honeywell to jointly develop GPS anti-jam navigation system

Modern navigation, communications, and intelligence collection and electronic warfare systems integrated in modern platforms, rely on the uninterrupted availability of satellite-based navigation and timing for their operation. Despite this dependency, still many platforms do not use Anti-Jamming systems to protect those essential assets. Remaining exposed, even low-power jammers can disrupt or even deny the operation of Global Navigation Satellite Systems, thus degrading the platform's capability to fulfill its mission.

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), and Honeywell Aerospace have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to jointly develop an advanced GPS Anti-Jam navigation system. As part of the MOU, IAI and Honeywell are aiming to engineer, manufacture and market a combined GPS Anti-Jam combined solution.

The new technology will combine IAI's existing ADA GPS Anti-Jamming system together with Honeywell's embedded GPS Inertial Navigation System. The ADA system will be integrated as a subsystem, or as an embedded module into Honeywell's navigation systems.

The joint solution is applicable to military navigation applications (SAASM / P(Y) Code) and has the provisioning to support future directives of the GPS directorate (M-Code).
Integrated solution
ThalesRaytheonSystems and Lockheed Martin MoU

ThalesRaytheonSystems Lockheed Martin have signed a MoU to develop territorial ballistic missile defence capabilities for NATO’s Air Command and Control System (ACCS).

This partnership will offer reinforced protection capabilities to help NATO manage ballistic missile attacks for all the European nations of the Alliance. The territory to be covered is equivalent to a surface area of more than 10 million square kilometres. NATO would have access to an integrated, secure solution, which is developed with the different industrial nations from NATO nations.

ThalesRaytheonSystems will be prime contractor and system integrator for the defence solution, which will combine operational experience and components coming from different partners. Lockheed Martin developed the ballistic missile defence planning capability through its Defense Design System (DDS). Additionally, both Lockheed Martin and Raytheon bring significant expertise and experience as prime contractors for the United States’ ballistic missile defence capability.

For years ThalesRaytheonSystems and Lockheed Martin have combined their strengths to provide NATO with a Theater Missile Defense capability. This MoU is the follow-on of a project that began in 2008 to develop the NATO theatre ballistic missile defence capability.
Expanding partnership
Leonardo DRS contract with US Army

Leonardo DRS has received more than $53 million in orders in 2017 to provide the US Army with its next-generation combat computing systems, called the Mounted Family of Computer Systems, or MFoCS.

MFoCS is the most advanced family of ultra-rugged computers and display systems engineered for military application and it can be installed on every tactical platform variant in use by all of the services.

MFoCS systems are being installed in ground combat and tactical vehicles to provide modular computing capabilities for the Army and other services, giving warfighters the next-generation of computing and display technology with faster processing performance. This enables support for simultaneous applications as well as the integration of additional sensors and communications networks. MFoCS provides rugged tactical computers that meet severe platform environmental requirements while reducing Army and Marine Corps fielding and sustainment costs.

Leonardo DRS has also received a contract award from the U.S. Army for up to $16 million, under an urgent operational need, to develop a counter-unmanned aerial system (C-UAS) capability to protect soldiers from enemy drones.

As the lead systems integrator, Leonardo DRS will work with its teammate, Moog Inc, and additional industry partners to develop this capability. The C-UAS capability will include Moog’s Reconfigurable Integrated-weapons Platform (RIwP) turret, Leonardo DRS’ mast-mounted Surveillance and Battlefield Reconnaissance Equipment-known as SABRE, and other government-provided technologies.

The technologies will be fully integrated on two MRAP All-Terrain Vehicles for a mobile C-UAS capability designed to detect, identify, track and defeat unmanned aerial threats.

Accurate data
BAE develops health monitoring sensors


Engineers at BAE are testing an integrated Bluetooth and sensing technology which reports the remaining service-life of military bridging systems.

The new ‘fatigue monitoring’ technology continuously detects the stress and strain on bridges designed to be used by tanks such as the more than 60 tonne Challenger 2. The sensors then wirelessly transmit data to a handheld device, allowing soldiers to easily assess the health of the bridge.

Without the use of an automated fatigue monitoring system, the remaining service life of rapidly deployable military bridges is based on manual records and is difficult to judge, resulting in bridges being retired early or overused. The new technology uses a series of sensors fitted to the bridge components which undergo the most strain and records around a hundred strain readings per second to monitor.

A computer-analysis then gives a component-by-component overview of bridge health. BAE Systems’ use of fatigue monitoring technology gives military engineers the peace of mind that their bridges remain healthy, even on extended military campaigns where bridges can remain in place for many months.

The biggest obstacle to monitoring bridge health is achieving a continuous flow of accurate data telling what the bridge is experiencing. Simply monitoring the number of crossings – as most military users do now – doesn’t give an accurate picture. The new solution monitors and analyses all of these variables to give a real-time, accurate assessment of bridge condition. It will make it easier to use bridges in civilian situations such as disaster relief, where keeping accurate data on crossings is very difficult. It will also reduce whole-life ownership cost by ensuring bridges are serviced only when required and that they can confidently be used for their entire service life.
Ocean patrolling
RDEL launches NOPV

Reliance Defence and Engineering Limited (RDEL) recently launched the first two Naval Offshore Patrol Vessels (NOPVs) at their shipyard in Pipavav, Gujarat. The ships are part of a five-ship project being constructed for the Indian Navy.

The two NOPVs, Shachi and Shruti, being constructed at RDEL are patrol ships and are armed with 76mm Super Rapid Gun Mount (SRGM) system along with two 30mm AK-630M guns which provide medium range and short-range offensive and defensive capabilities. The armament is remotely controlled through an electronic Fire Control System. The ships are fitted with diesel engine driven propulsion systems and can deliver speeds up to 25 knots. All ship operations are controlled by an intelligent Integrated Platform Management System which has interfaces for all operational activities onboard the ship.

This launch is a significant and milestone event, as these two NOPVs are the first warships to be launched by a private sector shipyard in India.
Enhancing security
Vietnam order Russian tanks

Vietnam has ordered 64 of Russia's T-90S/SK main battle tanks. These include baseline tanks (the 'S' indicates export model and command variants (the 'K' indicator) with the estimated price tag for the acquisition placed at $250 million.

The order comes amidst growing focus placed on the country's air force and navy as Vietnam's security planners pay ever-increasing attention to China's actions in nearby waters.

The Vietnam People's Army operates a mix of Soviet-designed main battle tanks, most of which were acquired from different countries producing variants under licensed agreement such as Poland (T-72s) and China (T-59s). But besides the aforementioned T-72s the vast bulk of the Army's tank inventory is mothballed and obsolete.

The T-90S tanks are likely to be used as replacements for the aging T-55s, few of which remain operational.
Rapid growth
Cyberbit’s new office in Singapore

Cyberbit, whose cybersecuritysolutions protect the world’s most sensitive systems, has opened a new office in Singapore. Cyberbit has identified Singapore as a strategic hub in the AsiaPacific region and is dedicated to being a part of the local cybersecurity ecosystem toprotect Singapore and its assets from cyberattacks.

The new office will enable Cyberbit todirectly support its fast-growing customer base in Singapore, and will accelerate Cyberbit’sexpansion in the area, focusing on government and financial sectors. The Singapore officeis Cyberbit’s third global office.

Cyberbit solutions empower enterprises to detect advanced threats in seconds, protectcritical infrastructure, automate security operations center (SOC) workflows and train staff.With machine learning, big data and continuous technology advancements, Cyberbitmaximizes protection against today’s signature-less threats and arms organizations fortomorrow’s new dimension of attack.

Cyberbit’sproduct suite addresses the entire incident response process from detection to remediationacross IT and OT networks, and includes:

SOC 3D-streamlining incident response by using automation, orchestration andbig-data powered investigation.

SCADAShield-the only full-stack IT/OT security solution for industrial controlnetworks.

Cyberbit Range-the most widely deployed cybersecurity training and simulationplatform.

EDR- endpoint detection and response based on machine learning and behavioural analysis, protecting against advanced and targeted threats, including ransomware,and providing advanced forensics and proactive hunting. Cyberbit is a subsidiary of Elbit Systems.
Modular protection
MKU armouring technology

In the present day combat scenario, helicopters play a major role in security against enemy forces and terrorism. Considering their significant role, it is essential for them to be damage-proof. These expensive machines that routinely go through the test of time and extreme weather conditions can result into a waste of time in a matter of seconds if they are not designed for ballistic protection.

Therefore, armouring a helicopter is an absolute necessity. However, what is more necessary is investing in the right armour solution for these incredible flying steel birds that don’t bring them down with their additional weight, but instead help them fly lighter and protected.

MKU employs some of the most cutting-edge technologies in achieving mission critical modular protection for helicopters, while keeping the weight to the minimum possible.

MKU's 6th Generation Polyshield V6 armouring technology employs advanced materials and new techniques that reduce the weight of armour for platforms by approximately 40% and bulk by 30% as compared to standard armouring solutions. Polyshield V, 6th Generation panels have an areal density of only 14.5 kg/sqm. for rifle protection as per NIJ 0108.01 Level III.

Weight is amongst the four most important factors controlling the performance of a helicopter (besides lift, thrust and drag) and the only one that can be controlled. Polyshield V6 armouring technology significantly contributes to saving of 'effective payload' in an armoured helicopter when compared to other standard solutions without compromising on its protection.

Keeping the multi role operations and survivability of utility and assault helicopters in mind, MKU designs helicopter armour kits using the proprietary 'Modular SchutzTechnik'. Depending upon the mission requirements, armour kits from MKU can be easily and quickly deployed in, or removed from the aircraft either in part or in full without the requirement of any special tools.

'ModulareSchutzTechnik' uses precision engineered composite armour panels along with patented aero-grade attachment systems. These kits are simply installed upon the existing structure of the helicopter without making any structural changes or tampering with the aerodynamics of the Helicopter.
Encouraging talents
India Innovation Growth Programme

The India Innovation Growth Programme 2.0 (IIGP 2.0) made up of Tata Trusts along with founding stakeholders the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and global security and aerospace company Lockheed Martin, display a renewed focus on innovations addressing socio-economic challenges. The newly enhanced programme is joined by new partners,Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Indian Institute of Management at Ahmedabad and Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, in addition to the on-going support and partnership from FICCI and IUSSTF.

Recently the winners from the University Challenge and Open Innovation Challenge of the India Innovation Growth Programme 2.0 (IIGP 2.0) were announced. Over 1300 applications for innovative ideas across social and industrial sectors were received. From the more than 1300 applications, 50 innovators were invited to participate in a week-long advanced training session covering the basic principles of product commercialization, readiness for market, business models, intellectual property rights and competitive positioning by faculty members from the Indian Institute of Ahmedabad (IIM- A).

Following presentations on their ideas in front of an esteemed judges panel, 10 innovators were declared winners of the IIGP award for 2017. This includes a certificate and a cash award of INR 10 lakh each to winners of the University Challenge and up to INR 25 lakh each to winners of the Open Innovation Challenge as Upspeed Funding.

The winning innovations of IIGP 2.0, 2017 provide technologies that can facilitate the promising missions of the government of India, including, Swachch Bharat-Clean India, Green India, Make in India, Digital India, and the recently adopted Healthy India. The IIGP through its past and present winners is striving to strengthen these flagship government initiatives by being a technology enabler.
Versatile aircraft
Pilatus PC-12 NG now approved for commercial operations

Following a decision by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the PC-12 NG, the world's best-selling single-engine turboprop aircraft, is now approved for commercial operations in Europe. The PC-12 has been in successful commercial use for years in other parts of the world, be it for business, medical transport or cargo flights.
 
This important decision by EASA means that the PC-12 can now be operated commercially at night, and under instrument flight rules, across all 32 EASA member states (Commercial Air Transport Single-Engine Turbine in Instrument Metrological Conditions CAT SET-IMC).
 
A spacious, comfortable cabin, high loading capacity and large cargo door make the PC-12 an extremely versatile aircraft. Those qualities combined with a range that is sufficient to cover all of Europe, plus lower operating and maintenance costs compared to twin-engine aircraft, will open up interesting new perspectives for commercial operators in Europe. The worldwide fleet of nearly 1,500 PC-12s has now completed over 6 million hours in the air.
 
Ignaz Gretener, Vice President General Aviation at Pilatus, comments:
 
“CAT SET-IMC will make it possible to develop new routes in Europe. The decision by the EASA provides an incentive for aircraft operators in Europe to replace older aircraft with new, safer, more environmentally friendly single-engine turbine aircraft such as the PC-12. With its short take-off and landing capacities, the PC-12 will also fly closer to the desired destination. We are confident that we will soon see a large number of additional PC-12s providing good service in Europe.”
Strong collaboration
Punj Lloyd and IWI set-up manufacturing plant
            
Diversified conglomerate Punj Lloyd and its JV Partner, Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) recently inaugurated the country’s first Private Sector Small Arms Manufacturing Plant at Malanpur in Madhya Pradesh.  

The joint venture company, Punj Lloyd Raksha Systems (PLR) will be manufacturing small arms for the Indian Defence Forces and also for export.

Present on the occasion, Michel Ben-Baruch, Head of SIBAT, Israel Ministry of Defence said, “Israel's Ministry of Defense fully and wholeheartedly supports this cooperation and will continue to support the transfer of technology and information also in the future, for the betterment of improved advanced tools. Israel and India consider their defense industry cooperation as a monumental step forward, towards a future of immense potential. "

Punj Lloyd Chairman, Atul Punj said, “This is the first opportunity for the country to get its own ‘Made in India’ Small Arms. The need of the hour is to replace the country’s defence weapons with sophisticated and high precision products and Punj Lloyd Raksha Systems is the answer to the country’s immediate need.”

Punj Lloyd brings strong capabilities in Defence across Land Systems, Aerospace, Small Arms and Homeland Security. The objective is to develop genuine force multipliers in providing a decisive edge to the Indian Armed Forces and building a robust indigenous defence industrial base. Some of the Group’s clients in Defence include Ordnance Factory Board, Gun Carriage Factory, Jabalpur, HAL, DLW, AHPL, Fincantieri, SAAB, Toshiba, Metso, Inox Wind among others.

IWI is a member of the SK Group and is a world leader in the production, marketing, design and development of unrivalled weapons for over 80 years. All IWI weapons have been battle proven around the world under adverse and extreme environmental conditions.
Smart tracker
Rafael unveils new Spike missile

Rafael Advanced Defense Systems has unveiled SPIKE LR II, a new 5th generation variant of the SPIKE Family that can be fired from vehicles, helicopters, ships, and ground launchers.

SPIKE LR II  is an advanced multipurpose missile, weighing only 12.7 kg, designed for modern warfare with almost full commonality to the SPIKE Missile legacy and can be launched from any SPIKE Launcher.

For increased lethality, SPIKE LR II includes two unique state-of-the-art advanced and highly capable warhead configurations: a Tandem HEAT warhead configuration, enhancing armor penetration capability by more than 30%, and a new multipurpose blast warhead, which includes controlled fusing (by the gunner) for control of the desired effect.

SPIKE LR II has a range of 5.5 km when fired from ground launchers (an increase of more than 35% above the 4 km range of the original SPIKE LR) and  up to 10 km when fired from a helicopter (using alternative option of RF Data link).

The SPIKE LR II has a modern electro-optical seeker which includes a high quality un-cooled IR sensor and an advanced high definition color day sensor. The new seeker includes capabilities of a smart target tracker with AI features (Artificial Intelligence).

SPIKE LR II was designed against new modern targets with low signature, time-sensitive characteristics. To counter this SPIKE LR II includes an embedded IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) for missions of third party-target allocation, allowing the firing of the missile to grid target coordinates, including advanced armor and protection systems. The SPIKE LR II is one of the only missiles in the world with an inherent CAPS capability.
New milestone
Godrej Aerospace plays key role in GSLV-F09 launch
 
The business unit of Godrej & Boyce , Godrej Aerospace has played a key role in the launch of the GSAT-9 satellite carried out by the Indian Space Research Organisation recently.

This satellite, launched using ISRO’s heavy rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F09), will have multiple applications including tele-medicine, tele-education, terrain mapping and weather forecasting, for countries of the SAARC region. This is significant because India has achieved self-sufficiency for launching all satellites in the 2.4 tonne class.
 
Godrej Aerospace’s contribution to the GSLV includes critical equipment- first stage strap-on Vikas liquid propulsion engine, second stage strap-on Vikas liquid propulsion contour engine and indigenously developed thrust chambers for third stage cryogenic main and steering engine. The company has also manufactured and supplied parts for the satellite’s thrusters, which helps the satellite enter the desired orbit and keep it in orbit during its operational life.
 
Godrej Aerospace has been associated with ISRO since 1985, working with them on complex systems such as liquid propulsion engines for PSLV and GSLV rockets, thrusters for satellites and antenna systems. The company was also an integral part of the prestigious Chandrayaan and Mangalyaan missions. Godrej Aerospace has been committed to the cause of indigenous manufacturing for India’s space programs, and at Godrej & Boyce, partnering the Indian space program is another way to add to the country’s technological know-how.
New addition
Saab’s new lightweight torpedo debut

Saab recently showcased its New Lightweight Torpedo at this year’s Undersea Defence Technology (UDT) exhibition in Bremen, Germany.

In May 2016, the Swedish Defence Material Administration (FMV) placed an order for the development and production of New Lightweight Torpedo system. The total order value of the development program amounts to approximately SEK1.53 billion and deliveries are scheduled during the period 2016-2024.

This is the first time the company has showcased this new and ground-breaking torpedo system to the market. Saab is today the only supplier developing a brand-new torpedo system ready for the modern threats. It is a flexible system that suits perfectly for navies operating in both littoral and blue waters. The development program goes as planned, and during the fall first water test will be conducted.

Saab has over the years established a unique experience and expertise in developing underwater systems, for shallow waters and the types of environments that exist in the Baltic Sea, including adapted propulsion, communications and target seekers.
High accuracy
UVision unveils loitering munition system

UVision Air Ltd-a global pioneer of lethal aerial loitering systems of all Sizes-has unveiled the Hero-400EC, its new enlarged, extended-range, extremely precise loitering munition system.

Equipped with a multi-purpose warhead, Hero-400EC's unique cruciform design delivers high accuracy and reduces collateral damage

The system’s unique cruciform aerodynamic design delivers high-accuracy and reduces collateral damage. Its electric motor enables it to loiter silently above a target, ready to instantly respond to pop-up threats. The Hero-400EC was presented for the first time at the Ground Warfare and Logistics Conference in Latrun, Israel.

The Hero-400EC is a revolutionary Loitering Munition System using man-in-the loop technology and advanced Electro-Optical/Infra-Red (EO/IR) payloads that can locate, track and strike static or moving targets with pinpoint accuracy and surprise. The system features a low noise and thermal signature modular multi-tube launcher that is adaptable to a wide range of platforms, thereby offering air, land, and sea capabilities.
 
The abort capability allows automatic reentry into the loitering mode, re-engagement of the enemy, or return to the recovery area using a parachute. This makes Hero-400EC a cost-effective weapon of choice on today’s asymmetric battlefield. The Hero-400EC has a maximum take-off weight of 40 kg and a warhead weight of 10 kg, with an endurance of up to 2 hours.
Exploring opportunities
Reliance-LIG NEX1 strategic tie up

RInfra promoted Reliance Defence Limited, has entered into a strategic partnership agreement with South  Korean defence major LIG Nex1.

As part of this partnership, two companies will explore opportunities in the indentified range of defence products required by the Indian Armed Forces. LIG Nex1 is an  emerging leader in smart heavy weapons in category of Anti-ship Missiles, Anti Tank Guided Missiles (ATGM), and Guided Rockets.

Currently, there are multiple programs for the Indian Armed Forces that the two companies plan to address together.  This will potentially include improvements to the existing weapon systems which are part of LIG Nex1 portfolio to meet the specific requirements of the Indian Armed Forces.  Cumulative value of Programs being targeted will exceed multi billion.

Two companies have also identified Air Defence & Surveillance Radar that can be manufactured in India, as potential area of co-operation. Two companies will also work on performance enhancement for various systems / platforms in the portfolio of LIG Nex1, to meet the specific requirements of the Indian Armed Forces.
 
Reliance Defence Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Reliance Infrastructure Limited. The Company has industrial licenses for the full spectrum of military platforms and is the fastest emerging private sector enterprise in the development, manufacture and supply of Defence aerospace, land and naval platforms and equipment.
Bright future
Polaris India is keen to explore new avenues

Polaris India Pvt Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Polaris Industries Inc,  has taken one giant step to revolutionize the Indian market for catering to the very culture of the Indian territory with a wide array of diversified off-road vehicles designed exclusively for their elite customers and various utility use. Polaris India has a strong network of 14 dealerships, 2 International dealerships - Kazakhstan and Nepal, 4 PRS (Polaris Riderz Stop) and 67 Polaris Experience Zones (Off-Road Tracks) to take the off-road riding culture way ahead.

In an interaction with STRATEGIC AFFAIRS, Mr Pankaj Dubey, MD and Country Head, Polaris India Pvt. Ltd discusses about the road ahead for the company.

1. What is your assessment about Indian defence market and how do you see prospects for your products.
We are very positive and confident about our defence portfolio as they sync well with the nation’s defence needs and operational requirements; as our products are tailor made to carry out rescue and relief operations in regions where regular vehicles cannot reach.

2. Since India is focusing on border management and increase surveillance capabilities, will your company introduce new technology offer for Indian armed forces.
We have products which have maneuverability, stealth, agility and power. These products can also be enhanced and converted into a force multiplier by mounting surveillance equipment, weapons, strike teams and so on. We will be more than pleased to introduce our latest technology with our border management officials and offer the best suited product and technologies.

3. Are you interested in FICV projects.
Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV) is primarily an armoured light weight tank akin to BMP of Russian origin. Presently Polaris Industries does not have engines for vehicles weighing 23 tons and more, however, it would be interesting to interact and explore if any of our technologies / associate partners {OES (Original Equipment Supplier) to OEM} could be a valuable partner.

4. What are your future investment and collaboration plans.
Polaris India Pvt. Ltd. is a 100% subsidiary of Polaris Industries, and we are operating on our own in India and directly serve the needs of the nation through our latest technology products. We may explore collaboration with forces on specific need.

5. How do you seek to participate in 'Make in India' in defence and what could be your possible challenges and prospects.
We are keen to explore avenues in defence products which mutually benefit both (buyer and seller) and emerge as a valuable defence partner to the country. However, there may be some challenges as the procurement process is very long and complicated.

6. What technology and products you can offer to police and paramilitary forces.
Our products can be used across the length and breadth of our country. We also manufacture the best snowmobiles in the world and the same are being used by Indian Army and as well as Para Military Forces. Various police and para military forces are already using our 4 wheeled platforms and are much satisfied with their performance. It is also pertinent to mention that there are a series of accessories which when mounted on our base platforms can convert them into a Force Multiplier and immensely enhance the capability and lethality of our defence products. All our defence products are air-portable, have IR facility, weapon mounting provisions and adequate payload capacity which makes them mission capable. In addition due to independent suspension system, this not only provides a comfortable ride but it gives stability to the vehicle as well as crew, especially while using weapons during riding.
Quick recovery
DARPA awards phase 2 contracts for Gremlins UAV

DARPA recently completed Phase 1 of its Gremlins program, which envisions volleys of low-cost, reusable unmanned aerial systems (UASs)-or “gremlins”-that could be launched and later retrieved in mid-air. Taking the program to its next stage, the Agency has now awarded Phase 2 contracts to two teams, one led by Dynetics, Inc and the other by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.

The Phase 1 program showed the feasibility of airborne UAS launch and recovery systems that would require minimal modification to the host aircraft.They are now aiming in Phase 2 to mature two system concepts to enable ‘aircraft carriers in the sky’ using air-recoverable UASs that could carry various payloads-advances that would greatly extend the range, flexibility, and affordability of UAS operations for the US military.

Gremlins Phase 2 research seeks to complete preliminary designs for full-scale technology demonstration systems, as well as develop and perform risk-reduction tests of individual system components. Phase 3 goals include developing one full-scale technology demonstration system and conducting flight demonstrations involving airborne launch and recovery of multiple gremlins. Flight tests are currently scheduled for the 2019 timeframe.

Named for the imaginary, mischievous imps that became the good luck charms of many British pilots during World War II, the program envisions launching groups of UASs from multiple types of military aircraft-including bombers, transport, fighters, and small, unmanned fixed-wing platforms-while out of range of adversary defenses. When the gremlins complete their mission, a C-130 transport aircraft would retrieve them in the air and carry them home, where ground crews would prepare them for their next use within 24 hours.

The gremlins’ expected lifetime of about 20 uses could provide significant cost advantages over expendable unmanned systems by reducing payload and airframe costs and by having lower mission and maintenance costs than conventional manned platforms.

Deflector shield
Directed energy atmospheric lens could revolutionize future battlefields

Within the next fifty years, scientists at BAE Systems believe that battlefield commanders could deploy a new type of directed energy laser and lens system, called a Laser Developed Atmospheric Lens which is capable of enhancing commanders’ ability to observe adversaries’ activities over much greater distances than existing sensors.

At the same time, the lens could be used as a form of ‘deflector shield’ to protect friendly aircraft, ships, land vehicles and troops from incoming attacks by high power laser weapons that could also become a reality in the same time period.

The Laser Developed Atmospheric Lens (LDAL) concept works by simulating naturally occurring phenomena and temporarily-and reversibly-changes the Earth’s atmosphere into lens-like structures to magnify or change the path of electromagnetic waves such as light and radio signals.

LDAL is a complex and innovative concept that copies two existing effects in nature; the reflective properties of the ionosphere and desert mirages. The ionosphere occurs at a very high altitude and is a naturally occurring layer of the Earth’s atmosphere which can be reflective to radio waves.

The radio signals bounce off the ionosphere allowing them to travel very long distances through the air and over the Earth’s surface. The desert mirage provides the illusion of a distant lake in the hot desert. This is because the light from the blue sky is ‘bent’ or refracted by the hot air near the surface and into the vision of the person looking into the distance.

LDAL simulates both of these effects by using a high pulsed power laser system and exploiting a physics phenomena called the ‘Kerr Effect’ to temporarily ionise or heat a small region of atmosphere in a structured way. Mirrors, glass lenses, and structures like Fresnel zone plates could all be replicated using the atmosphere, allowing the physics of refraction, reflection, and diffraction to be exploited.
Hard kill
US Army demonstrates integration of laser weapon on combat vehicle

The US Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command team members are laser focused on the future of high energy lasers.

Members of the USASMDC/ARSTRAT Technical Center’s Air and Missile Defense Directorate participated in the Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Organization, or JIDO, UAS Hard-Kill Challenge at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

During the challenge, the Mobile Expeditionary High Energy Laser 2.0, or MEHEL 2.0, demonstrated its counter-unmanned aircraft system, or C-UAS, capability.

The purpose of the JIDO UAS Hard-Kill Challenge was to assess and look at technology to do a ‘hard-kill’ shoot down of Group 1 [unmanned aircraft systems] and inform decision-makers on the current state of technology and how it can deal with single and multiple targets.

MEHEL is a laser testbed on a Stryker-armored fighting vehicle chassis and serves as a platform for research and development. MEHEL 2.0 is an improved version of the original MEHEL with a laser upgraded from 2kW to 5kW and other added C-UAS capabilities.

During the JIDO challenge, MEHEL engaged small, fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicles and quad copters in the first integration of an Army laser weapon onto a combat vehicle.

MEHEL 2.0 also has a number of US Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center counter-unmanned aircraft system mobile integrated capability components to increase the robustness of its capabilities.

SMDC’s Tech Center is the Army’s high energy laser science and technology development lead. The Army recognizes that high energy lasers have the potential to be a low-cost, effective complement to kinetic energy to address rocket, artillery and mortar, or RAM, threats; unmanned aircraft systems and cruise missiles.
Increasing lethality
 ‘Third arm’ may lessen soldier’s burden

Today, some soldiers are weighed down by combat loads that exceed 110 pounds. Those heavy loads may worsen as high energy weapons, which could be larger with heavier ammunition, are developed for future warfare.

To address these challenges, future ground troops may one day have a “third arm” device attached to their protective vests that will hold their weapon, lessening the weight on their arms and freeing up their hands for other tasks.

Weighing less than 4 pounds, the body-worn weapon mount is currently undergoing testing at the Army Research Laboratory, where researchers hope the lightweight device will ensure soldiers pack a more powerful punch in combat.

The goal of the third arm device is to redirect all of a weapon’s weight to the body, making it easier for the Soldier to carry a more lethal firearm.

The passive mechanical appendage, which is made out of carbon fiber composite, can be used in the prone position and on both sides of the body.

To test the device, researchers conducted a pilot with a few Soldiers using an M4 carbine on a firing range at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. As part of the pilot, the soldiers wear electromyography sensors on their arms and upper body to measure muscle activity to determine if there’s a change in fatigue when shooting with the device.

Researchers also score the Soldiers’ shots to see if there’s an improvement in marksmanship.

Further research will look at answering questions by the Soldiers, such as if the device will get in the way if they wear a medical kit on the side or a magazine pouch in the front.

While the M4 is the only weapon currently being tested with the device, researchers they plan to investigate other types of weapons with different calibers, like an M249 squad automatic weapon or M240B machine gun.

The third arm could also allow Soldiers to use future weapons with more recoil.

Researchers also plan to examine the device’s potential applications for various fighting techniques, like shoot-on-the-move, close-quarters combat, or even shooting around corners with augmented reality displays.

Other possible applications for the device include helping a soldier keep his weapon close by as he cuts through a barrier with a power saw during a breaching operation. A Soldier might also use it to carry a shield as he leads other soldiers in clearing a room.
Powerful laser
Lockheed to deliver world record-setting 60kw laser to US Army

Lockheed Martin has completed the design, development and demonstration of a 60 kW-class beam combined fiber laser for the US Army.

During tests, the Lockheed Martin laser produced a single beam of 58 kW, representing a world record for a laser of this type. The Lockheed Martin team met all contractual deliverables for the laser system and is preparing to ship it to the US Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command in Huntsville, Ala.

Lockheed Martin’s laser is a beam combined fiber laser, meaning it brings together individual lasers, generated through fiber optics, to generate a single, intense laser beam. This allows for a scalable laser system that can be made more powerful by adding more fiber laser subunits. The laser is based on a design developed under the Department of Defense’s Robust Electric Laser Initiative Program, and further developed through investments by Lockheed Martin and the US Army into a 60kW-class system.

The Lockheed Martin team created a laser beam that was near “diffraction-limited,” meaning it was close to the physical limits for focusing energy toward a single, small spot. The laser system also proved to be highly efficient in testing, capable of translating more than 43 percent of the electricity that powered it directly into the actual laser beam it emitted.

Laser weapons provide a complement to traditional kinetic weapons in the battlefield. In the future, they will offer reliable protection against threats such as swarms of drones or large numbers of rockets and mortars. In 2015, the company used a 30kW fiber laser weapon, known as ATHENA, to disable a truck from a mile away.

Lockheed has shown that a powerful directed energy laser is now sufficiently light-weight, low volume and reliable enough to be deployed on tactical vehicles for defensive applications on land, at sea and in the air.
Lightening the load
US Army soldiers to receive lighter combat helmet

The US Army has awarded a contract for a helmet that weighs an average of 22 percent less than the one currently in use and officials say it has just as much protection.

The Advanced Combat Helmet Generation II contract was awarded to Revision Military in Vermont to produce up to $98 million in helmets over the next five years.

The Advanced Combat Helmet Generation II looks almost identical to the ACH Soldiers have been wearing for 15 years, but it weighs 9 ounces to almost a pound less than the legacy helmet.

The new helmet is made from ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene, a lighter material than Kevlar, but reportedly just as strong. It can stop 9mm handgun rounds along with various shell fragments.

Collaboration with industry, academia and government research laboratories enabled the weight reduction without compromising integrity.

The weight difference between the new ACH Gen II and the current helmet depends on the size. In the most common size of the helmet, a large, the ACH Gen II will weigh just under 2.5 pounds. This means the new helmet weighs about 12 ounces less than the current large ACH.

The most weight reduction will be in the extra-large helmet. That size will see a reduction of nearly a pound.

The helmet weight reduction will help Soldiers reduce mission fatigue and enhance their situational awareness. They believe the lighter helmet will increase Soldier effectiveness and overall survivability.

The new helmet will also be available to other military services through Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, just like the current ACH.

The helmet and other lightweight body armor items now being developed are among the most promising technologies the Army has been working with.

Air taxis
Airbus is building a self-flying plane

Airbus has announced that it is building a prototype of an electric self-flying plane for a single passenger, which it is calling the Vahana.

According to the reports, the plane would be electric and capable of flying approximately 50 miles.The design has two sets of wings and eight propellers, partly to allow the plane to manoeuvre through urban landscapes.

Airbus aims to launch its air taxis in a decade, with the long timespan reflecting concerns about infrastructure, accessibility and regulation.

The Vahana (named for the creatures that Hindu gods ride upon) looks far different from other small planes because it has to fly straight up and down to fit tight urban landscapes without runways. It achieves that with two sets of wings-one sprouting from the craft’s nose and one from the tail-which tilt up about 90 degrees to a vertical position. The wings carry eight propellers in total, making the Vahana look like a forest of helicopters on ascent and descent. The wings rotate level for flight, providing the extra lift that lets the plane travel more than twice as far as the competing helicopter design Airbus was considering. The Vahana will also have a parachute to bring the whole plane down gently in case of an emergency.

Distributing a bunch of rotors that blow air across the wing produces more lift, especially at lower speeds (handy for pinpoint landings in cities) and thus allows smaller wings, which are more efficient at high speed.

Test flights of Vahana will begin before the end of 2017.
Advanced protection
IAI introduces ADA system

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has unveiled ADA-an advanced system that protects avionic systems from GPS jamming. ADA has already been integrated into several systems and platforms operating both in Israel and abroad.

The ADA system recently won a tender from Israel’s Ministry of Defense, for integration into one of the main platforms of the Israel Air Force. ADA has been developed by IAI’s MALAM Division, a national center of excellence for Anti-Jamming protection of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) receivers. The ADA system will be displayed at the Aero India 2017 as well.

Facing today’s threats to GNSS, these systems are a must, for any platform using GPS, or any other Global Satellite Navigation Systems. The ADA system was successfully evaluated recently in the USA, at the NAVFEST event, where foreign military forces contest anti-jamming systems against various electronic-warfare challenges.

Modern navigation, communications, and intelligence collection and electronic warfare systems integrated in modern platforms, rely on the uninterrupted availability of satellite-based navigation and timing for their operation. Despite this dependency, most platforms do not use electronic counter countermeasures (ECCM) systems to protect those essential assets. Remaining exposed, even low-power jammers can disrupt or even deny the operation of GNSS systems, thus degrading the platform’s capability to fulfill its mission.

Based on an advanced electronic architecture and the implementation of sophisticated digital processing, the agile ADA system, protects a broad range of GNSS systems operating on manned and unmanned combat aircraft and helicopters. ADA variants are also used in land-based platforms such as main battle tanks and APCs, and on naval systems. Other derivatives of the system are integrated in various guided weapons.
Strengthening partnership
IAI set the stage for growth in India

With nearly US$ four billion in annual sales Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is looking at around one billion US$ Billions of sales per year in India, as multiple projects of large scale mature after years of negotiations. Over three decades of operation in India IAI now serves all the Indian military branches and many government agencies throughout the sub-continent.

“We look at India as one of the most dominant markets for IAI,” said Eli Elfassi, VP Marketing of IAI. “Our goal is to continue and strengthen our position in this strategic market, despite the growing competition.” Elfassi added that the excellent reputation and confidence IAI have won over the years with the Indian customers are instrumental for continued success.

As a global leader in air and missile defense, IAI’s systems currently protect Indian naval vessels and are becoming part of the country’s air defense system. Airborne Early Warning aircraft, ground and naval based radars are among the building blocks of major defense systems developed for use with India’s and Israel’s defense forces. IAI and its Indian partners are extending those mature systems, introducing with more models, tailored to address specific customer requirements.

Other projects IAI fielded in India include Harop and Harpy loitering weapons, Searcher and Heron unmanned aerial systems. The latest addition to IAI’s offering is the UAV operation center, providing operators at territorial command or national level with the ability to manage, control and support a large force of drones.

Satellites are another area of leadership for IAI; satellites developed and produced here are orbiting in space supporting remote sensing and communications for national security and commercial users. IAI also offers unique payloads for satellites, enabling users to conduct reconnaissance missions in day or night, and during monsoon season, regardless of cloud coverage.

Projects worth billions require significant local workshare and, over decades of cooperation with the Indian industry IAI has excelled in developing close relations with local contractors, suppliers and partners.

“Through the years, we developed a network of subcontractors and partners. We found here all the necessary technologies, there is a mature infrastructure, suppliers have the will and technical and quality levels to enter development and production of advanced systems, we transfer more orders with time.” Elfassi said.

To make the most of the new MAKE IN INDIA policy IAI is planning to expand its operation. “We plan to go beyond the JVs we already have here, and expand our partnerships to JVs established on divisional basis, with different Indian partners. This will enable us to better compete on
specific opportunities and broaden the cooperation within our Indian JVs,”Elfassi added.
Maximum comfort
Falcon 8X to debut at Aero India 2017

Dassault’s new flagship, the Falcon 8X, is making its India debut at Aero India 2017.  Recently certified, with deliveries under way, this remarkable ultra-long range 8X is now in full production.

Its cabin-the longest in the Falcon family-provides more comfort and a stunning choice of more than 30 distinct layouts. And due to the overall design enhancements, the 8X is every bit as fuel efficient as the Falcon 7X. The Falcon 8X continues Falcon traditions of efficiency, performance, flexibility and comfort, while saving millions in total life cycle costs versus any rival.

With 6,450 nm (11,945 km) range and outstanding short-field performance, the 8X links important city pairs nonstop and accesses 500 more airports in the US alone than its competitors.

Then there’s the superlative airfield performance of the Falcon 8X, which adds even more reach beyond other aircraft in its class.The Falcon 8X can land at 85% of its maximum takeoff weight. So one can fuel up at home base and make a short hop before flying a longer leg of 4,650 nm (8,612 km) without refueling. It’s a capability that can save money on home-based fuel and also boost  mission flexibility.

Thanks to its three engines, it shorten transoceanic routes. They also contribute to the 8X’s slow and stable approach speed-a mere 107 knots (198 kph). And its three-engine performance margins allow takeoffs from shorter runways.

Totally redesigned, the Falcon 8X cockpit features EASy III, a new generation of EASy flight deck and offers an optional wide-screen head-up display, integrating enhanced and synthetic vision for vastly improved situational awareness in low-visibility conditions.

It will also feature Honeywell’s next-generation 3D color weather radar system with enhanced turbulence detection capability. New internal wing architecture both lightens the wing structure and provides more room for fuel. New winglets reduce drag to boost efficiency. The fuselage houses more fuel without reducing passenger space. Landing gear has been reinforcedto provide for additional payload.

The 8X wing takes advantage of more moving control surfaces, including three leading edge slats, three airbrakes and two flaps.

Dassault’s latest generation of digital flight control technology ensures smooth and precise flight path control and flight envelope protection. It has got the longest cabin. And every inch is used to advantage. With over 30 possible layouts, this is the industry’s most flexible cabin and the one most likely to offer an interior solution that meets customer’s exact requirements. Noise and cabin altitude are low. Air quality is high. And connectivity is complete in this Wi-Fi environment, which is equipped with latest FalconCabin HD+ cabin management system.

The FalconCabin HD+ cabin management system gives you control over your environment from anywhere in the cabin, using your Apple® devices. You can track flight progress. There’s even an app that lets you call up a virtual moving map of any area around you by simply pointing your iPad® in its direction.
Hybrid airship
Thales brings innovation to Aero India 2017

Thales, during Aero India 2017, will highlight its relationship with India, its cooperation with the local industry, and capabilities that can optimally serve the modernisation needs of the Indian armed forces.

In addition to its display of wide range of its cutting-edge products, capabilities and latest developments, Thales will also display its innovations in the form of globally acclaimed product Stratobus.

Stratobus is an autonomous stratospheric airship that can be positioned at an altitude of 20 km over its theatre of operations and can perform a variety of missions. Stratobus, the 100-meter-long, five-ton blimp is described as a mix ‘between a drone and a satellite’. Thales Alenia Space is designing the solar powered ship for both civil and military applications, with a focus on surveillance and environmental management.

Its capabilities include surveillance of borders or high-value sites, on land or at sea, security, environmental monitoring and telecommunications, new broadband tactical software- defined radio SYNAPS and C4I systems, Spy’Ranger, a mini surveillance and reconnaissance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) among others.

Using only solar energy and green technologies, Stratobus has a very small carbon footprint-much smaller than that of a small private plane.’

The solar panels are spread over the top of this high-tech autonomous blimp, which generate power for the electric propulsion system.

This system allows the ship to maintain a stable position in wind gusts up to 90 km/h, in which it uses two electric motors on either side and features ultra-light reversible fuel cell for energy storage.

Stratobus has an operation lifespan of five-years and only needs ground maintenance just a few days a year. Stratobus can hover 20 kilometres in the air, which allows for a view range of about 500 kilometres, over its theatre of operations and in the lower layer of the stratosphere, which offers sufficient density to provide lift for the balloon. It will also soar high into the stratosphere, reaching altitudes of 20,000 meters. The ship can hold up into a 40-foot container for easy storage and transportation.

Further Thales is also a member of the Rafale fighter team alongside Dassault Aviation, provides a number of state-of-the-art equipment and systems onboard the Rafale. These include the RBE2 AESA radar, the Spectra electronic warfare system, optronics, the communication navigation and identification system (CNI), the majority of the cockpit display systems, power generation systems and a logistics support component.

Other Thales’ display would include rocket systems, underwater systems (sonars), surveillance and fire control radars, surface warfare systems (missiles), among others.Thales is a global technology leader for the aerospace, transport, defence and security markets. Present in India since 1953, Thales today has over 300 employees working with its wholly-owned Indian subsidiary.
Holistic approach
Elbit to showcase advance capabilities at Aero India 2017

Elbit Systems, an international high technology company engaged in a wide range of defense, homeland security and commercial programs, is looking forward to deepen its long strategic relationship with India.

At Aero India 2017, Elbit Systems will be displaying its cutting edge capabilities which are suitable for the Indian defence market.

Elbit Systems’ Mission Training Centre (MTC) is a networked multi-cockpit, mission oriented training centre supporting many aircraft types. SkyBreaker provides realistic simulated battlefield training using all aircraft systems and mission scenarios to enhance all levels of pilot training.

A sophisticated Helmet Mounted System (HMS) technology that transmits aircraft avionics to the pilot’s helmet, Targo represents a new generation of aviator capabilities for intense flying environments. The Targo solution enables pilots to plan, rehearse, fly and debrief using their personal helmets, providing them with increased situational awareness, safety levels and operational abilities.

Helmet Pointing System (HPS) features enhanced situational awareness including day & night color symbology and innovative line-of-sight technology. It is a proven solution for utility, multi-role, combat and maritime helicopters, operating on over 7,000 helicopters world-wide.

A cutting-edge, integrated Electronic Warfare (EW) suite in a single Line Replaceable Unite (LRU), with comprehensive, advanced EW capabilities, ALL-in-SMALL is comprised of an Electronic Warfare Controller (EWC), digital Radar Warning Receiver (RWR), PAWS-IR Missile Warning System, LWS-advanced Laser Warning System and CFD-Chaff/Flare Dispensing system.

GATR/STAR is a Laser Guidance Kit installed on 70/80 mm rockets, converting them into metric precision guided weapons. Launched from a variety of platforms, STAR/GATR successfully engages soft or lightly armored, stationary or moving targets.

LIZARDis a family of modular guidance kits offering the option of Laser-Seeker (LIZARD2 and LIZARD3) or dual mode (GPS/INS and Laser, LIZARD4) guidance. By converting general purpose bombs into smart munitions, Lizard increases the capability to counter any stationary or moving target, day and night, in all weather conditions.

ReDrone is an advanced anti-drone protection system designed to detect, identify, track and neutralize different types of drones at a designated airspace. The system is capable of separating a drone’s signals from its operator’s remote control signals, as well as pinpointing both the drone and the operator’s directions. After detecting a target, the ReDrone system disrupts the drone’s communication with its operator, blocks its radio and video signals and GPS positioning data, and sends it off track, preventing it from carrying out an attack. ReDrone’s infrastructure is designed for easy and rapid installation in different application areas and terrains, and is suitable for operation in all weather conditions. Its digital control unit, which is based on Android, features an easy-to-use, intuitive user interface.

Light SPEARis a self-protection jammer system for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). The system improves the UAS’ survivability and meets the growing world demand to operate and collect accurate intelligence in a highly hostile environment. This compact ESM & ECM solution is based on multiple DRFM channels, working in parallel and covering a wide spectrum.

Other than these products the company will display its Intelligence & Electro-Optic Systems and few other technology at partner company booths.
Durable technology
UTC Aerospace Systems’ electrothermal ice protection for aircrafts

UTC Aerospace Systems has obtained an exclusive license from Metis Design Corp to a carbon nanotube (CNT) heater-based technology for aircraft electrothermal ice protection.

Aircraft ice protection systems remove or prevent ice from accumulating on the leading edges of wings, stabilizers, and engine nacelles. Once implemented on aircraft, UTC Aerospace Systems’ electrothermal ice protection systems with CNT technology will deliver uniform heat distribution, enhanced damage tolerance and improved fatigue resistance in a lightweight system.

“Thin layers of carbon nanotubes have several emerging and exciting aerospace applications. This technology strengthens UTC Aerospace Systems capability to deliver the most innovative solutions for aircraft ice protection systems,” said Dr. Mauro Atalla, Vice President, Engineering and Technology, Sensors & Integrated Systems, UTC Aerospace Systems. “CNT technology is ideally suited for our ice protection product line, and we have already seen positive customer feedback from testing conducted at our icing wind tunnel. Metis Design has developed this technology over several years and has demonstrated its feasibility in several projects.”

This technology was co-developed by Metis Design Corp and the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This technology supports the aerospace industry’s growing need for more durable, lightweight, damage-tolerant and low-power ice protection systems.

UTC Aerospace Systems’ Sensors & Integrated Systems business is a leading supplier of pneumatic de-icing, ice detection and electrothermal ice protection, with a presence on hundreds of aircraft types. The use of electrothermal ice protection systems is expected to grow as new aircraft become more electric, which will result in a shift away from energy-inefficient bleed air systems. Products built with CNT enable the use of lightweight heaters, have lower thermal inertia and increased damage tolerance compared to traditional electrothermal systems.

Metis Design is a technical consulting firm that focuses on structural health monitoring and multifunctional materials.

UTC Aerospace Systems designs, manufactures and services integrated systems and components for the aerospace and defense industries. UTC Aerospace Systems supports a global customer base with significant worldwide manufacturing and customer service facilities.
Affordable solutions
Patria introduces new technology at IDEX 2017

Patria will display its latest technology at IDEX 2017 in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Patria AMV 8x8 is the most modern and successful combat proven armoured wheeled vehicle with outstanding test results from all over the world. Nearly 1,600 vehicles have already been ordered. At IDEX Patria showcases a new member of the Patria AMV product family-Patria AMV28A with Kongsberg PROTECTOR Medium Caliber Turret (MCT-30) with Commander’s Independent Weapon Station with 12.7 mm Machine Gun and Javelin AT launcher.

Patria AMV’s structural solutions enable high payload capacity, high level of protection and integration of heavy weapon systems. The latest addition to this product family, Patria AMVXP, provides further strength to the company’s product range.

At IDEX Patria introduces the world’s first 120mm mortar system integrated with a container. The Patria Nemo Container includes all the equipment required by a mortar unit in a single package. The Nemo Container is delivered with everything that a mortar unit needs: protection for the crew, the weapon and ammunition. The container has its own power unit and air conditioning. In addition to an access hatch, the container has an escape hatch.

The customer can select NBC  filtration systems, as well as the desired ballistic protection, made either of steel plates or ceramic armour. High-durability steel plating 8 to 10mm thick adds around three tons to the weight of the container. The container has space for one hundred mortar bombs. It has a crew of three: two loaders and a gunner, who also acts as the commander of the unit. The key benefit of the Patria Nemo Container is its easy mobility, which is unique to mortar systems of this caliber. The container can be easily moved into a firing position on a high-speed boat, a ship or on a truck; the container can also fire from any of these carriers and naturally also from the ground.

In addition, Patria AMV Part Task Trainer (PTT)-the training system for Patria AMV is on display. Patria AMV Part Task Trainer (PTT) combines virtual training environment and modelled AMV driver’s position with all the essential driver’s controls and systems. Training with AMV PTT familiarizes the trainee with the environment and functionality of the vehicle needed in operational AMV usage. High fidelity VBS (Virtual Battle Space) based synthetic environment with extensive networking capabilities makes it possible to network AMV PTT with other PTTs or simulators to enable mission training.

Patria Group has founded a new company in Abu Dhabi- Patria Land Middle East Ltd, and it is fully owned by Patria Group. The new company will strengthen Patria’s presence in the Arab Emirates and Middle East, while indicating its long-term commitment to the region. At the initial stage, the company’s objective is to be close to the customer and support sales, marketing and offset trading. In the future, Patria may expand its operations by means such as starting to sell technical support, training and spare parts.
Walking steps
Self-generated power could reduce soldiers’ load

Soldiers nowadays carry multiple electronic devices that aid in strategy, communication and navigation, including computers, radios, mobile phones, battlefield situational displays and navigation tools-to name just a few. Being without power to run these devices could impact soldier safety, performance and efficiency. Further, heavy loads can increase injuries as well as impact mobility.

To address these challenges the US Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, or NSRDEC is developing a device that can generate power for soldiers just by walking.

Today’s warfighters may one day find themselves knee-deep in power. The bionic power knee harvester, also known as the PowerWalk, is an energy-harvesting device that is attached to both the upper and lower areas of both legs and generates power from movement. The device is still in development. Field trials will begin in 2017.

The device is designed to extract the energy expended when the knee is flexed and negative work is being performed. The system adjusts to a person’s gait, so soldiers don’t feel like they are wearing a device and can even forget that they have it on.

The power generated by the device charges the main battery. The goal is to reduce the amount of batteries used by soldiers, or to be able to extend the mission with the same load.

Soldiers are carrying a heavy load and a lot of that weight, 16 to 20 pounds for a 72-hour mission, is due to batteries. In addition to potentially lightening the load by reducing the number of batteries needed, the energy-harvesting technology could also free up space in backpacks for other supplies, including food and water.

By wearing the device, soldiers can generate power to recharge batteries for themselves or for others. The objective is to have the device weigh one pound and be capable of generating 3.5 watts and to have a device weighing two pounds able to generate 10 watts.

As a generator, it creates power. As a motor, it could enhance movement. It could potentially be used in the future for human augmentation. The device could also serve to reduce the logistical burden. In remote places, it could potentially increase self-sustainability and independence by reducing the need for resupply. The knee energy-harvesting device also reduces muscle fatigue during downhill walking.

NSRDEC is working with Bionic Power of Canada on the joint-service project, which will benefit the Army and the Marine Corps infantry.
Unique findings
Nanotechnology may revolutionize future engines

At the US Army Research Laboratory, scientists are on the hunt for nanomaterials that could improve engine technology in a big way.

“What we’re seeing is a revolutionary property arising in a class of materials that we never thought was possible,” said Dr. Kristopher A. Darling, a materials scientist with the laboratory’s Lightweight and Specialty Metals Branch.

Darling and his team of collaborators published new findings which they believe could lead to many new materials applications, including inside turbine engines, where temperatures can soar to more than 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit.

Darling outlines how his team stabilized a copper alloy microstructure and found it to be strong at very high temperatures.

The Department of Defence depends on jet turbine engines that require just this combination of high-structural strength coupled with high thermal stability, though the material is copper, not a material typically used in engines.

But what it demonstrates is that these types of microstructures are capable of achieving properties that are extraordinarily high in comparison to what one would normally see in a conventional type of material.

The team hopes to recreate the combination of properties within other types of materials like nickel, cobalt or tantalum, which would have the potential to revolutionize engine technology.

“We’re seeing orders of magnitude improvements in the creep response,” he said. “There is a six to eight orders of magnitude increase in creep response relative to what conventional nanocrystal materials can do.”

Darling said the findings are all about the “creep response”, which refers to how materials deform under continuous stress at elevated temperatures.

According to Darling, results from the preliminary tests of the material left the scientists scratching their heads. So they reached out to colleagues at the University of North Texas and Arizona State University to confirm what they were observing was correct.

“A lot of times unique discoveries are made by accident or by sheer luck, and this was one of those cases where we started to probe the material and we didn’t see the response that we were expecting,” Darling remembered. Scientists at these institutions were just as baffled.

Nanotechnology research in metals is a relatively young field. Just a couple of decades ago, researchers were just learning how to synthesize nanomaterials in bulk form and just beginning to understand their fundamental properties.

Darling has been studying this material for about five years. He started working at the laboratory after earning his doctoral degree from North Carolina State University in 2009.

The US Army Research Laboratory is part of the US Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to ensure decisive overmatch for unified land operations to empower the Army, the joint warfighter and the nation.
Solo companion
Advances in robotics could mean robot teammates for soldiers

The US Army researchers are developing new advances to enable autonomous robots to operate more like teammates and less like tools.

The current generation of unmanned aerial and ground vehicles employed by the Army require a human operator, but the job of interpreting the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data is labor intensive and that can result in a much longer than real-time analysis.

Current generations of vehicles also rely excessively on GPS connectivity for positioning. Similarly, information acquisition, particularly video, relies on high bandwidth wireless communications.

Key to reaching this goal of achieving an effective robot-Soldier team will be enabling the robot to better understand the Soldier’s or the commander’s intent.

In late 2014, Army Research Laboratory personnel brought aerial robots to test with the infantry in a Manned/Unmanned Teaming (MUM-T) exercise sponsored by the Army Training and Doctrine Command. The robots were representative of current commercially-available capabilities and emerging capabilities developed through academic research.

The purpose of the exercise  was to determine how soldiers could make use of autonomous systems in an operational setting. It confirmed that autonomous systems can be a battlefield asset, particularly maneuvering ahead of the soldier.

The robot could help a soldier by identifying disturbed ground, which is a sign of a buried improvised explosive device. It could also examine the interior of a building and look around a corner or over a berm.

There is a sweet spot of autonomy where the robot is advanced enough not to be a burden for a soldier, but not so advanced that it exhibits what is generally thought of as artificial intelligence.

Eventually, the Army researchers’ efforts to enable efficient human-robot teaming may involve actually instrumenting the soldiers themselves. The lab is moving towards an effort called “Continuous, Multifaceted Soldier Characterization for Adaptive Technologies,” which will focus on methods to assess and predict moment-to-moment changes in individual soldier states under real-world conditions such as fatigue or stress.

In other words, the robotic teammate would be capable not just of speech recognition, but also of understanding a soldier’s capability level and factoring that into its response to the current situation and its mission. Sensors on the Soldiers like “next generation-Fitbits” might provide the robot with some of the required information, but to be effective on the battlefield, whatever solution is employed for a soldier-robot team must be scalable to many teams of soldier-robot teams.

Such a solution must also be lightweight and small in size, given all other required items soldiers must carry.

Minimising risks
Thales launches unmanned MCM Pathmaster

In today’s volatile international context; countries are stepping up measures to protect their maritime approaches, commercial ports and naval bases. At the same time, it is crucial to limit the exposure of operational personnel to undersea mines.

Building on 50 years’ experience serving naval forces all over the world, Thales is developing advanced technologies that support transition from conventional solutions such as dedicated mine countermeasures vessels to new solutions based on unmanned systems.
At Euronaval this year, Thales launched Pathmaster, the first fully configurable unmanned mine countermeasures system for naval forces seeking to minimise the risk exposure of their crews. Pathmaster draws on the latest imaging technologies and is the most advanced unmanned mine countermeasures system in the world. It can be deployed from the shore, from a mine countermeasures vessel or from any other type of naval platform.

Pathmaster features SAMDIS, Thales’s latest-generation high-resolution synthetic aperture sonar, with multi-aspect imaging technology to improve classification performance. With its multi-aspect functionality, the SAMDIS sonar views targets from three different angles. Pathmaster brings any naval force the high levels of operational performance that were previously only available to a few select nations.

Pathmaster is flexible enough to adapt to the operational requirements of newly emerging naval powers as well as major navies. It is built around an expert system for reliable detection, classification and location of even the stealthiest mines and its fully configurable system can be tailored to the needs of individual navies.

Only Thales’s multi-aspect technology is capable of delivering high detection and classification performance against modern mines. The technology was successfully evaluated by the French defence procurement agency (DGA) in 2016.

Thales is already using multi-aspect technology on the French-UK maritime mine countermeasures programme (MMCM). This contract was awarded in 2015 to meet specific requirements set out by France and the United Kingdom. SAMDIS technology has also been selected for two export programmes in Asia.

With its automatic deployment and recovery system, automatic target recognition functions and user-friendly tactical software for minefield management, the Pathmaster system is simple to use and requires minimal specific training. Pathmaster brings world-class mine countermeasures capabilities within reach of every naval force.

Thales has led a long term in-depth process on the system configuration to consider the French Navy and the Royal Navy’s needs, who both have the highest standards of mine warfare capabilities. The prototypes being delivered in 2019 will thus be the most advanced system available on the market.

Intelligence gathering
Elbit Systems presents GroundEye

Elbit Systems has launched GroundEye, an innovative line of systems for ground-based wide-area, focused and persistent surveillance. It was presented at the Israel HLS & Cyber Conference, Tel Aviv.

GroundEye has been developed specifically to address requirements raised by security and law enforcement agencies to improve operational responses against terrorism and homeland security threats such as border protection, facility security-related events, sporting events and mass public shootings.

The GroundEye line comprises advanced systems and capabilities in the field of imagery intelligence gathering, which together provide a complete picture and large Field of View (FOV), to a large number of users, in both real time and back-in-time, for forensic debriefing and in high-resolution.

Readily operable by one or more persons, the GroundEye surveillance system can be used to zoom into multiple target areas of interest, while offering easy manoeuvrability between different areas according to operational requirements, and facilitating continuous reception of data and video coverage as well as high-quality image resolution in all areas of surveillance.

When deployed, the system provides ground force commanders important insights on events occurring simultaneously but in different places, as well as the ability to acquire, record and investigate forensic data, in real time or ‘back-in-time’ (via video recording). In addition, the system enables creation of highly-effective virtually closed-off areas (safe zones) that generate a virtual fence around the perimeter of any secure area.

The GroundEye features a fully-programmable alerting application based on the “safe zone” area, allowing operators to be notified for specific/
unusual events. This capability complement and enhances GroundEye’s unparalleled persistent surveillance functions and provide the operator with an exceptional solution for locating, identifying and monitoring diverse event types.

At the heart of the product line are a panoramic mast-mounted/tripod mounted sensor head that houses the system’s cameras and front-end electronics, an advanced computer processing unit, high-speed image analysis applications (e.g tracking and VMD) and a simplified user control station that is interoperable with the user’s existing command and control center.

GroundEye line of systems can be operated as a standalone system or integrated into a Command & Control network. It can also be integrated and operated within all existing surface observation platforms and components, thereby contributing to create a unified picture of the area.

GroundEye changes the common paradigm of surveillance. It has already been successfully evaluated and tested by security teams in Israel and internationally, proving the benefits it offers in enabling decision makers to have a clearer picture in less time.
Early warning
IAI introduces CWS which prevents mid-air collision

Increasing congestion in civil air space poses a growing challenge to flight safety in general and, specifically for military operations in near proximity to, or within civilian airspace.  The growing congestion of the airspace and lack of integration between military and civil air spaces requires new, independent solutions to prevent collisions.

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is pioneering military flight safety with the introduction of its Collision Warning System (CWS), an innovative, lifesaving solution designed to warn combat pilots in situations when potential collision with commercial and civilian aircraft is imminent. CWS has been developed by IAI’s MALAM Division.

Extending the collision-warning functions of IAI’s EHUD range-independent air-combat maneuvering instrumentation (ACMI), the CWS system can monitor non-military platforms and warn of the proximity and risk of collision with commercial aircraft. Monitoring is performed through integration of IFF (Interrogation Friend/Foe) and ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance - Broadcast).

The CWS creates an aerial picture and provides a complete air situational picture with warnings visible only to the military pilot-no indications are provided to civilian aircraft. Warnings are provided in three different forms - a voice warning, graphical indication on a tablet panel and via symbols presented on existing cockpit displays (MPD/MFD). The CWS is embedded in existing or new EHUD/ RAIDS/FRP systems, or carried as a stand-alone pod, which requires only a single interface unit, and thus requires only minimal integration into the aircraft.

The system builds the air situational picture based on the reception and interrogation of EHUD, IFF and ADS-B signals. By plotting existing and projected flight paths of all aircraft flying in the area, the system identifies potential collisions and warns the pilot in advance of such events. Among the data processed are the flight characteristics and maneuverability of each fighter jet, which are profoundly different from those of civilian aircraft. Warnings are therefore generated only when a clear and imminent danger exists.

The system is designed for 4th and 5th generation fighter jets, training aircraft, military helicopters and remotely piloted aircraft (RPA). It is based on the extensive experience gained by MLM in the development and deployment of many generations of ACMI systems, and high bandwidth, real-time datalinks. The system is currently in evaluation by a few leading air forces.

The CWS combines the independence, operational freedom, ease of integration and affordability which are so important for the military operator, enabling military pilots to fly safely without risk to civilian or military aircraft nearby, in both training and operational flights.

Coordinated mission
Lockheed UAS and optionally piloted helicopters validate rescue capabilities

When lives are at risk, advanced human-machine teams can complete dangerous missions without putting others in harm’s way.

Recently Lockheed Martin demonstrated for the first time how its suite of optionally-piloted helicopters and small unmanned aerial systems can work together to successfully locate and extinguish fires, pinpoint the location of a missing person, and bring that person to safety.

During this demonstration, the optionally piloted Kaman K-MAX and the Sikorsky Autonomy Research Aircraft (SARA) engaged in collaborative firefighting and search-and-rescue with the Indago quadrotor and Desert Hawk 3.1 fixed wing unmanned aircraft system (UAS) providing information, surveillance and reconnaissance.

Also during the demonstration, the Indago identified hot spots and relayed that information to an operator who directed the K-MAX to autonomously retrieve water from a nearby pond and drop it onto the fire, thus extinguishing the flames.

The Desert Hawk identified the location of a missing person and SARA, a modified S-76 commercial helicopter, conducted the search and directed the rescue. The Sikorsky MATRIX technology on SARA gives operators the confidence to fly large rotorcraft safely, reliably and affordably as autonomous or optionally piloted aircraft.

Lockheed Martin integrated the MATRIX technology with K-MAX so that SARA and K-MAX could communicate with each other during the demonstration. Using information provided by K-MAX, SARA autonomously scanned the area and found a safe place to land.

The advances that Lockheed Martin is pioneering in autonomous and unmanned technologies will lead to improved safety and efficiency for humanitarian aid, first response and other civil, commercial and military operations in the air, on land and undersea.

The goal of the company is to support the integration of autonomy into aviation to improve the safety and capabilities for military and commercial missions. Utilizing MATRIX to support the mission in this demonstration highlights an example of the ability to reduce pilot workload and augment mission performance.

Autonomous and unmanned systems are changing the way militaries operate and protect forces, the way first responders fight fires and how researchers explore the ocean terrains. Lockheed Martin is extending the capabilities of human-machine team to expand across air, land and sea domains.
Alternate energy
Hybrid power for combat vehicles

The US Army is analysing all the possibilities to run the next-generation combat vehicle (NGCV) on alternate-power sources, which will also have directed-energy weapons, advanced-composite armor and an active protection system.

The threats facing combat vehicles in the future will shape the NGCV. The biggest threats to combat vehicles now are rocket-propelled grenades, armor-piercing-guided munitions known as APGMs, and improvised explosive devices or mines. Non-state actors are heavily armed with these systems, as well as state-level opponents. Cyber disruption and electronic warfare are also threats to deal with.

But there’s a solid four years of analysis that has to occur before decisions are made on procurement requirements. This is not a short-term endeavour. This is a multi-decade effort to get us to the first unit equipped in 2035, believes Col William T Nuckols, director of the Mounted Requirements Division at the Manoeuvre Center of Excellence.

There are five major renewable energy sources. Wind, geothermal-and for the most part solar-really aren’t practical in the combat vehicle role. That leaves biomass and hydro power as possibilities.

Biofuels offer a cheaper and readily available alternative to diesel or gas. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, known as DARPA, is experimenting with algae to produce biofuels.

Hydrogen fuel-cell technology is available now, but it’s dense. Hydrogen fuel cells today would need to be two or three times the size of diesel fuel tanks, so there are challenges that need to be worked out.

Fuel cells coupled with other technology, like high-capacity batteries might be able to energize weapons like lasers. Fuel cells can also be coupled with diesel to save money on fuel and decrease the logistics footprint on the battlefield.

While laser technology is emerging for weapons, more research needs to be conducted to use directed-energy for vehicle protection.

Vehicles of the future will need 360-degree protection.  Threats could come in the form of unmanned aircraft; threats on the side from conventional weapons and threats underneath from IEDs.

Many advanced-composite materials are being looked at for armor protection, nanotechnology and nano-grain metals are also possible. External suspension is another technology that can help protect against underbelly blasts.

While specific details are still being developed for the NGCV, it could be a single combat vehicle that replaces the Abrams tank, the Bradley and even the Stryker.

Quick adaption
New chip for EW radio systems

To address the need for radio systems that can adapt to changing environments on the fly and that can be easily reconfigured once they’re in the field, engineers have developed the innovative MATRICs (Microwave Array Technology for Reconfigurable Integrated Circuits) chip.

MATRICs helps address the future requirements of communications, electronic warfare, and signal intelligence systems. The new, general-purpose chip enables engineers to develop customized radio systems without the need for application-specific chips that are expensive and time consuming to develop.

Because MATRICs operates over a very wide spectrum of radio signals, systems based on this chip can benefit from reduced size, weight, and power (SWaP) without the long development cycles and expensive engineering costs typically associated with customized chips. The reduced SWaP of the MATRICs chip makes it ideal for critical applications including unmanned aerial platforms and man-portable radios, where light weight and low power are at a premium. The MATRICs chip also lets engineers create rapid prototypes and working systems that can be fielded faster and that can accelerate the speed of delivery for new technology.

MATRICs was developed and matured with funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), as part of its Adaptive RF Technology program. The ART program aims to advance the hardware used in radios that can reconfigure themselves under a range of environmental and operating conditions.
Guided precision
MBDA tests new laser effector

MBDA Deutschland recently successfully conducted tests of a new high-energy laser effector at a military training facility on Germany’s North Sea coast, marking the next step in the progression from technology to product. In this series of trials, the system was tested under real environmental conditions for the first time.

During the tests MBDA Germany’s laser effector illuminated a quadcopter drone acting as a target on Germany’s North Sea coast to verify the beam guidance and tracking system.

The primary purpose of this series of trials was to test the beam guidance and tracking system, with a simulated engagement of airborne targets. In this exercise, the targets were preset, scanned with the laser target illuminator, and an aim point was held on the target for an extended period. The quadcopter serving as the airborne target, performed a variety of often highly dynamic manoeuvres at a variety of ranges.

The tests verified the functionality of the overall system and the performance capability of the further improved tracking system. In spite of often adverse weather conditions, including heavy rain and storms, the system was able to successfully track all the targets involved in the trials. During night trials, the demonstrator proved capable of acquiring and tracking targets even under conditions of poor visibility. In other experiments, the laser team simulated a defence against a swarming attack, which required rapid switching between targets approaching from different directions. The laser effector has enormous future potential.
Floating cargo
Aurora to develop unmanned UH-1H

Aurora Flight Sciences continues to break ground on the development of advanced autonomous capabilities for vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) systems. Aurora’s work on the Autonomous Aerial Cargo Utility System (AACUS) program will be leveraged to integrate the company’s Tactical Autonomous Aerial Logistics System (TALOS) on a UH-1H helicopter.

The primary goal of the AACUS program is to enable rapid cargo delivery by unmanned, and potentially optionally-manned, VTOL systems. AACUS encompasses the development and implementation of VTOL-based obstacle detection and avoidance, and allows for autonomous landings at unprepared, off-field, non-cooperative landing sites. AACUS also enables dynamic contingency planning to the point of landing, with goal-based supervisory control by any field personnel with no special training.

Aurora’s work on the Autonomous Aerial Cargo Utility System program entails fitting its Tactical Autonomous Aerial Logistics System to an autonomous UH-1H helicopter so as to obtain two autonomous systems capable of operating together.

At the AACUS flight testing event, the AACUS program demonstrated on a manned Bell 206 the perception and planning capabilities required for autonomous takeoff, transit and landing. Aurora’s TALOS system has been demonstrated previously on a Boeing H-6U Unmanned Little Bird flown autonomously, and three different human-piloted Bell 206 aircraft.

The final phase of the AACUS program will transition the TALOS system onto an autonomous UH-1H platform currently under development at Aurora, with culminating demonstrations occurring in 2017-2018. Aurora’s TALOS system is being developed for the AACUS program with funding from the US Office of Naval Research.
Engaging target
Advanced anti-drone protection system

A unique solution for protection of closed air spaces, national infrastructures and other critical areas against hostile drones penetrating the protected perimeter has been developed by Elbit Systems EW and SIGINT Elisra.

Named ReDrone, this system is designed to detect, identify, track and neutralize different types of drones that are flown within a range of radio frequency communication protocols. The system was recently presented at a conference along with Elbit Systems’ SupervisIR, a revolutionary infra-red wide-area persistent ISTAR system. SupervisIR can be integrated and operated within the ReDrone system thus enabling full-scale Signal Intelligence (SIGINT) and thermal imaging detection capabilities of hostile drones.

The ReDrone’s open system architecture allows multiple hardware configurations, including an array of controllers and sensors for target detection, tracking and engagement. The system is also capable of separating a drone’s signals from its operator’s remote control signals, as well as pinpointing both the drone and the operator’s directions.

The advanced detection system provides 360-degree perimeter protection and complete, up-to-the-minute situational awareness. It can also deal with a number of different drones simultaneously. Due to its advanced passive detection features, ReDrone also enhances environmental protection and supports the safety of civilians and air platforms inside the secured airspace.

After detecting a target, the ReDrone system disrupts the drone’s communication with its operator, blocks its radio and video signals and GPS positioning data, and sends it off track, preventing it from carrying out an attack. ReDrone’s infrastructure is designed for easy and rapid installation in different application areas and terrains, and is suitable for operation in all weather conditions. Its digital control unit, which is based on Android, features an easy-to-use, intuitive user interface.
Autonomous tracking
Liquid Robotics and Boeing demonstrates maritime warfare capabilities

Liquid Robotics, the leader in long-duration, unmanned surface vehicles (USVs), and Boeing have for the first time used a network of persistent USVs to detect, report and track a live submarine in a naval demonstration.

Four Sensor Hosting Autonomous Remote Craft (SHARCs) were deployed off the coast of Northern Scotland during the British Royal Navy’s Unmanned Warrior 2016 demonstration. The autonomous surface vehicles used advanced Boeing acoustic sensors in the live anti-submarine warfare (ASW) mission.

Over the two-week demonstration, the SHARCs successfully detected and tracked an advancing unmanned underwater vehicle and most significantly-a manned diesel submarine. The SHARCs provided detailed and actionable intelligence to commanders through more than 100 automated contact reports, proving the USVs efficacy to autonomously conduct ASW missions and exchange data in real time.

In addition to the ASW mission, two SHARCs equipped with meteorological and oceanographic sensors were deployed to the North Atlantic to gather data that ultimately contributed to sensor prediction models for Unmanned Warrior and Joint Warrior, a major bi-annual collective training exercise also hosted by the Royal Navy.

The SHARCs operated 24X7 in harsh conditions unfavorable for manned operations - waves in excess of 6.6 meters and winds of more than 60 knots - to autonomously provide real-time data on the weather and ocean conditions critical to the safe operation of the Unmanned Warrior systems.
Aerial detection
LDS unveils SpectroDrone to find explosives

Following extensive testing in the laboratory and in the field, Laser Detect System (LDS) Ltd has unveiled SpectroDrone-the world’s first drone-based explosive detection sensor.

SpectroDrone is the world’s first sensor system capable of detecting explosives, Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and other chemical compounds from a safe, standoff distance.

Utilizing LDS’ laser-based explosive detection system, SpectroDrone detects explosives and other hazardous materials, in gas, liquid, powder or bulk form, at a distance of several meters from the threat. SpectroDrone can perform such missions over an operational radius of up to 3 Km. In addition to the detection of dangerous materials, SpectroDrone can remotely analyze different materials in real time, fulfilling essential role in mining and other industrial operations.

SpectroDrone was displayed integrated on the Airobotics Optimus drone-a high capacity multi-mission multi-rotor drone. In this new configuration SpectroDrone automatically detects and analyzes explosives materials and IEDs, hazardous compounds, and narcotics from a distance, in addition to its surveillance role, thus enhancing situational understanding and real-time response to emergency situations. The SpectroDrone payload can also be mounted on ground robots and in fixed operation such as LDS’ SPHERE vehicle inspection systems.

SpectroDrone implements LDS’ patented, laser-based detection technology. The payload comprises multiple electro-optical assemblies comprising a laser source emitting several wavelengths, laser range finder and high-resolution camera-all integrated with state of the art spectrometers which that operates LDS’s software package and proprietary algorithms.
Tiny sensors
A new generation of networked nuclear radiation detectors

A DARPA program aimed at preventing attacks involving radiological “dirty bombs” and other nuclear threats has successfully developed and demonstrated a network of smartphone-sized mobile devices that can detect the tiniest traces of radioactive materials.

Combined with larger detectors along major roadways, bridges, other fixed infrastructure, and in vehicles, the new networked devices promise significantly enhanced awareness of radiation sources and greater advance warning of possible threats.

During the month-long test, the system provided more than a 100-fold increase in ability to locate and identify sources of radiation as compared to currently installed systems.

The demonstration of efficacy earlier this year was part of DARPA’s SIGMA program, launched in 2014 with the goal of creating a cost-effective, continuous radiation-monitoring network able to cover a large city or region.

Although radiation detectors have in recent years been installed in a number of key locations in the United States and around the world, the SIGMA program has sought to increase capabilities while lowering their costs, in order to network an unprecedented number of advanced detectors and provide a comprehensive, dynamic, and automated overview of the radiological environment.

All sources of radiation that SIGMA sensors identified were non-threatening, but the system proved how it could pinpoint the location and intensity of a source and specify, in each case, the type of radiation to which it was alerting authorities.

Fulfilling the SIGMA program’s initial goals, the pocket-sized radiation “pager” sensors developed by DARPA and used in the exercise can be easily the cost of conventional sensors, and are up to 10 times faster in detecting gamma and neutron radiation. Moreover, the program achieved its price goal of 10,000 pocket-sized detectors for $400 per unit. The ability to network hundreds, and soon many thousands of these smart detectors would make cities in the United States and around the world safer against a wide variety of radiological and nuclear threats.

A key feature of the SIGMA architecture is that it allows for automated, real-time detection, identification, and tracking of nuclear threats with continuous situational awareness via web-based command and control interfaces.

DARPA is planning to demonstrate SIGMA’s full city- and regional-scale, continuous wide-area monitoring capability in 2017 and to transition the operational system to local, state, and federal entities in 2018.
Secure shield
Russia develops ferrite fiber for electronics of armored vehicles

A subsidiary of the Russian Electronics Holding Company (itself a subsidiary of Rostec) has developed a ferrite fiber designed for protecting the electronics of armored vehicles, air defense missile systems and aircraft against enemy electronic warfare (EW) systems.

Ferrit-Domen JSC, which has developed the material, says the fiber is unique because nobody anywhere in the world, including Russia, has ever developed a material with such a low specific weight and such high absorbing properties. The ferrite fabric protects against 0.5-50GHz electromagnetic radiation. It reduces the electromagnetic field of the vehicle it equips down to 10-30dB (radiation reflected by the material) and 100dB (radiation that passed through the material). This allows making both static and moving objects in battle virtually invisible to PGMs homing in on the target’s thermal, infrared or electromagnetic signatures.

The ferrite fiber allows the stability of electronic equipment ranging from the smartphone in a soldier’s hand to the target acquisition and missile guidance radar of the S-500 surface-to-air missile system. In terms of properties, the advanced material can be used for protecting both ground- and ship-based electronic devices.

Its ability to absorb electromagnetic radiation is on a par with that of heavier and bulkier analogs used in radio electronics for shielding against electromagnetic weapons and preventing friendly materiel from being given away by its electromagnetic emission.

Camouflaging combat vehicles in battle is high on the priority list of advanced materiel development. It is all the more so now that there are electromagnetic fields generated by the intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR), target designation and communications systems in addition to the thermal signature of the engines.

The protection the new fiber will provide implies not only shielding against electromagnetic attacks, but camouflaging against radar as well, e.g. camouflaging the defensive hardware or ground-based attack groups-covering Armata tanks with radar-scattering sheets.

The advanced material also ensures health protection for high-voltage level facility personnel in the ultra-wide band. The material is fit for use in medicine-in areas where diagnostic, therapeutic and decontaminating electronic equipment is operated.
Saving life
US Army gives combat medics new type of tourniquet

Throughout the history of modern warfare, countless wounded fighters have been saved from bleeding to death by tourniquets-the straps or ties that wrap around a damaged limb and staunch haemorrhaging.

But what if a soldier is shot through the pelvis, or in the armpit, where a tourniquet would be of no use? Exsanguination (bleeding to death) is the most common cause of potentially survivable death for wounded warfighters.

Militaries the world over have grappled with the question for decades, and the issue took on new urgency during the US-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The US military gained wide experience in Afghanistan and Iraq, where shrapnel and gunshots accounted for about three-quarters of battlefield wounds.

Now the US Army has found an answer. The service currently is training and equipping its combat medics with a new device, called a junctional tourniquet.

It looks a bit like a belt, but comes with two inflatable bladders that can be pumped up to put pressure over a wound, even in locations where a traditional tourniquet would be ineffective.

The junctional tourniquet is designed so a person can position it in under a minute-a crucial factor for combat medics who only have mere minutes to save a fellow warfighter’s life.

The first recorded combat use of a junctional tourniquet was in Afghanistan in 2014, when the US and Afghan medics saved a young Afghan National Army soldier who had been shot by insurgents. The bullet lodged high in his upper thigh, likely severing a femoral artery, a location where a normal tourniquet would have little effect. By inflating one of the junctional tourniquet’s bladders over the wound, medics stemmed the blood loss, and he ultimately survived.

Regular tourniquets had gone in and out of vogue among battlefield medics over the years. Their use was sometimes questioned because, if badly applied, they can damage nerves or tissues on a wounded limb. Now the US Army teaches its combat soldiers to correctly use tourniquets.

The US military has also spent millions developing a novel solution to battlefield bleeding. Called XStat, the technology is essentially a large syringe-like applicator filled with 92 small, tablet-shaped sponges. The sponges are injected directly into a wound, expanding and swelling to fill the cavity after approximately 20 seconds upon contact with water from blood or bodily fluid.
Combat mobility
Paramount group unveils advanced ICV

Paramount Group, the African-based global defence and aerospace company, recently unveiled its family of Mbombe Infantry Combat Vehicles (ICVs).

Showcased together for the first time, the Mbombe vehicle range comprising the Mbombe 4 (or Marauder XT in certain markets), the Mbombe 6 and the Mbombe 8, represent the pinnacle of land system technologies and can be modified to serve as either combat vehicles or armored personnel carriers.

The vehicles were developed to meet the increasing demand for multi-role, high mobility and mine hardened platforms, and for the changing demands of the global battlefield. The vehicles are sought after by governments around the world for their sophisticated adaptability, unprecedented protection and affordability.

Unveiled in Africa for the first time, the Mbombe 8 is the newest and ‘big brother’ of the Mbombe family. The major advantage of the Mbombe family is the 80% commonality that exists between the technologies and components used in the three vehicles. This presents significant cost benefits to armed forces due to greater efficiencies and significant savings in maintenance and logistical support.

Paramount Combat Systems (the newly formed integrated business comprising Paramount Land Systems and Paramount Innovation and Design) has developed and produced a broad range of advanced armored and mine protected vehicles that are in use from South America to Central Asia. Global demand for Paramount Group innovations like the Mbombe has enabled the company to grow significantly in recent years and attract leading global strategic partners. The Mbombe family capitalizes on South Africa’s expertise in asymmetric warfare technologies.

Key features of the Mbombe 8 include:
•    Gross weight of 28 tonnes and kerb weight of 19 tonnes
•    Payload of 9 tonnes which covers weapon system, ammunition, crew and supplies
•    Powered by a 6-cylinder engine turbo charged diesel engine
•    Six speed automatic transmission
•    Max speed of 110km/h
•    Operating range: 800 km
•    High levels of ballistic and mine protection: ballistic protection: STANAG 4569 Level 3+ and blast
     protection: STANAG 4569 Level 4a and 4b

•    Wide range of turrets and weapon stations can be integrated
•    The cooling systems and driveline have been tested and proven in winter conditions of -55 Celsius
     and desert conditions of +55 Celsius

•    Large internal volume due to position of powerpack

The Mbombe 8 is builds on Paramount’s Mbombe 6 that employs an innovative new form of construction to give unprecedented levels of protection, while keeping profile to a minimum. The 8x8 also draws on the company’s experience of designing the highly effective and battle-tested Marauder and Matador mine-resistant vehicles.
Accurate coordination
Futuristic unmanned resupply vehicle

The Army Research Laboratory has built an unmanned quadcopter platform designed to deliver supplies to military personnel in the battlefield.A team of ARL researchers and engineers recently showcased Joint Tactical Aerial Resupply Vehicle, or JTARV.

The JTARV, a rectangular-shaped quadcopter also known as the hoverbike, could someday make it possible for soldiers on the battlefield to order resupply and then, minutes later, receive supplies from an unmanned aerial vehicle.

Army researchers aim to develop a hybrid propulsion system that will work to increase JTARV’s operational range and payload capacity.

In 2013, 60 percent of US combat causalities were related to convoy resupply. Convoy resupply involves having a route clearance package, which means more vehicles. Those need to be coordinated in advance. This negates the need for all that. Basically what this does is give speed and agility on the battlefield.

Army researchers envision a future JTARV flying low to the ground or at thousands of feet at speeds of 60 miles per hour or more. With a payload capacity of up to 300 pounds, the vehicle could provide vital resupply at short ranges.

While the current prototype is electric, researchers are looking at a hybrid propulsion system that may dramatically increase its range. They are also exploring increasing the payload capacity to 800 pounds and extending the range to 125 miles.

Researchers are also looking to integrate advanced intelligent navigation and mission planning. They are looking to end up with a modular, stable platform that can be used for even more dynamic and challenging missions.

Researchers are taking a spiral approach. They are looking at adding sensors for obstacle avoidance and building a semi-autonomous capability. This will help the craft to avoid obstacles like power lines, buildings, or trees. It will also allow the vehicle to operate in degraded visual environments.

The laboratory began exploring the JTARV concept in the summer of 2014. They discovered a manufacturer, Malloy Aeronautics, and a systems integrator, SURVICE. The laboratory entered into a contract and quickly moved from concept to full-scale prototypes. In June 2016, the Marine Corps joined the program to make it a joint effort. In addition to many other industry, government and academic partners, the JTARV project is teaming with the Office of Naval Research and Near Earth Autonomy to demonstrate full autonomy in near future.
Underwater threats
Northrop’s remote mine hunting capability

Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC) recently demonstrated its unmanned mine hunting capability at the Royal Navy’s Unmanned Warrior exercise.

The unmanned mine hunting element of Unmanned Warrior will feature Northrop Grumman’s AQS- 24B towed mine hunting sensor operated from an Atlas Elektronik UK ARCIMS Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV). The AQS-24B, which is a towed mine hunting sensor used by the US Navy, features the world’s only high speed synthetic aperture sonar for mine detection, localisation and classification, mine identification. The ARCIMS USV is a surface craft 11 metres long that will be operated via remote control while towing the AQS-24B through a simulated mine field. ARCIMS carries a variety of payloads to include towed magnetic, acoustic, and electric sweeps.  The USV can perform modular minesweeping, hunting and disposal against all types of mines.

Unmanned Warrior, which takes place at Ministry of Defence (MoD) exercise areas in Scotland and the Western Isles, is part of the biannual Joint Warrior exercise, and is the largest capability demonstration event of its kind. The exercise will help inform the Royal Navy’s future capability planning and demonstrate how the systems being showcased deliver maritime situational awareness. The demonstration of unmanned systems overlaid onto the Joint Warrior exercise scenario will create a challenging environment for the participants and allow the Royal Navy to see first-hand how the systems and sensors could integrate into current and future maritime operations.
New heights
WUT and Lockheed partnership in UAV optimization

The Warsaw University of Technology (WUT) and Lockheed Martin recently successfully demonstrated their UAV optimization technologies using aerial command and control (C2) of multiple unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

The demonstration marks another successful milestone in the joint WUT-Lockheed Martin advanced applied research program on optimization of diverse fleets of aircraft, and concepts associated with manned-unmanned command and control of airborne platform systems.

Understanding how different assets can interoperate, communicate, and serve common objectives with maximum efficiency is a challenging task in the growing field of UAV technologies.

Through the use of advanced mathematic calculations, and a systems-of-systems approach, the technology bolsters mission efficiency by adapting the fleet’s commanded flight paths, speeds, division of duties, and sensor performance.

The goal of the team’s latest project was to advance previous optimization work by incorporating airborne C2, improving user interfaces, and testing new methods for related subroutines. With a vision of ultimately developing fast dynamically adaptive approaches to live management of a UAV fleet, this work is an important contribution to the concept of manned-unmanned teaming, where manned assets operate seamlessly with surrogate UAVs, often controlling many at a time against specific tasks.

This technology demonstrates that, with the right tools, an operator may adapt to changing scenarios, calculate new solutions, and deploy those new, optimized solutions to the fleet of commanded aircraft, whether for civil or military purposes.
Multipurpose vehicle
Ukroboronprom represents latest drones

The latest developments of the SC “Ukroboronprom”- aerodynamically shaped model of unmanned aircraft multifunctional complex “Gorlytsa” and a sample of a tactical unmanned multipurpose vehicle “Phantom”- were recently represented to the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine.

Multi-aircraft complex “Gorlytsa” is designed by SE “Antonov”, in cooperation with leading enterprises of Ukraine. This will be the first domestic tactical unmanned complex, which can carry armament. The practical distance of its flight is over 1,000 km.

Tactical unmanned multipurpose vehicle “Phantom” is a remotely operated mini armored carrier. Day and night sighting systems allow to fire at any time of the day for a distance of over 1 km. Its operational range is up to 20 km, it is operated by means of secure radio channel or via fiber cable of 5 km length. “Phantom” can transport ammunition, retrieve wounded from the battlefield and perform combat missions.

The prototype of a new combat module “Vii”-mounted on the armored vehicle “Dozor-B”-was represented too. It is designed to destroy infantry, vehicles, ground facilities and air targets at altitudes up to 1000 m.

More UOP achievements were demonstrated to the country’s top leadership: new 60 mm mortar in accordance with NATO standards, air missiles R-27, made of domestic components, sniper weapons and armored vehicles.
Game changer
Raytheon unveils CEMBM tool for US Army

Raytheon Company recently showcased Cyber and Electromagnetic Battle Management, a new battle management tool, at Cyber Quest, a US Army event that informs cybersecurity requirements and priorities. CEMBM integrates cyber and electromagnetic spectrum awareness capabilities into the Electronic Warfare Program Management Tool, an Army program of record since 2014.

Raytheon’s EWPMT focuses on the ability to see and understand events in the electromagnetic spectrum. CEMBM provides a shared situational understanding of electronic warfare, EMS and cyber, and management and control of organic assets.

Using CEMBM, EW officers can determine the best path forward without being jammed or discovered; jam the enemy’s communication ability; and if there are cyber emitters, disrupt the ability to use them.

With CEMBM, teams now have a common operational picture where they can move back and forth, at will, between cyber, EMS and physical terrains. It is a true game changer.

This latest cyber and EW tool provides significant operational and life-cycle cost benefits, including increased mission effectiveness, reduced planning cycles, coordination of effects, collaboration with other elements of mission command, EW and cyber effectiveness analysis and reduced training costs.
Seamless communication
Raytheon developing next-generation networking technology

Raytheon Company is developing new technologies to allow the next generation of manned and unmanned flying vehicles to communicate seamlessly, even in hostile environments.    

Under two contracts totaling $9 million, Raytheon BBN Technologies will deliver new networking solutions as part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Dynamic Network Adaptation for Mission Optimization program, or DyNAMO.

The goal of DARPA’s DyNAMO program is to allow pilots of different types of aircraft, with different sensor suites, to easily share information for a comprehensive view of the battle space.

“Our team will develop two new capabilities,” said Jason Redi, vice president for Raytheon BBN Technologies’ Networking and Communications unit. “First, we will adapt radio parameters in reaction to changing information needs and conditions, so current and future airborne networks can communicate with each other. Second, we will create an efficient way to share information across and between networks that are currently incompatible so that applications operating on them can share relevant data.”

Raytheon Company, with 2015 sales of $23 billion and 61,000 employees, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, civil government and cyber security solutions.
Sea hunter
Performance trial of autonomous USV by Leidos

Leidos recently completed initial performance trials of the technology demonstration vessel it is developing for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)’s Anti-Submarine Warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) program.

The 132-foot trimaran, christened Sea Hunter, met or surpassed all performance objectives for speed, maneuverability, stability, sea-keeping, acceleration/deceleration, and fuel consumption, as well as establishing confidence in mechanical systems reliability in an open-ocean environment. Sea Hunter is designed to operate for extended periods at sea with no person on board and only sparse supervisory control throughout deployment. While initial vessel tests require a pilot on board the ship, later tests are planned to have no personnel on board.

The completion of Sea Hunter’s performance trials is the first milestone in the two-year test program co-sponsored by DARPA and the Office of Naval Research. Testing in upcoming months is scheduled to include testing of sensors, the vessel’s autonomy suite, compliance with maritime collision regulations, and proof-of-concept demonstrations for a variety of US Navy missions.

Leidos is a science and technology solutions leader working to address some of the world’s toughest challenges in national security, health and infrastructure. The Company develop innovative solutions to drive better outcomes and defend digital and physical infrastructure from ‘new world’ threats.
Reviving ties
Russia-India to develop new SPG

Moscow and New Delhi have concluded an agreement to develop a new self-propelled gun (SPG) intended for Indian domestic market. The MoU, signed between Uralvagonzavod and Bharat Forge (a subsidiary of the Kalyani Group), is aimed at the strengthening of technical cooperation between companies under the Make in India program and the promotion of the UVZ’s production in India.

Russia and India were planning to develop a new SPG for Indian Armed Forces under the MoU. The Memorandum provides for the possibility of a new SPG joint development. The Uralvagonzavod Corporation is a traditional partner of New Delhi in the area of military-technical cooperation. India is the biggest foreign operator of military hardware produced by UVZ.

Establishing of an assembly line in India would be the first stage of cooperation in the SPG production area. At present, Uraltransmash (a subsidiary of UVZ) is producing SPGs for Russia’s Armed Forces and potential foreign customers. The SPG can be based on either T-90 or T-72M1 main battle tanks (MBT).

Previously, UVZ offered the upgraded 2S19M1-155 (Msta-SM1) SPG armed with a 155mm L/52 howitzer to India‘s Armed Forces. However, New Delhi declined the proposal and preferred to acquire K9 Thunder SPG developed by Republic of Korea‘s (ROK) Samsung Techwin company. The MoU signed between UVZ and Bharat Forge may revive 2S19M1-155 program.
Meeting requirements
Lockheed to compete for US Army’s LTAMDS

Lockheed Martin is responding to a US Army request for a Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor (LTAMDS). The industry-wide competition will provide a radar solution that operates in the Army’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) network and replaces the current Patriot radar.

The Army’s stated objective for the LTAMDS acquisition program is to upgrade or replace the current Patriot radar to improve the operational effectiveness against the emerging threat while reducing sustainment cost associated with the current radar. The new sensor also is required to meet mobility and transportability requirements, and improve reliability, availability and maintainability at a defined cost target.

With this request for information, the Army recognizes that a new radar is required to meet the current and emerging air and missile defence threats. This is an important milestone, another clear indication that the Army recognizes the aging Patriot weapon system is insufficient to meet modern air and missile defence operational requirements. Therefore this request will try to look for state-of-the-art radar technology that will address the operational and logistic deficiencies of the Patriot.

Lockheed Martin is the only company producing active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars for the Army and is the only US Company producing and exporting gallium nitride (GaN)-based AESA radars. Lockheed Martin will leverage the $3 billion of investments in radar technology programs such as Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS), Space Fence, Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR), 3D Expeditionary Long Range Radar (3DELRR), AN/TPQ-53 and Aegis.

The company believes that leveraging its existing technology, a multi-function, 360-degree IAMD radar can be developed to exceed the LTAMDS requirement on a better schedule than a costly Patriot upgrade solution.
Versatile platform
Rheinmetall unveils Lynx armored vehicle family

At Eurosatory 2016 Rheinmetall presented its new Lynx infantry fighting vehicle to the international public for the first time. Agile, hard-hitting and highly protected, this state-of-the-art tracked armoured vehicle is destined to dominate the modern battlefield, lending itself to operations from peace enforcement to high-intensity combat.

Four core capabilities characterize the Lynx infantry fighting vehicle: firepower, force protection, situational awareness and mobility.

Lynx features a Rheinmetall LANCE turret armed with a stabilized, externally powered, airburst-capable automatic cannon (either 30mm or 35mm). This enables Lynx to effectively engage targets with high precision at ranges of up to 3,000 metres-even on the move. Lynx can also be equipped with an anti-tank guided missile launcher and a secondary weapon station linked to the main optics. Not only does Lynx have hunter-killer capability, it can operate in killer-killer mode, since the commander and gunner can observe and engage targets independently of each other.

The vehicle’s ballistic armour shields Lynx from anti-tank weapons, medium-calibre ammunition, artillery shrapnel, IEDs and bomblets. In addition, a spall liner in the vehicle interior protects the entire crew. Mine and IED protection packages, decoupled seats and the optional hard kill Active Defence System (ADS) significantly boost the vehicle’s survivability.

The commander and gunner both have access to the Stabilized Electro Optical Sight System/SEOSS, a digital TV-IR optical system with an integrated laser range finder and fire control computer. In the fighting compartment, displays provide the crew with a seamless 360° panoramic view. Rheinmetall’s Situational Awareness System (SAS), featuring automatic target detection and tracking, enhances the hunter-killer capability and minimizes crew reaction time. Laser warning sensors and the Acoustic Sniper Locating System (ASLS) likewise form part of the sensor suite.

Lynx features an excellent power-to-weight ratio and can handle gradients of up to 60 degrees and degrees. It can cross ditches up to 2.5 metres wide and ford bodies of water up to 1.50 metres deep. Furthermore, it can climb over one-metre-high obstacles. The vehicle can run on either rubber or light metal tracks.

Another characteristic of Lynx is its versatility. For example, the new IFV comes in two versions: the KF31 and KF41 (KF stands for ‘Kettenfahrzeug’, or tracked vehicle in German). Weighing up to 38 tonnes, Lynx KF31 can seat 3+6 soldiers. Lynx KF41 is slightly larger and can carry 3+8 soldiers.

Both vehicle classes-Lynx KF31 and Lynx KF41-can be configured for other roles include a command & control, an armoured reconnaissance, repair & recovery and an ambulance.

A high degree of commonality in parts and components is another prominent feature of the Lynx family of vehicles. This simplifies logistic support and has a positive impact on training. Furthermore, customized service support is available worldwide-ranging from training and logistics to in-theatre repairs and technology transfer.
Reusable jet
Robotic space plane for next generation warfare

In an era of declining budgets and adversaries’ evolving capabilities, quick, affordable, and routine access to space is increasingly critical for both national and economic security. Current satellite launch systems, however, require scheduling years in advance for an extremely limited inventory of available slots. Moreover, launches often cost hundreds of millions of dollars each, due in large part to the massive amounts of dedicated infrastructure and large crews.

Therefore DARPA is exploring the potential of robotic space plane. Recently, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) solicited design proposals for a satellite-launching robotic space plane, signaling that development of the futuristic aerospace vehicle is all but assured.

The Experimental Space plane (XS-1) project aims to build a reusable space plane capable of flying ten times in ten days at a cost of less than $5 million per flight. The XS-1 would be used as a cheap way to quickly place satellites in orbit without the costly safety checks between flights required by current, non-reusable spacecraft.

The experimental low-cost XS-1 will be able to fly at escape-velocity speeds and catapult 3,000-pound payloads into orbit-and it’ll be able to do it again and again.

Three groups are involved in DARPA’s design efforts for the XS-1. By early 2017, DARPA expects to select a design and move forward with construction of an XS-1 prototype for flight testing.

The three teams include a Northrop Grumman-Virgin Galactic group, a Boeing-Blue Origin alliance, and a Masten Space Systems-XCOR Aerospace combo, tasked with providing detailed digital renderings of a finalized design under the Phase 1 grant issued by DARPA.

The XS-1 program has four specific goals:

•    Reusable for a minimum of 10 flights in 10 days;
•    Fast enough to deliver a payload into low Earth orbit;
•    Must launch a payload of up to 3,000-lbs (1,360kg); and
•    Each flight must cost less than $5 million

The program, which began in 2013, initially targeted a start date for test flights in 2018, but recent estimates place the first flights sometime in 2019 or 2020.

In April, DARPA announced that the agency had received funding from the Obama Administration to move into Phase 2, and the final construction of a prototype.

The XS-1 will not be the military’s only reusable space plane program. The Pentagon already has such a vehicle at its disposal, the highly classified X-37B space plane, which can ride aboard rockets and orbit the Earth for months at a time.
Invisible threat
Unmanned surface vehicles in mine-hunting mission

Underwater mines pose a serious threat to shipping for decades after deployment. They are everyone’s problem. During the last ten years alone, international task forces have cleared more than 1,000 Cold War mines from the Baltic Sea. Mines laid in WWII exacerbate the problem still further. Fortunately, the technology to detect them is well advanced and improving all the time.

Thales UK has been working with the world’s navies for decades and the technology that they’ve supplied to the Royal Navy is already capable of detecting and classifying an object the size of a football, up to 1,000 metres away.

But that’s not the only challenge. Therefore the company is working out to find a solution to the problem.

The solution, soon to be demonstrated at the Royal Navy’s Unmanned Warrior event in October, is Halcyon with a towed sonar. Halcyon is a small Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV)-just 12 metres long and 3.5 metres wide-and the sonar it tows is Thales’s state-of-the-art Towed Synthetic Aperture Sonar (T-SAS).

The current T-SAS includes sophisticated Synthetic Aperture Sonar technology for very high resolution picture quality, combined with long range and high speed capabilities giving the operator rapid, wide area surveys of the sea bottom.

It’s easily transportable, too. Halcyon can be deployed by the task force-from a Type 26 Frigate, for example – and the control centre can be containerised for rapid deployed for shore-based mission management.

The Royal Navy is actively exploring the potential of maritime autonomous systems. For a few weeks in October 2016, around 40 research and development companies from around the world will gather in Scotland to demonstrate their solutions in a tactically representative, operational environment.

Halcyon will be allocated an area of sea containing an undisclosed number of dummy mines. Mission planning, execution, monitoring and analysis will take place from a shore-side container. Once the optimal search grid and speed have been calculated Halcyon will be sent off with T-SAS, navigating around pre-set waypoints and sending back data and sonar snapshots as it goes. At the end of the mission it will return to download all of its data with detailed on-site analysis, for immediate mission assessment.

Unmanned Warrior is a stepping stone to the future, which Thales is taking alongside the Royal Navy. Thales is the only company which has been awarded a multi-asset remote autonomous MCM capability contract, and the second phase of development is being discussed.

Initiated in 2012 under a cooperation agreement between France and the United Kingdom, the Maritime Mine Counter Measures (MMCM) program is a key milestone in the transformation of mine countermeasures capabilities and the future operational use of unmanned naval systems.

Unmanned vehicles, including cars, trains, boats, submarines and aircraft, are already proving their worth in the world. The next step is giving them autonomous decision-making capability.

But developments in artificial intelligence and a determination to introduce legislation that allows the introduction of proven, failsafe technology means that safe, highly autonomous vehicles will become commonplace soon.
Accurate measure
BAE is developing LASSI system

BAE Systems has been developing a system, known as LASSI (Laser Air Speed Sensing Instrument). British scientists at BAE Systems, UK, have successfully trialled a highly accurate laser-based airspeed sensor, which is designed for use in the next generation of high altitude aircraft. The team says this development will increase survivability while improving aircraft performance and fuel efficiency. LASSI is different from conventional airspeed measurement methods because it can accurately measure velocity even at low speeds.

Conventionally, air speed is determined using pitot tubes, which protrude from aircraft and sense variations in air pressure with speed. Although usually heated, these tubes are vulnerable to blockage in icy conditions. They can also be damaged by collisions with birds and when the aircraft is on the ground.

LASSI is located completely inside the aircraft, meaning incidental damage and the effects of temperature will not impact on the system’s operational integrity. LASSI has been successfully trailed by BAE Systems in wind tunnels and on ground vehicles. The next steps involve miniaturising the technology and investigating how it can be effectively integrated in to the aircraft. BAE Systems believe that LASSI could be rolled out within the next five years.

Dr Leslie Laycock, Executive Scientist at BAE Systems said, “LASSI challenges the established method of measuring air speed. Conventional air data sensors which protrude from the sides of aircraft must be carefully located to work properly and are inaccurate at low airspeeds. Instead, LASSI can be located completely inside the aircraft and is accurate at low airspeeds. It can even measure negative air velocities. These features should ensure that the equipment is robust against damage, require less maintenance and be easier to operate at lower airspeeds.”

It operates on the same principle as roadside speed-guns, but instead of bouncing infrared light off cars, LASSI bounces an ultra violet laser off air molecules. As the light hits the air molecules, the reflections change colour due to the Doppler Effect. The system then measures this change in ‘colour’ of the reflections to determine the air speed. The further away from violet the reflection is, the faster the aircraft is travelling.

A significant benefit of LASSI is that it has the potential to detect air speed at a distance, meaning pilots could predict oncoming turbulence and change course accordingly, giving passengers a safer, more comfortable flight. Even more importantly, accurate airspeed measurements have a direct impact on the safe-running of an aircraft, allowing the pilot to keep the plane within its limits, as well as ensuring safe operation near to the ground or other aircraft.
Smooth integration
AeroVironment unveils Mantis EO/IR Gimbal payload

AeroVironment has unveiled its new Mantis i45 electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) gimbal payload designed for AeroVironment Puma AE (All Environment) small unmanned aircraft systems-for both commercial and military applications.

The Mantis i45 represents a dramatic leap in small UAS image resolution and approaches capabilities inherent in platforms many times the size and cost of Puma AE.

This enhanced capability enables commercial and military users to see more and farther, with greater detail, than ever before, make better decisions and perform their missions with greater certainty. The AeroVironment Mantis i45 represents a significant increase in performance for Puma AE ISR missions.

In combat, the Mantis i45 empowers operators to identify targets more accurately and with greater detail while operating even farther away from the target. The higher resolution imagery also aids in target analysis, positive identification and better enables operators to identify threats to friendly forces.

With an advanced suite of sensors, including ultra-high-resolution EO and IR imagers, key features of the Mantis i45 include: dual-color cameras (wide and narrow views); improved IR imagery; new low-light camera; high-power illuminator; 50-times zoom in EO; optional on-board storage of high definition video and high-resolution stills; and a dedicated on-board image processor.

The AeroVironment Mantis i45 also lends itself to a level of customization never before seen in a gimbal this size while still being compatible with portable Puma AE systems.

Among its many enhancements, the Mantis i45 offers a wide range of night-time solutions, from low-light near-infrared (NIR) to long wave infrared (LWIR) imagers. In addition, it is a backward-compatible, fully waterproof payload capable of operating under the same harsh environmental conditions as the AeroVironment Puma AE system-which is designed for both land-based and maritime operations.

Like previous Puma AE payloads, the Mantis i45 retracts into the fuselage for launch and recovery to protect the gimbal during the highest loading portions of its operation. During flight operations, it provides full lower-hemisphere coverage and continuous zoom.

The AeroVironment Mantis i45 is highly configurable and can cater to a diverse set of missions. The modular hardware is capable of supporting a wide variety of imagers, enabling rapid development of custom configurations to meet future needs.

The AeroVironment Mantis i45 also provides improved image quality performance at increased zoom levels. Improvements in sensors, control algorithms and drive mechanics yield an unprecedented level of mechanical stability in a small, waterproof gimbal system. Augmented with improved on-board digital stabilization, the AeroVironment Mantis i45 delivers excellent video stability.

The fully waterproof design protects against sand, dust, rain, salt fog, snow, mud and 100 percent relative humidity conditions, and reliably withstands the shock loads that result from the precision deep-stall landings employed by the Puma AE.

Size, weight and power (SWaP) also were critical design considerations. A payload shell similar to that of the standard Puma AE payload houses the Mantis i45 and installs in an identical manner onto the Puma AE platform.

No modifications to the Puma are needed to incorporate the i45. Additionally, power-conscious processors onboard the i45 optimize power consumption, resulting in minimal performance impact to the Puma aircraft while delivering dramatically improved capabilities.

The gimbal open system architecture offers maximum flexibility to facilitate easy future expansion. Its design also supports a wide variety of camera formats, so new camera technology can be integrated into the system with minimal development.
Restoring power
New turbine engine to restore helicopter lift capability

Degraded lift capability of helicopter is especially problematic in areas where high-altitude, high-temperature flights are required, including nearly half of Afghanistan.

Using the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter as an example, at the Army Aviation Association of America-sponsored 2016 Army Aviation Mission Solution Summit in Atlanta Maj Gen William K Gayler said an average of about 78 pounds per year have been added annually-for all the right reasons. That includes increased protective gear, ammunition, new technologies and so on. Over the years, those increases have totaled about a ton-and-a-quarter.

All of that weight affects speed, lift, range, maneuverability and the amount of stuff that can be carried.

Years ago, four Black Hawks could move a platoon. Now, it takes eight or nine and by 2020-assuming the linear weight increases continue at the current rate-it will take 15 to 20, he said. That decrease in capability severely limits options for ground commanders, besides that it increases risk, and fuel consumption goes way up as well.

The new Improved Turbine Engine Program (ITEP) will eventually replace the existing General Electric T700-GE-701C/D engines that now power AH-64 Apache and UH-60 Black Hawk aircraft. The ITEP is a completely new engine and is the solution for improved mobility, range and payload capacity of the current fleet.

ITEP will replace the 1970s-era T700 family of engines for the Black Hawk and Apache fleet. It is going to provide over 3,000 shaft horsepower, which is a great increase over the current 1,900 to 2,000 hp. The ITEP design will also decrease the amount of maintenance required.

Soldiers are excited about ITEP as well, but their emphasis is on the maneuverability aspect of what it promises, and somewhat less on range and payload. That may mean special operations will get its own variant, but cost would be an important deciding factor.

ITEP is a big deal for the US Army and it will be resident in about 85 percent of its platforms. It also has potential for Future Vertical Lift, or FVL, if not the motor then pieces of the technology.
Reducing burden
US Army may use robots to lighten Soldier loads

Soldiers are being asked to do the impossible, carrying out missions while humping over 100 pounds of gear. They’re doing the impossible every day, but they can do much more if that burden is eased.

At a robotics conference a promising solution for the same was discussed-the Squad Maneuver Equipment Transport, or SMET.

What it looks like and what it will be capable of doing is still pretty much an open question, the important thing is that the Army, in partnership with industry, is in the process of developing those requirements and capabilities, and early prototypes are being tested by Soldiers at Fort Bliss, Texas.

While specific capabilities are yet to be put in writing, the Army has already provided the outline of what SMET might look like. First and foremost, the SMET should be able to haul a squad of Soldier gear for a typical 72-hour patrol.

The SMET must also be able to carry more energy than that required to power it. In other words, SMET must have enough power to charge devices Soldiers carry as well.

It goes without saying that on a 72-hour mission, Soldiers are not continuously moving. During the security halts, the SMET could be in the charging mode. Operational energy, therefore, will play an important part in development. That’s new battery technology, generation, alternative fuels and so forth.

Size matters as well. If it’s too small, it won’t be able to carry heavy loads. Too big and it won’t be able to go through a thick jungle. As of now, the Army is roughly defining its size as something capable of fitting in the back of a helicopter or slung load below.

SMET might also be able to carry an array of sensors and weaponry for which to defend itself, with a Soldier in the loop. Finally, SMET should be autonomous or semi-autonomous, meaning that it must be smart enough to follow along with the Soldiers with a minimum of control.

Patrolling will be probably the most important SMET function. At a forward operating base, or contingency operating base, the SMET could be used for perimeter security, thereby reducing risk to Soldiers and manning requirements. Inside the perimeter, it could serve to function supplies back and forth.

The Israelis are already using a SMET-type variant as a resupply vehicle. This capability needs to be given to US Soldiers so they can operate it and figure out for themselves what the tactics, techniques and procedures for it will be and what it will be capable of doing.
Guided beam
US jets and drones will fire laser weapons

American military aircraft and drones will be fitted with laser weapons that will be able to destroy targets and it will be operational within the next decade.

Experts working at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) have been working on so- called death ray weapons in the laboratory for a number of years.

However, these weapons, which use intense light and heat to destroy their targets, are now being tested in the field. Scientists have been working on a method of reducing the size of the weapons without diminishing their power.

An early version of the system was used at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

The technicians want to be able to increase the power of the weapons from 10-kilowatts to 100kilowatts. The system needs to be able to track a fast-moving target before opening fire.

According to US Air Force Chief Scientist Dr Greg Zacharias, “possibility of directed energy is that electricity is cheap. Plus, you get the speed of light working for you so incoming missiles are easier to shoot at. The other part is all the component technology. You are going to give up fuel or some armaments. It is not just getting enough power on board it is getting the aiming technology. It is dealing with turbulent air flow on a high-speed platform.

The systems will be first fitted to large transport jets such as the C-17 and the C-130. Once the weapons are miniaturized, they will be fitted to fighter aircraft such as the F-15, F-16 and the F-35.

Laser weapons could prove very effective in an anti-insurgency campaign against a group such as ISIS. Laser weapons could be more accurate and produce far less collateral damage than a traditional high explosive.

According to DARPA, the threats faced by US forces are becoming increasingly dangerous. Laser weapon systems provide additional capability for offensive missions as well-adding precise targeting with low probability of collateral damage. For consideration as a weapon system on today’s air assets though, these laser weapon systems must be lighter and more compact than the state-of-the-art has produced.
Exposing danger
New technique could improve detection of concealed nuclear materials

In United States researchers have demonstrated proof of concept for a novel low-energy nuclear reaction imaging technique designed to detect the presence of “special nuclear materials”-weapons-grade uranium and plutonium-in cargo containers arriving at ports.

The method relies on a combination of neutrons and high-energy photons to detect shielded radioactive materials inside the containers.

The technique can simultaneously measure the suspected material’s density and atomic number using mono-energetic gamma ray imaging, while confirming the presence of special nuclear materials by observing their unique delayed neutron emission signature.

The mono-energetic nature of the novel radiation source could result in a lower radiation dose as compared to conventionally employed methods. As a result, the technique could increase the detection performance while avoiding harm to electronics and other cargo that may be sensitive to radiation.

In testing conducted in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at the Bates Linear Accelerator Center, the researchers used a fan-like pattern of particles created by an ion accelerator and emitted at 4.4 and 15.1 MeV.

The particles passed through a shielded radioactive material, and were measured on the other side with Cherenkov quartz detectors connected to photomultiplier tubes.

If the technique can be scaled up and proven under real inspection conditions, it could significantly improve the ability to prevent the smuggling of dangerous nuclear materials and their potential diversion to terrorist groups.

Once heavy shielding is placed around weapons-grade uranium or plutonium, detecting them passively using radiation detectors surrounding a 40-foot cargo container is very difficult. One way to deal with this challenge is to induce the emission of an intense, penetrating radiation signal in the material, which requires an external source of radiation.

The new technique begins with an ion accelerator producing deuterons, heavy isotopes of hydrogen. The deuterons impinge on a target composed of boron, which produces both neutrons and high-energy photons. The resulting particles are focused into a fan shaped beam that could be used to scan the cargo container.

The transmission of high-energy photons can be used to image materials inside the cargo container, while both the photons and neutrons excite the special nuclear material-which then emits gamma rays and neutrons that can be detected outside the container. Transmission imaging detectors located in the line of sight of the interrogating fan beam of photons create the image of the cargo.

When the neutrons interact with fissile materials, they initiate a fission reaction, generating both prompt and delayed neutrons that can be detected despite the shielding. The neutrons do not prompt a time-delayed reaction with non-fissionable materials such as lead, providing an indicator that materials of potential use for development of nuclear weapons are inside the shielding.

The research is supported by the National Science Foundation and the US Department of Homeland Security. Scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Michigan, and the Pennsylvania State University conducted this research, which is believed to be the first successful effort to identify and image uranium using this approach.
Eternal life
Raytheon developing technology to modify software

Mobile apps are pervasive in the military, but frequent operating system upgrades, new devices and changing missions and environments require manual software engineering that is expensive and causes unacceptable delays. Scientists are developing techniques to eliminate these interruptions by identifying the way these changes affect application functionality and modifying the software.
    
A team led by Raytheon BBN Technologies is developing methods to make mobile applications viable for up to 100 years, despite changes in hardware, operating system upgrades and supporting services. The US Air Force is sponsoring the four-year, $7.8 million contract under the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Building Resource Adaptive Software Systems program.
    
To provide software usefulness for many years, the Raytheon-led team, which also includes Securboration, Oregon State University, Vanderbilt University and Syracuse University, plans to develop a set of static and dynamic discovery techniques to identify the ways in which changes in the application’s ecosystem can affect the software’s functionality. They will try to develop a set of transformation technologies that modify the software as needed to adapt to these changes along with creating a software framework to demonstrate and evaluate software evolution in response to ecosystem changes.
    
These advances could lead to long-lived software systems that satisfy critical customer needs over generations of devices and emerging missions.
Enhancing strength
European unmanned maritime surveillance system

The AR5 Life Ray UAS, developed by Tekever, has been selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) to demonstrate the first European maritime surveillance system where drones are integral to operations. The first demonstration will be performed this summer.

Maritime operations have been brought into focus in Europe by the unprecedented migrant crisis. As part of the response to this crisis the EU border patrol agency FRONTEX has recently announced that it is in the planning phase of adding remotely piloted aircraft to its existing portfolio of satellite and sensor technologies for monitoring vessel traffic and migrant flows.

The AR5 Life Ray unmanned air system, which has been selected for the first European demonstration of a drone-based maritime surveillance system, is fitted with both synthetic aperture radar and a satellite link.

The AR5 Life Ray UAS platform is a mature system capable of delivering the endurance and payload of a larger system in a compact and flexible package. With a wingspan of 4.3 meters and a payload of 50 kg, AR5 delivers performance of 8 to 12 hours missions.

Tekever is working with maritime authorities from across the EU, coordinated with EMSA and will demonstrate operations in the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea and the Mediterranean Sea across a wide range of environmental conditions.
Sharing information
Airbus DS to connect vessels to the Comcept SATCOM

The French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) has awarded Airbus Defence and Space and Actia Telecom a contract to equip 17 French Navy vessels with the capability to connect up to the Comcept broadband communication system.

Comcept is an ‘all IP’ (Internet Protocol) technology broadband satellite communication network whose initial operational capability was brought into service in the French Armed Forces in 2015. This system aims to respond to the increase in data exchanges between military equipment and information systems, adding on to the Syracuse satellite system via new satellite transmission capacities in the Ka band, especially those of the Franco-Italian military satellite Athena-Fidus, or via capacities in the Ku and C bands.

The first seventeen vessels are going to be equipped with new navalised satcom terminals. The contract also plans to install teleports both in mainland France and in the territories overseas to ensure connection to the Ministry of Defence’s terrestrial networks. The installation of Comcept on board vessels will allow all satellite broadband needs to be catered for within a global, unified system shared first by the Army and the Air Force, and now by the Navy.

The French Armed Forces had the opportunity to try out the Comcept system in 2015 during its initial implementation. It is planned to ramp up the deployment of user ground stations over 2016.

As the leading operator of military Satcom services in the world, Airbus Defence and Space has shown the capacity of its French team to support the Ministry of Defence in the development of satellite military communication in a cost-effective manner.
Sailing maintenance
New Chinese floating dock enables warship repair

China’s first self-propelled floating dock Huachuan-1 has successfully repaired warships in a mock war zone, expanding the navy’s warship repair scope far from the coast.

While traditional floating drydocks lack a propelling system and have to be dragged slowly to its destination, Huachuan-1 is equipped with a dual-engine system and designed to sail open sea areas by itself, changing a long-time practice that ships have to reach designated spots on the shore first before getting repaired.

Complete with boarding sections, high-stability maintenance facilities and a defence system against air and pirate attacks, the new dock is able to provide maintenance on moving ships amid treacherous weather, greatly shortening a vessel’s maintenance cycle and boosting the navy’s open sea operations.

The dock is capable of conducting maintenance for all vessels with the navy-except aircraft carriers - as well as civilian vessels.

China’s new floating dock can repair ships displacing up to 30,000 tonnes anywhere it is required, freeing the PLA Navy from the need to use fixed dockyards. It could prove of particular value in the outlying islands China has annexed.
Versatile platform
France-UK to fly Unmanned Combat Aircraft demonstrator in 2025

France and the United Kingdom have planned to launch the development of full scale operational demonstrator of the ‘Future Combat Air System’ Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) next year. This phase will prepare for the full-scale development of unmanned combat air system (UCAS) operational demonstrators by 2025.

At a cost of €2 billion this demonstration program, the most advanced of its kind in Europe, will be centered on a versatile UCAS platform that could serve as the basis for a future operational capability beyond 2030.

The first phase of the program was launched at the Brize Norton Summit in 2014, at an investment of £120 Million, where France and the UK explored the feasibility of such future combat air systems. The first phase was a two-year feasibility study, which will continue next year into the follow-on demonstration programme.
The FCAS is designed to enter theaters that are high-intensity and are heavily defended.

France and the UK agreed to do a feasibility study on developing prospective combat drones together: the French had done the nEUROn (in partnership with Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, and Spain) and the UK had done the Taranis. The nEUROn and the Taranis were merely “technology demonstrators without operational abilities. The FCAS merged aspects of the nEUROn and Taranis projects, and is currently designed to carry weapons and not just do flight demonstrations.

The project partners are Dassault Aviation, BAE Systems, Rolls Royce, SNECMA/Safran, Finmeccanica Airborne and Space Systems Division and Thales. The FCAS program continues following previous research programs conducted separately in the UK and France, including the BAE Systems’ Taranis and the international collaborative nEUROn program lead by Dassault Aviation.

The next phase will be a technical review, scheduled for 2020. Under the research programs the two countries will also to analyse the future combat air environment including how manned and unmanned systems might operate together.

The partnership between the British and the French is ideal for developing the FCAS because they have the same operational needs, identical target dates, and similar industrial strategies.
Solid partnership
IAI strengthens its presence at DEFEXPO 2016

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), which marks 25 years of partnership with India’s defence forces and industry, will present a wide range of strategic systems, including special mission aircraft such as AEW&C (ELM-2090) and exclusive economic zone (EEZ) maritime defense solutions including the Heron MALE unmanned aerial system (UAS) at Defexpo 2016, to be held in Goa.

IAI will, this year, introduce a new loitering munition called- Green Dragon.

Green Dragon is  a tactical, low-cost system, designed to provide small ground and special operations units with significant situational awareness and firepower in a compact envelope.  Green Dragon is a silent, all electric munition with up to two hours of loitering time, during which its operator can collect visual intelligence of surrounding areas in a range up to 40 km.

It can locate, acquire and dive on operator designated targets with a warhead of nearly 3 kg and extremely high accuracy (better than 1 m CEP). The Green Dragon is launched from a sealed canister. As many as 12-16 units can be carried on a small vehicle and launched upon request. The operator has a small tablet-sized control panel and a tactical low-power datalink to the system.

The Green Dragon operator has a built-in “abort and go around” capability to prevent unnecessary collateral damage or mistaken targeting. The unique combination of silent operation, long mission endurance, long-range communication and pinpoint accuracy, coupled with secured “in canister” logistics, makes the Green Dragon an ideal cost-effective weapon.

This new tactical product serves to strengthen the capabilities of small tactical infantry and special operations units, with a special emphasis on solving operational problems in urban areas.”

IAI has demonstrated strategic cooperation with India’s defence forces and industry for over 25 years. The company collaborates with many Indian companies (both public and private) and works closely with all branches of the Indian Armed Forces to support the governments’ “Make in India” policy.

India’s main goal has always been to acquire cutting-edge technologies, and has become a prominent market for Israeli defense companies”, said Joseph Weiss, IAI’s CEO and President. “India has unique operational needs and IAI is committed to devoting our best minds and technologies to achieve the challenges set by the customer and continue our long-term strategic cooperation with India for a brighter and safer future.”

IAI has been involved in many development programs for India’s Navy and Air Force, in cooperation with the DRDO and Indian defense industries, such as the joint development of long-range surface-to-air missiles with BEL. These projects include joint production of subsystems, such as a recent teaming agreement with Alpha Design to produce IAI’s mini-UAVs in India. This teaming agreement will better position IAI’s mini-UAVs to potential customers in India, including security agencies, coastguards, defence organizations and border security forces. Ongoing projects with India include the Barak 8, co-developed with India as part of the LRSAM naval air defense; MRSAM land-based air defense systems; various types of radars; and large numbers of Heron UAS.
Integrating weapons
HAL’s LCH successfully completes rocket firing trials

After successful completion of basic performance flight testing and outstation trials for cold weather, hot weather and hot & high altitude testing in the year 2015, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) has achieved yet another milestone by satisfactory firing of Rockets (70 mm) from its prototype, TD-3 in weaponized configuration.

Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd  has completed the latest series of trials of its LCH ahead of weapons certification in the coming months. The certification trials are planned during Apr-May 2016.

The initial rocket firing trials have been carried out at Jaisalmer, establishing satisfactory integration of hardware and software, structural integrity and safe separation of rocket ammunition. Integration of weapons such as rocket, turret gun (20 mm) and air to air missile on LCH will further continue.

The LCH TD-3 is integrated with Electo-Optical (EO) System, Solid State Digital Video Recording System (SSDVR) and 70mm Rocket system in conjunction with an updated Glass Cockpit software to cater for rocket firing.

LCH is a 5.5-ton class, combat helicopter designed and developed by HAL. It is powered by two Shakti engines and inherits many technical features of the Advanced Light Helicopter. The features that are unique to LCH are sleek and narrow fuselage, tri-cycle crashworthy landing gear, crashworthy and self sealing fuel tanks, armor protection, nuclear and low visibility features which makes the LCH lethal, agile and survivable.

The helicopter would have day/night targeting systems for the crew including the Helmet Pointed Sight and Electro-Optical Pod consisting of CCD camera/FLIR/Laser Range Finder (LRF)/Laser Designator (LD). The LCH is fitted with Self Protection Suite consisting of Radar/Laser Missile warning systems and Counter Measures Dispensing System (CMDS).

The LCH is specially built to operate above 20,000 feet. HAL and French engine-maker, Turbomeca specially designed the engine Shakti for the LCH, which is optimised for extreme altitudes. This allows the LCH to fire its direct weapons   to support soldiers in battle at altitudes where the thin air does not allow humans to carry heavy weaponry. The LCH has been designed as an anti-tank, close-air support, armed-reconnaissance, anti-submarine, and anti-surface vessel platform for both the Indian Air Force and Army.
Unmanned policing
SAAB to construct UAV for police use

Defence and security company Saab has signed a contract with the Swedish Police to deliver three UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) systems. Delivery will take place in 2016.

Saab will deliver three UAV systems to the Swedish Police. Each system comprises air vehicles equipped with day/night sensors and a ground station, plus spare parts, consumables, documentation, training and technical support. The contract will be in effect from 2016 to 2018.

The remote-controlled UAV system selected by the Swedish Police uses the proven Qube quadcopter air vehicle, provided by US companyAeroVironment Inc.

The system will be tested in operations by the Swedish Police during 2016. The UAVs will be equipped with digital cameras for collection of information about specific geographical areas, as well as sensors and technology for image transfer.

AeroVironment has delivered similar systems to police forces in the US and is a supplier of small UAV systems to the US military and to more than 30 countries, including the Swedish Armed Forces.

“This move to provide unmanned systems to support government services gives us a good foundation to evolve this technology further. The contract also strengthens our support and maintenance services for civil security applications,” says Jonas Hjelm, head of Saab’s business area Support and Services.

Saab has extensive experience with unmanned aerial vehicle systems. Since the mid-1990s Saab has been responsible for systems and support for the Swedish Army’s UAV Ugglan, UAV Örnen and SUAV Falken. Saab serves the global market with world-leading products, services and solutions within military defence and civil security.

Saab has operations and employees on all continents around the world. Through innovative, collaborative and pragmatic thinking, Saab develops, adopts and improves new technology to meet customers’ changing needs.

AeroVironment is a technology solutions provider that designs, develops, produces, supports and operates an advanced portfolio of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and electric transportation solutions.

The company’s electric-powered, hand-launched unmanned aircraft systems generate and process data to deliver powerful insight, on demand, to people and enterprises engaged in military, public safety and commercial activities around the world.
Real protection
New and sub-compact TASER weapon

TASER International, a market leader in advanced self-defense weapons, has unveiled the new TASER Pulse for private citizens.

“The TASER Pulse conducted electrical weapon is the first of its kind: a discreet carry, sub-compact self-defense weapon and our first updated consumer model since 2007,” said TASER International CEO and founder Rick Smith.

“While we’ve sold more than 250,000 TASER devices to civilians, our primary focus has been on improving public safety through law enforcement. The debut of the TASER Pulse is a recommitment to our company’s core mission to protect life and to help citizens who want to safely protect their families.”

This high-tech, easy-to-use weapon is built for concealed carry but packs the same knock-down punch that has become the standard for law enforcement around the world.

TASER Pulse is the first device to incorporate our state-of-the-art technology into a sub-compact form factor.

The TASER Pulse was designed with our customers in mind who wanted a small weapon with the most effective stopping power available.

Many of the discreet carry improvements include: shaved safeties, sloped ‘iron sights,’ targeting laser and high visibility flashlight tucked into an intuitive sub-compact design.

Features of the TASER Pulse:

Measuring only 5 ¼-inches long, 4 ½-inches tall, and 1 1/8-inches wide, the TASER Pulse was designed from the ground up as a discreet carry device.
•  Effective range up to 15 feet
•  Exclusive brightly-colored yellow accents surround the cartridge so it can be easily identified as a less-lethal weapon
•  Shaved safety levers make it comfortable to carry discreetly
•  Angled trigger guard makes it easy to holster especially when being carried discreetly
•  Color contrasting front sight, makes traditional target attainment easier
•  Sloped iron sights prevent it from being snagged by clothing upon quick draw from a discreet carry holster or when withdrawn from a purse, briefcase or backpack
•  LASER assisted target acquisition makes aiming a breeze
•  High intensity LED flashlight ensures you can identify the attacker in dimly lit areas or at night
•  The same knock-down power as used by more than 18,000 law enforcement agencies in 107 countries
•  30-second duration of high voltage output allowing the user to make a safe escape
•  A dozen brand name holster manufacturers will be releasing concealed holstering options

“This is a tremendous redesign for TASER’s civilian line of products and truly propels them to the top of the self-defense market. Because of our confidence in their new team and brand, we’ve chosen to represent them as they make a renewed push into the retail market with this fresh product line,” said Wade Lynton, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for The Evans Group.

The TASER Pulse package includes the TASER Pulse, two disposable TASER cartridges, a soft carry protective cover, a battery pack, and a conductive practice target. It is scheduled to begin shipping in the first quarter of 2016.
Embedded capabilities
DARPA plans to build long-endurance UAS for small ships

Small-deck ships such as destroyers and frigates could greatly increase their effectiveness if they had their own unmanned air systems (UASs) to provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and other capabilities at long range around the clock.

Current state-of-the-art UASs, however, lack the ability to take off and land from confined spaces in rough seas and achieve efficient long-duration flight.

Tern, a joint program between DARPA and the US Navy’s Office of Naval Research (ONR), seeks to provide these and other previously unattainable capabilities. As part of Tern’s ongoing progress toward that goal, DARPA has awarded Phase 3 of Tern to a team led by the Northrop Grumman Corporation.

The first two phases of Tern successfully focused on preliminary design and risk reduction. In Phase 3, DARPA plans to build a full-scale demonstrator system of a medium-altitude, long-endurance UAS designed to use forward-deployed small ships as mobile launch and recovery sites.

Initial ground-based testing, if successful, would lead to an at-sea demonstration of takeoff, transition to and from horizontal flight, and landing-all from a test platform with a deck size similar to that of a destroyer or other small surface-combat vessel.

“The design we have in mind for the Tern demonstrator could greatly increase the effectiveness of any host ship by augmenting awareness, reach and connectivity,” said Dan Patt, DARPA program manager.

“Through Tern, we seek to develop and demonstrate key capabilities for enabling distributed, disaggregated US naval architectures in the future,” said Bradford Tousley, director of DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office (TTO), which oversees Tern.

“This joint DARPA-Navy effort is yet another example of how the Agency collaborates with intended transition partners to create potentially revolutionary capabilities for national security.”

The Tern Phase 3 design envisions a tailsitting, flying-wing aircraft with twin counter-rotating, nose-mounted propellers.

The propellers would lift the aircraft from a ship deck, orient it for horizontal flight and provide propulsion to complete a mission. They would then reorient the craft upon its return and lower it to the ship deck. The system would fit securely inside the ship when not in use.

Tern’s potentially groundbreaking capabilities have been on the Navy’s wish list in one form or another since World War II.

The production of the first practical helicopters in 1942 helped the US military realize the potential value of embedded vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft to protect fleets and reduce the reliance on aircraft carriers and land bases.

The Tern demonstrator will bear some resemblance to the Convair XFY-1 Pogo, an experimental ship-based VTOL fighter designed by the Navy in the 1950s to provide air support for fleets.

Despite numerous successful demonstrations, the XFY-1 never advanced beyond the prototype stage, in part because the Navy at the time was focusing on faster jet aircraft and determined that pilots would have needed too much training to land on moving ships in rough seas.
Building block
Indonesia building naval systems

PT PAL has launched the first of two SIGMA 10514 PerusakKawalRudal (PKR) guided missile frigates designed for the Indonesian Navy (TNI AL). PT PAL built these ships in collaboration with Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding (DSNS).

The SIGMA 10514 PKR frigate was a project initiated in August 2010 by the Indonesian Ministry of Defence.

The Ministry awarded a contract to Damen for the construction of the first SIGMA 10514 PKR in December of that year. The first steel was cut by the former Minister of Defence, PurnomoYusgiantoro in January 2014 and the keel was laid in April 2014 at PT PAL shipyard in Surabaya.

The PKRs are designed and built to endure various missions.

Primarily, the vessel will be operated for Anti-Air Warfare, Anti-Surface Warfare, and Anti-submarine Warfare. However, it is also compatible with Maritime Security, Search and Rescue, Patrol, and Humanitarian Support tasks. TNI-Al will be strongly empowered by this state-of-the-art maritime capacity.

The SIGMA 10514 PKR has a proven design and is uniquely built using a modular approach. SIGMA stands for Ship Integrated Geometrical Modularity Approach.

In essence, the PKRs are divided into 6 modules of which 4 were built in PT PAL’s shipyards while the other two modules were built and fully