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31 March 2015

AUSA Winter 2015: Fuel and Water Solutions for a Changing World

It is over 25 years since the Berlin Wall came down and the old Cold War started to warm up, since then the shape of warfare has changed to being expeditionary with lighter forces more easily deployed over much greater distances.

The KMV Dingo utility variant with a WEW water system mounted on the back.  In the box are the pump and filtration units. (Photos: WEW)

One of the major changes that came from this was the introduction of the 20ft ISO container which can be deployed using both civil and military supply chains as we have seen during the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.  These ISO containers could be and are moved intermodally i.e. by road, rail, sea and even by air across all supply lines.  One company which exploited this logistic technology is WEW, which is based in Germany but has offices in a number of countries including the US.  The company has successfully used the standard ISO technology, complete with its corner castings used to mount the unit on a vehicle or trailer and the standard sizing, to develop a range of fuel and water Drop & Go™ systems.  These consist of a tank mounted within a standard ISO frame to give it strength and integrity and then within the same envelope the company has developed a range of modules such as pump units, filtration systems, heating and cooling, chlorination and other accessories depending on the application.

The HIPPO water system in service with the US Army has been produced by WEW in partnership with MilMar of the US.  It uses the HEMTT-LHS for load handling.

For the last 15 years WEW has developed a reputation for supplying these rugged easily transported tanks, which can carry up to 22,500 litres/6,000 US gallons, to NATO nations including the US Army, the German Bundeswehr and the British Army for service in Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan.  These Drop & Go systems can be transported using variety of cargo handling systems such as PLS and DROPS.

Warfare has evolved.  Where we once envisioned large formations fighting on the plains in central Europe, we now focus on a full spectrum of operations, from warfare to Security and Stability Operations to peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance with smaller formations widely dispersed over greater distances where mobility is one of the key factors and bases are only temporary.  The introduction of the Protected Patrol vehicle and adoption of MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) technologies has given defence forces the ability to penetrate much deeper into hostile territory.  This brings with it the need for the patrol to have its own fuel and water.  WEW has taken this requirement in its stride and developed a range of smaller units which incorporate much of the quality and technology that the company is recognised for.  These units can be mounted either on utility variants of patrol vehicle, carried on smaller armoured logistic vehicles or mounted on a trailer.  Some of the company’s solutions can be coupled together to become the same size as an ISO container for bulk transport.  But core to all the of the company’s family of fuel and water systems is quality, reliability and most importantly designed to meet the warfighter’s requirements.

The WEW trailer module for the German Bundeswehr undergoing tilt trials prior to acceptance into service. Four of these units when dismounted from the trailer can be linked together to form a 20ft ISO unit for easy intermodal transport.

Raytheon to Upgrade South Korean PATRIOT Air- and Missile-Defence Systems

Raytheon said Monday that its Integrated Defense Systems unit has been awarded a $769.4 million contract from South Korea to upgrade an undisclosed quantity of PATRIOT air- and missile-defence system batteries.

Raytheon is to upgrade South Korean PATRIOT Air- and Missile-Defence Systems (Photo: Raytheon)

In a statement, Raytheon officials said the pact will allow the Republic of Korea (ROK) to be better protected against ballistic missiles, aircraft and other airborne threats.

"The upgrade enhances the Republic of Korea's defences and underscores the value of the 13-nation strong PATRIOT partnership which funded development of the modernisation," said Dan Crowley, president of Raytheon IDS, in a statement. "The ROK's procurement is also an economic growth engine which will bring good jobs to Korea and preserve jobs in the US which would have gone overseas if a foreign system was selected."

The deal comes on top of one announced in late 2014, when Korea awarded Raytheon a contract for $160 million to upgrade its missiles to the GEM-T configuration. This award was announced in Raytheon's 2014 fourth quarter earnings call.

AUSA Winter 2015: Reliable off grid power for Special Forces and Remote Environment

Modern soldier systems are becoming more power-hungry. Optimum soldier safety and operability depend upon reliable power supplies.

Conventional solutions are limited: Batteries alone cannot meet the requirements in multi-day missions, forcing soldiers to carry large and heavy spare batteries – weight and volume not available for water, food or ammunition. Generators require maintenance and produce detectable signatures. Solar modules are weather dependent. SFC Power supplies with fuel cells are a silent, lightweight, non-detectable alternative.

Fuel cells recharge batteries fully automatically. Thanks to the high energy density of their fuel (30 times higher than that of lead acid batteries and 7 times higher than that of Li-ion batteries) soldiers can carry along much power at minimum weight and volume. Intelligent power management enables hybrid operation with other energy sources, e.g. solar panels.

Portable power for fielded missions - SFC Energy Network

Fuel cells enable 80% weight savings in fielded missions. The SFC energy network consisting of the portable JENNY 600S fuel cell and the SFC Power Manager is a man portable, flexible fuel cell system. It supplies 24/7 reliable power without emissions or detectable signature. It powers electric devices directly. Operation in combination with the SFC Power Manager enables use of different power sources and charging batteries.

Power for military vehicles and fielded missions - EMILY fuel cell

Communication, sensing and weapon systems require a continuous power supply. In the vehicle engine starts cause cover loss, emissions, fuel consumption, and component wear. Fielded forces face similar problems: They must carry along heavy batteries. EMILY provides reliable power in multi-day missions. It recharges batteries automatically on demand, 24/7, in any weather, without user attention.

Intelligent Power Management - SFC Power Manager

In the field soldiers want to use any available power sources to operate any kind of device they need. This requires intelligent power management. The SFC Power Manager can be integrated into existing systems to simplify power logistics and reduce overall weight while increasing operation efficiency. It enables use of any available power source including batteries, vehicle power, solar, and fuel cells. The intelligent and configurable system automatically adapts output voltage to the requirements of the connected systems. Use the Power Manager for recharging batteries or for directly operating devices.

SFC Energy fuel cells 

SFC Energy fuel cell products are used by numerous international police, defense, and intelligence organizations. SFC Energy has been cooperating closely with German Bundeswehr and the U.S. Army for over 10 years. It is the world’s first company with a fuel cell fully approved for use by the German Bundeswehr. The U.S. ARMY Test and Evaluation Command uses SFC fuel cells on their test ranges to power instrumentation. SFC Energy has sold over 33,000 fuel cell systems in defense and security, off-grid industry and consumer applications worldwide.

Luftwaffe Exclusive - Advanced Training Technology in the Third Dimension

Goodyear Makes Use of New Flight Training Procedures within the German Air Force

The German Air Force (Luftwaffe) already has a large number of simulation systems. Mainly developed and introduced for weapon system-specific training, these systems support basic and follow-on training as well as realistic pre-deployment training and post-deployment activities of Luftwaffe personnel. Simulators can be employed irrespective of environmental influences, such as weather conditions and therefore are available around the clock. State-of–the-art technology makes it possible to exercise and train under simulated extreme conditions while saving resources and original equipment. For this to remain like that, training means and methods need to be constantly further developed.

Grob 120A cockpit. (Photos: Luftwaffe)

The Luftwaffe has been applying new approaches for technology-based training within the scope of its modern training technology (MTT) concept for quite some time now. Already in 2012, the “Eurofighter Ground Check Run” project was developed under the lead responsibility of the Luftwaffe Support Command. It merges real-time videos, conventional documents and simulated processes into an integrated three-dimensional learning environment. A development team from the Luftwaffe Engineering Training Center was awarded the “eureleA-2012” (European Award for Technology Supported Learning) in the “Best Technical Implementation” category for this effort.
In the meantime, a further step has been taken for an even more effective and realistic web-based flight training on a networked modern platform. In July 2014, a team from the Luftwaffe Engineering Training Center in Kaufbeuren, Germany travelled to Goodyear, AZ/USA, in order to carry out preparations for a complex procedural trainer for the Grob 120A on site. Designed as a cockpit trainer for a single-engine aircraft, this trainer will be used for primary flying training, allowing students to train standard and emergency procedures in accordance with the flight manual. The procedural trainer will be implemented on the basis of the MTT learning programme. The system offers a multitude of possibilities for training and subsequent analyses in order to create an optimum learning effect.
During its stay at Goodyear, the team collected all relevant data from checklists and numerous manuals, creating photo and video material and processing the data for use in different media. Even the smallest details had to be captured since it would no longer be possible to integrate further information on the Grob 120A in a timely manner during the subsequent implementation phase in Germany.

Thus, every working day ended with a debriefing and a precise definition of the next day’s schedule. Material which for reasons of quality could not be used for the procedural trainer had to be recreated. For this reason, continuous guidance by the flight instructor of 3rd Luftwaffe Training Squadron was of particular importance. In this way, the authors immediately received answers to their questions so that even those processes deemed complex from their point of view were understood.

Training in the virtual procedural trainer will mainly be based on a simulation of the entire check list with the exception of the phase of flight. For this purpose, the flight instructors conducted a theoretical instruction on all relevant documents before demonstrating examples of the pre-flight inspection by performing the before exterior inspection and the walkaround (visual inspection by the pilot) in practice. Thus, every single step could be documented by photo and video recording. The example of the walkaround clearly shows that an integration of high-quality video elements into procedural trainers is indispensable. Video sequences help student pilots to achieve the desired learning and training success, in particular where complex procedures or visual examinations are concerned.

A special highlight of the implementation was a flight in a Grob 120A during the second week. Here it became evident that the conceptual groundwork of the preceding days had served its purpose. Theoretic lessons learnt so far were now seen through the eyes of the student pilots. Flight preparations, the execution of the entire checklist down to take off, the flight phase, touch & go, different traffic patterns and the final approach with the landing at Goodyear – every step matched the theoretical instructions! The flight complemented the data collection phase by providing first-hand impressions.

The package of tasks for the creation of the procedural trainer, which was based upon the flight training syllabus, had already been agreed upon in advance. Getting these tasks done posed a major challenge since only a limited amount of time was available and all work involved had to be strictly organized. Nevertheless, the team managed to prepare detailed prerequisites for possible further development tasks and record them by means of appropriate media.

The project is currently in the production phase, which means that 3D modelling is taking place at the Luftwaffe Engineering Training Center in Kaufbeuren. What will be created during this process is a realistic representation of the shelter area and an entire Grob 120A model including its cockpit.
A major advantage in this context is the web-based publication of the application. Future users in the US will be able to track the development status of the procedural trainer on the Bundeswehr intranet in real time. Based on previously determined test criteria and the requirements catalog, they will follow the further development of the simulator, thus providing a further instance of quality assurance during development.

The procedural trainer will be operationally available at Goodyear in the first quarter of 2015. This will also mark the start of a new era in primary flying training for the young student pilots of the Luftwaffe. Where until now flight training could only be conducted directly on the aircraft or by theoretical training, the procedural trainer now opens up entirely new possibilities. Restrictions owing to limited availability of resources will be minimised.

Future Luftwaffe pilots will be introduced to the methodology of the cockpit functions already during pre-flight training and prior to the start of their training at Goodyear. Within a year’s time, another procedural trainer will be set up at the Luftwaffe Officer School in F├╝rstenfeldbruck, which will allow elements of flight training to be conducted in student numbers up to classroom size.
Andreas Haslinger, Andreas Hofmann
The authors of this article are Maj. Andreas Haslinger, German Air Force Support Command, Personnel/Organisation/ /Controlling/ Training Division III b and Senior Master Sergeant Andreas Hofmann, German Air Force Engineering Training Center Division South.

30 March 2015

The Situation in Yemen - An Air Force Assessment

Sources within the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) report 1,200+ sorties flown by now; 500 on the first two days, and “only” 200 yesterday. Sounds like a VERY intensive operation…Georg Mader reports.

The status of the Yemeni Air Force’s (YAF)'s Ground Based Air Defence (GBAD) (all heavy surface-to-air missiles [SAM] in Yemen are operated by the YAF, not by the ground forces as reported in the media) was actually better than that of the YAF's flying components. Most aircraft were largely grounded since 2013, for lack of spares. From what we know it is obvious that large parts of the Yemeni GBAD systems were overhauled with the help of Belarussian and Russian specialists. As it is clear that SAMs were indeed launched in the first night, the effort to destroy SAM sites and air surveillance/air defence (AD) assets is not a pointless exercise in munition expenditure. Even a single old SAM site, provided it is technically functional and crewed by men who know how to operate it, can shoot aircraft down. This is why no chances can be taken.

Yemen has gotten a similar upgrade for its SA-3s as Syria, believed to be PECHORA-2M-likes. That said, this force is nowhere that big: It consisted of only three AD brigades equipped with SAMs, and two equipped with AAA. As of early 2000, each of these has operated two battalions (one site per each battalion) of S-75s (SA-2s), and one or two of S-125s (SA-3s), and 2K12 (SA-6s). One SAM-brigade was protecting the city of Sana'a, one Aden, and the exact position of the third is unclear. It could be that it was responsible for defending Taizz. It is possible that they have received some new equipment, but – corrections welcome – MT never found any kind of confirmation for reported delivery of 2S6M1 TUNGUSKA systems to Yemen in 2005.
While the Saudi spokesperson said that 40% of Yemeni AD have been knocked out by now, and it can be assumed that the RSAF at least attempted to hit all seven known positions of the YAF's SA-2 and SA-3 sites (which are fixed in their place since years and thus more than well known), all that can be confirmed is destruction of the SRN-125 Low Blow fire-control radar of the SA-3 site protecting Marib (this site, i.e. battalion, is an element of the SAM-brigade protecting Sana'a) on the first night.

Roundup of the (former) sites:
Marib - 2x SA-2
Haliburton gas or oil facility east of Marib: 1x SA-2 + 2x SA-3
Sana'a - 3x SA-2 + 1x SA-3 (+ SA-6)
Ta'izz - 2x SA-2
Aden - 3x SA-2 + 2x SA-3
Mukalla - 1x SA-2
Ar Riyan (Mukalla airport) - 2x SA-2
Hodeidah - 2x SA-2
Qurayyah - 2x SA-2
Mocha - 1x SA-2

The largest other success of Friday, according to the RSAF, should have been the “destruction of Iranian- and Chinese-originated long-range missiles that were underway to Saudi territory;” taken place in the Sa'ada Province. If true, it would mean that they have caught some Yemeni SCUDs or TOCHKAs in attack in the weapons storage depot at Faj Attah, in Sana'a, the last night.

However, Brig.Gen. Ahmed bin Hasan Asiri warned on Saturday that the Houthis would control more of these ~300km short-range surface-to-surface missiles (SSM). His account could not be immediately corroborated, but YAF brigades - equipped with R-17E (SCUD-B) and TOCHKA (SS-21s) SSMs - have joined the Houthis. Yemeni SSMs are also operated by the Air Force, not by the Army). During the war of 1994-1995, former North Yemen fired about 35 TOCHKAs, while former South Yemen fired about 30 SCUDs. Shortly after, Yemen bought North Korean-made SCUDs, after signing a corresponding contract. As of 1999, US intel assessed Yemen to possess 18 R-17Es, and by mid-2000s up to 60 missiles. Whatever the case, Russia – much more than Iran - was supportive of the Houthis.

Brig.Gen. Asiri said the airstrike campaign - now entering its fourth day on Sunday - continued to target SCUD missiles in Yemen, „leaving most of their launching pads devastated.”

But, as we learned in Syria and Libya, this kit does not need any real launch pads.

Sudan has meanwhile increased its participation to four fighter jets, as confirmed by a report, but RSAF sources state that the Sudanese Air Force (SuAF) is yet to fly any combat sorties over Yemen. They are based at Wadi Seidna in North-Omdurman and the Sukhoi Su-24 (FENCER) would be the only Sudanese aircraft with legs to reach Yemen. I personally wonder how they would integrate into a US/NATO-styled Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) with an aircraft like FENCER, as all systems would pop-up alerting hostile aircraft detected…

Nevertheless, images via Sana’a TV suggest that the SuAF has already LOST a FENCER strike-aircraft over the Bani Houshah district of Sana'a, one of just a few acquired in secret from Belarus in 2013.

The pilots of one Saudi RSAF F-15S had to eject over the waters south of Yemen after what officially is named a “technical malfunction.” Both were rescued in assistance by the US-Navy.

The Saudi-led airstrike campaign targeting rebels who control much of Yemen has “pushed them out of contested air bases and destroyed any jet fighter remaining in the Arab world’s poorest country,” Brig.Gen. Asiri has said. And indeed, it seems that the RSAF Plus Coalition did destroy the Yemeni Mig-29s after all. AJE is showing a Saudi video of the targeting and destruction of a row of shelters that usually house the Mig-29s at Sana'a.
Georg Mader

Bell Helicopter Unveils V-280 Single Screen Cockpit Concept

At the US Army Aviation Missions Solution Summit (29-31 March), Nashville, TN, Bell Helicopter is previewing a technology demonstration of its integrated single screen cockpit concept for the V-280. Andrew Drwiega is reporting from Quad-A, Nashville, TN.

Bell Helicopter Unveiling V-280 Single Screen Cockpit Concept at US Army Aviation Missions Solution Summit 

It is a futuristic - combining the usual flight symbology that would be expected from a digital display, together with interactive screens showing active degraded visual environment (DVE) information, live video and imagery feeds, onboard weapons status (with interactive selection and firing on-screen) - all with a touch of 'Iron Man' conceptualisation thrown in for good measure. Pilots would be able to finger-pass information box data across the screen from one to the other.

The system's data could also be displayed on the front windscreen and / or in the pilot's visor - or a combination, which could be customisable.

Bell Helicopter V-280 Single Screen Cockpit Concept 

The V-280 full scale model is also demonstrating a weapons rail that could be deployed from under the wing and, potentially carry Hellfire missiles which could be fired forward without hitting or being affected by the large rotors.

Bell Helicopter has also brought a V-280 simulator to demonstrate at Quad-A (of which more later).

While this concept is just that - a concept - those responsible for the thinking behind it are envisaging taking mission management and situational awareness to a new level.
Andrew Drwiega

26 March 2015

MTG Marinetechnik Selects Surma for Combat Survivability Assessment Software

MTG Marinetechnik, an engineering company from Germany specialised in the planning and conception of naval vessels, has recently signed a contract with the Finnish company Surma for the supply of the SURMA combat survivability assessment software. SURMA has been selected by MTG after a thorough market analyses. SURMA will greatly expand the existing portfolio for survivability analyses in the early planning stages of naval designs.

"Naval vessels are highly complex and incorporate a high financial but also technical risk," a source at MTG told MT. "To reduce the technical but also the financial risk, special analyses on survivability aspects have to be incorporated into the whole design process as early as possible. The results of the survivability analyses have a direct input to the design itself and with the help of SURMA, the design can be further optimised using reliable simulation results thus leading to the most efficient and economical solution."