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MILITARY TECHNOLOGY (MILTECH) is the world's leading international tri-service defence monthly magazine in the English language. MILITARY TECHNOLOGY is "Required Reading for Defence Professionals". Follow us on Twitter: MILTECH1



26 February 2015

Exelis' CorvusEye 1500 Enabling Persistent Wide Area Surveillance

Exelis was demonstrating its latest persistent wide area surveillance solution during IDEX 2015. The high definition CorvusEye 1500 system captures two frames per second over a larger area than full motion video (FMV) solutions handle. These systems typically capture 30 frames a second. The new Wide Area Motion Imagery (WAMI) system can observe activity, track movement and gather intelligence over a city sized area. The WAMI sensor used is either a CorvusEye 1500C visual color sensor or a CorvusEye 1500CM sensor that is capable of capturing both visual color and IR imagery. CorvusEye can handle up to 10 stare points simultaneously that zoom in and view areas of interests. In addition, the system can also support activity based intelligence with forensic capabilities establishing trends and interconnected patterns of life including social interactions, origins of travel and destinations. Live imagery could also be transmitted to handheld devices of tactical users and provide analysts with forensic access for mission planning. This year, Exelis introduces optional plug-ins that will provide the possibility to automate tasks without requiring human intervention. This way users can be alerted automatically of suspicious activity within user placed boxes of interest or tripwires. Movement could then be tracked automatically while a FMV sensor could be tasked to follow a vehicle. This is enabled by the Exelis CogniSense real time analytical framework that processes multi-sensor data and enables real time sensor cueing, cross correlation and autonomous analytics. The CorvusEye 1500 system has a low SWaP (Size, Weight and Power) which makes it well suited for both manned and unmanned platforms.
Pieter Bastiaans

Controp Debuts Advanced 3D Video Motion Detection System

Controp Precision Technologies, a world leader in EO/IR defense and homeland security solutions, is proud to debut at this year's GSA Global Security Asia 2015 its recent technological breakthrough - the new 3D-GUARD – Advanced 3 Dimensional Video Motion Detection System.

Providing precise indication of target location, size and course of movement, the 3D-GUARD system acts as reliable "virtual fence" and can be installed on poles or towers, can operate as a fast deployment system or as a stand-alone solution.  It can be controlled from a central Command and Control Systems (C2). Due to the automatic detection features of this breakthrough system, a single Operator can control a very large number of systems over a wide geographic area from a single C2 station. The system is easy to operate and information is displayed next to the object on the display. 

Designed for the protection of borders, strategic facilities and perimeters, 3D-GUARD is a day/night system for 24/7 automatic detection and alert of moving targets/intruders.

According to VP Marketing, Mr. Johnny Carni: "In a time where threats are getting more and more sophisticated and less likely to be detected by traditional technologies – we felt it was necessary to make a significant leap in technology. Adding the 3rd dimension enables us to provide our clients with an extremely reliable system, with a very low percentage of false alarms and a very good Probability of Detection. As R&D processes moved forward, we realized the added value of such a system and the new capabilities it grants to the defenses of a facility or a border. The new 3D-GUARD uses complex algorithms to automatically calculate the data that is collected from the dedicated area and from the target itself – and provides conclusive directives for the Operator’s use. This new capability ensures exceptionally high levels of security."

The capabilities of this new "staring" system drastically reduce the nuisance of false alarms that are typical of other Video Analytic (VA) systems. With the 3D-GUARD only real targets will “trigger” the Operator’s attention and will require the Operator’s involvement. Comprised of two stationary cameras with fixed fields-of-view, the 3D-GUARD has a detection range of up to 1000 meters.  The two cameras can be dual Thermal Imagers (TI) Uncooled Infrared (IR) Cameras or dual Day TV Cameras.

Tawazun Holdings extended its interest in EDIC

UAE-based Tawazun Holdings extended its interest in the recently established Emirates Defence Industries Company (EDIC) with the transfer of a further four companies under control of the joint venture at this year’s International Defence Exhibition & Conference (IDEX).

Having been founded in December with 11 companies including Tawazun Dynamics and Tawazun Precision Industries, EDIC has expanded to include other Tawazun subsidiaries including Abu Dhabi Autonomous Systems Investment (ADASI); Burkan Munition Systems; Caracal International; and Caracal Light Ammunition.

In a company statement, EDIC chairman H.E Al Shemmari said “…as a result of this integration, the defence services industry will benefit from improved alignment, enhanced performance, increased capacity and greater economies of scale, and be better positioned to serve the Armed Forces of the UAE and compete for business in the region”.

Tawazun Dynamics received one of the largest orders from the UAE General Headquarters of the Armed Forces with an AED1.53 billion contract for precision-guided weapons including the Al Tariq family of munitions.

The company was displaying its self-proclaimed “flagship” Al-Tariq family of strap-on munition systems for its 500lb to 2000lb Mk81, Mk82 and Mk83 bombs, which is designed to integrate GPS/INS guidance systems on the weapon systems. This, company spokespersons told Military Technology, would provide users with an all-weather and day/night operational capability. The munition was jointly developed with South African company Denal Dynamics, under their joint venture Tawazun Dynamics.

“Users can optimise target accuracy through Imaging Infrared with complete Automatic Target Recognition capabilities or the semi-active laser seeker. The system can also be fitted with an RF proximity fuse for area targeting, using a pre-fragmented warhead,” a spokesperson said.

With a maximum range of 40km, Al Tariq munitions can have their reach extended yet further with add-on propulsion kits which could allow the bomb to hit targets up to 200km away, dependent on altitude when released.

Elsewhere, Tawazun Holdings subsidiary ADASI described its ongoing Al Sabr initiative, first launched in 2003 to support UAE Armed Forces requirements for UAS intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions in collaboration with the Austrian government.

ADADI and the UAE Armed Forces have devised a concept of operation comprising two Schiebel S-100 Camcopter UAV airframes and two ground control stations as well as transport vehicles. The capability provides full motion video EO/IR feeds with a radius of 180km and ability to remain airborne for up to 10 hours, according to an ADASI spokesperson.

“The Al Sabr system is highly versatile and can be modified to perform a wide scope of activities, such as surveillance and reconnaissance missions, radio and data relay, border security, critical infrastructure monitoring and artillery support. It can also be adapted to operate from different locations such as a fixed central operations centre or from a ship,” the spokesperson continued.

IDEX 2015: Insitu demonstrates INTEGRATOR

A subsidiary of Boeing, Insitu is present at both IDEX and UMEX, flying live demonstrations with the new INTEGRATOR at the Tarif airstrip as part of the latter. Building on experience it has gained with the widely acclaimed SCAN EAGLE platform, the larger INTEGRATOR has an reconfigurable internal bay, hereby offering a total of six payload spaces that can accommodate a wide range of sensors. The INTEGRATOR can take the EO900 imager that is also available for SCAN EAGLE and which offers a staggering 170X optical zoom. INTEGRATOR uses S, L, C band bandwidth to stream full motion video to a ground station, achieving a range of 50 to 75 miles when operating at cruise altitude, assuming that line of sight is maintained.

While displaying scale models in the US pavilion, Insitu demonstrated the INTEGRATOR at the Tarif airstrip during a live fly demo, impressing local dignitaries with the ease with which the aircraft is launched and retrieved. The company's patented SKYHOOK system is capable of retrieving Insitu's range of advanced UAVs in a very short period of time, hereby limiting interference with other possible flight operations. This comes in handy when operating from navy frigates, destroyers which also carry shipborne helicopters. The SKYHOOK is also compatible with small craft and Insitu officials indicated the system has even demostrated to be capable of being operated from small SOF riverine craft. In addition, flight safety is enhanced as the air vehicle approaches the ship from its flanks, moving away from the ship if an emergency were to happen unlike naval helicopters.

Forming the basis of the United States Marine Corps' RQ-21A BLACKJACK or Small Tactical UAS programme of record, INTEGRATOR has attracted a lot of attention from potential customers such as the Netherlands that are seeking a follow on system to the SCAN EAGLE UAS that are in use. Integrator is compatible with Scan Eagle's heavy launcher and retrieval system which would bring down costs.

Company officials would not comment on individual customers, however, they acknowledged that their unmanned solutions are used in the GCC region. It has also emerged, that Insitu is one of the contenders for a 50 aircraft requirement for the Indian Navy, which would be the equivalent of approximately 15 systems.
Pieter Bastiaans

IDEX 2015: Rheinmetall exhibits soldier modernisation solution

During IDEX 2015, Rheinmetall is showing a modular smart vest solution that will enhance connectivity at the squad and platoon level of infantry forces. Based on experience Rheinmetall gained when developing the Gladius programme for the German military, the latest product is Rheinmetall's bid for the Canadian army's soldier modernisation programme. MT has learned that there are currently only two companies that remain in the race for the Canadian requirement out of five that brought out bids, Rheinmetall being one of two. A decision on which system will be selected appears imminent.

Rheinmetall's system would be equipped with Harris' 7800 Secure Personal Radio although Rheinmetall officials emphasised the fact that it could easily be adapted to take the latest 7850 version which has MESH capability. The vest is fitted with a LI80 li-ion battery that guarantees power supply for 24 hours. Also available is the more powerful LI 145 battery that has shown to be capable of supporting the vest's electronic subsystems for 36 hours, even under arctic conditions. Equipped with two of these batteries, Rheinmetall's soldier modernisation solution can guarantee that the individual soldier is self supporting with regard to power supply for 72 hours, which is an objective for most specialized light infantry forces such as airborne and air assault units when operating deep in enemy terrain. One can easily switch from one battery to another while a commercial camera or laser range finder could also be connected to the system. The radio has relay functionality with multiple slots having been allocated for voice, data and relay transmissions. If introduced, the more advanced RF 7850 SPR would provide dynamic MESH capability. If required, other radios such as the Thales PRC-152 MBITR could also be integrated.
Pieter Bastiaans

IDEX 2015: Discovery Air Defence Services changes the face of airborne combat training

Canadian company Discovery Air Defence Services (DADS) is about to expand its air training capabilities by introducing the Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon 4th generation fighter, it has emerged. Speaking to MT, Discovery Air's president Paul Bouchard said up to 24 F-16s might be procured through a FMS deal. Asked about where the aircraft come from, he declined to tell about the former operator of the aircraft but acknowledged that they are foreign airframes, not former US aircraft coming out of desert storage. "We are the first to operate F-16s as contract air" he said. The first aircraft would enter service in mid 2015, Bouchard continued. Sources indicate Discovery Air has struck a deal with Israel for acquiring these Block 15 F-16A aircraft.

Bouchard made clear the company is aiming to have a presence in all friendly regions, including the Middle East. Discovery Air has been supporting the Canadian military with aerial services for many years operating former German air force Alpha Jet training aircraft where they operate embedded with their military counterparts. The company started operating for the German armed forces in January this year with a total of seven A-4 Skyhawk aircraft under a contract that will last five years. With only limited numbers of 5th generation combat aircraft entering service with European air forces, Bouchard is currently also targeting other European nations which would need credible red air to train their new F-35As against. One of the countries DADS is looking at is the Netherlands while other potential customers would be Norway, the United Kingdom, Belgium and Denmark, it appears. Discovery Air's F-16 training solution would bring a supersonic, highly maneuverable fighter with radar, radar warning receivers and EW which would be cheaper to operate, allowing nations to focus on other priorities with their Lockheed Martin F-35s. Employing skilled, former military fighter pilots and aggressor specialists, Discovery Air would also bring high off-boresight missile and helmet mounted cueing system capabilities into air combat training.

DADS also routinely supports the highly realistic Red Flag exercises held at Nellis AFB in the United States during which full strike packages are put to the test against ground and air threats. In addition, it offers a military flight training programme operating so called Alpha Jet NG jet aircraft and Grob 120TP turboprop trainers. Providing two engine safety, the upgraded Alpha Jet features an Esterline CMC Cockpit 4000 and has a Martin-Baker Mk-10L escape system. The overall curriculum would encompass 267 flight hours, 120 of which are done on the Alpha Jet. An English language course is part of the curriculum which also features extensive training by means of simulation assets.
Pieter Bastiaans

IDEX 2015: ForceX, Z Microsystems exhibit mission ready software applications for ISR applications

US companies ForceX and Z Microsystem, Inc. have joined forces at IDEX 2015 showing some of their advanced software applications for use on special mission aircraft. Known for its support to USSOCOM's fleet of special operations aviation assets, ForceX offers the Widow fourth generation mission execution software suited for military, commercial and civil aviation users. A modular and scalable system, Widow can easily be integrated in various types of mision systems architectures. It can seamlessly integrate with EO/IR sensors such as the FLIR Systems Star SAFIRE 380-HD and the L-3 Wescam MX series but company officials insisted that other sensors could also be integrated such as those by Aselsan for instance. Using USB gaming style joysticks, bezel keys, or even platform stick and throttle to control moving maps, sensors and other functions, Widow provides a series of features including live video overlays of streets, address and terrain features, making it ideal for military ISR, law enforcement, SAR, firefighting or even real estate applications. Video feeds from multiple sources, moving maps and intuitive tools allow the user to focus on the mission while displaying actionable intelligence where it is needed most, decreasing operator workload. Capable of importing points, drawing files, routes and other data sets in industry standard as well commercial formats, Widow can also export data to be used in Google Earth.

A manufacturer of computers, servers, and workstations, Z Microsystems also offers mass storage modules, storage docks and deck systems. In addition, it produces rugged rackmount displays, intelligent display screens and image solutions such as video processors. Using a GE ICS-8580 high definition video encoder, its ZX2-VCES video capture and encode server is fitted in AFSOC's U-28 aircraft amongst others. The company's high end Real-Time Enhanced Video (RTEV) technology is used on the United States Marine Corps' new Insitu RQ-21A Blackjack Small Tactical UAS. RTEV provides demanding algorithm enhancements in real time without adding latency to the video, hereby greatly improving image quality and decision making capabilities. RTEV also offers quick precision tuning of algorithms with adjustable settings and controls as well as the ability to quickly toggle enhancements on and off. Z Microsystems' adaptive dehazing algorithm can be used for any video format and provides advantages in degraded visual environments when imagery is affected by dust, haze, fog, smoke, etc.
Pieter Bastiaans