About Me

My Photo
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

.

.

21 October 2014

Lincad Awarded New R&D Contracts by UK MoD

Lincad, a leader in the design and manufacture of specialist batteries and chargers, has been awarded three new Research and Development (R&D) contracts by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD). This will provide the funding required for the company to take the development of three key new products through to the production stage.

Lincad has been at the forefront of developing specialist solutions for the MoD’s battery and charger requirements for over 12 years. Over that time, through a process of mechanical refinement and the use of cutting edge cell technology, the company has consistently delivered products that have helped to reduce the load that soldiers in the field have to carry, with no loss of efficiency or reliability.

"We’re delighted that the MOD has decided to fund the further development of these three new products," commented Brian Soden, Lincad’s Managing Director. "We have every confidence that our continued work will bring significant benefits to soldiers deployed in operational roles."



This summer, Lincad released  its CARAVEL Mk2 Charger, designed to meet the battery charging and management requirements of Lincad’s LIPS (Lithium Ion Power System) suite of batteries, as well as a wide range of other battery types and technologies. The CARAVEL Mk2 Charger is an enhanced, cutting edge replacement for the in-service CARAVEL Charger, which has seen front line service with British and international armed forces for over 13 years. (All Photos: Lincad) 

Lincad is a privately owned UK company with over 25 years’ experience in the design and manufacture of specialist batteries, chargers and intelligent power management systems. The core business of Lincad is the supply of batteries, chargers and intelligent power management systems for military applications. Its main customers are the UK MoD, UK Defence Primes, and Strategic Military and Defence Partners. More recently, Lincad has been involved in developing new battery, charger and power management systems for specialist applications across a range of different sectors.

The company’s reputation as a leader in its field has been established by working closely with customers to ensure they receive the optimum power solutions to meet their operational requirements. First registered in 1986, Lincad is an ISO 9001 accredited company and operates out of two sites in Surrey in the South East of England. Design and manufacture of all Lincad products takes place on site. With expertise in battery chemistry and systems engineering, and a commitment to research into established, new and emerging technologies, Lincad continually aims to develop more powerful and lightweight battery systems that can be charged faster and more flexibly, to provide the best possible end-user experience. The company also has expertise in developing products where electromagnetic
compatibility (EMC) may be critical. In addition to its specialist engineering services, Lincad offers a wide range of off-the-shelf products and is able to supply large quantities of primary batteries. Since 2010, Lincad has been supplying the MOD with a major proportion of its primary battery requirements.

The LIPS 14 Battery is the smallest in Lincad's LIPS range of batteries. It offers a capacity of 9Ah within a 620g package and communicates battery information using a standardised smart battery data protocol.


Batteries

Lincad produces a range of LIPS (Lithium Ion Power Source) batteries that have been designed in conjunction with the MoD to reduce the physical burden on the soldier. The LIPS 5 battery was one of the company’s most successful intelligent battery packs with over 17,500 supplied to the UK MOD as well as other customers worldwide.

The core LIPS products are now the LIPS 9, 10, 11, 12 and 14. The LIPS 9, 10, 11 and 12 are 24V batteries, offering a range of size and capacity options as well as IrDA optical communication, whilst the smaller 12V LIPS 14 has a reduced capacity with SMBus communication.

Other smaller batteries not in the LIPS range include the 18V battery and the 11V tactical man pack communications equipment battery with twist lock mechanism.

Lincad also produces high power batteries such as the battery designed for Northrop Grumman to power the CUTLASS remote operating vehicle used for explosive ordnance disposal, and a battery for a submersible remote operating vehicle. Lincad’s high power batteries are all capable of high discharge rates and fast charge times and have the ability to communicate accurate battery information to the host system.

Lincad’s sealed lead acid batteries are designed for a variety of fixed placement systems. They offer a high depth of discharge and can cope with heavy loads and wide operational temperature variations.

The Lips 10, 11 and 12 batteries provide flexibility with different size and weight options. The LIPS 10 provides the highest capacity whereas the LIPS 12 offers the lowest weight.

Chargers

Lincad produces a range of chargers for its LIPS range of batteries with various charge state display and PC connectivity options. 

The single channel CARAVEL Charger is the company's longest in-service LIPS charger. It charges one battery at a time and, like all Lincad’s chargers, is software upgradable for new LIPS products. The four channel LIPS Charger and LIPS Fast Charger allow simultaneous charging of up to four LIPS batteries, with the Fast Charger offering reduced charge times, full battery recalibration and fault diagnostic features.

The Single Channel CARAVEL LIPS Charger is Lincad's longest in-service LIPS Charger. It is software upgradable for new LIPS products and provides a detailed LCD display and status LEDs to display battery status during operation.


The LIPS Vehicle Charger is a three channel charger and uses a DC input from a vehicle to recharge LIPS batteries, whereas the Solar Charger connects to solar panels to enable LIPS batteries to be recharged when a mains or vehicle supply may not be available. 

Now in development, the new CARAVEL Mk2 Charger is a multi-chemistry charger that can charge other batteries as well as Lincad's LIPS range, and the next iteration of the Solar Charger, the Power Scavenger, allows charging from a range of DC inputs.

The LIPS Fast Charger has the capability to charge up to four batteries simultaneously. It is compatible with all of Lincad's current range of LIPS Batteries and software upgradable for all future LIPS products. It offers reduced charge times on the company's high capacity products and full battery recalibration and fault diagnostic features.


Power Management Systems

Lincad’s intelligent power management systems generate a managed DC output to host systems with battery back-up in the event of primary power failure.

The LIPS 10 UPS (uninterruptible power supply) system is an easily portable power management system that can be configured to use up to four LIPS 10 batteries to provide a regulated, un-interrupted 24V DC power supply to a host system. The UPS is ordinarily powered from a universal AC mains input and will automatically manage the recharging of any connected batteries whilst AC voltage is present. Full user feedback on battery and system status is provided via an LED matrix display.

The LIPS 10 UPS is an easily portable power management system that can be be configured to use up to four LIPS 10 Batteries to provide a regulated, un-interrupted 24V DC power supply of up to 92Ah to a host system.

The BPMS (battery power management system) is a high capacity UPS system offering the ability to regulate a nominal 24V DC power supply from an external DC source to host equipment. Simultaneous recharge of the on-board batteries is achieved by means of an integrated charger. The BPMS is engineered to the highest mechanical and environmental specifications and provides a robust and reliable power source for mobile and stationary placement systems, such as the LINAPS self-contained gun-mounted navigation, pointing and weapon management system. The BPMS may also be used in a stand-alone battery configuration.

The LINAPS BPMS is a high capacity uninterruptible power supply (UPS) system offering the ability to regulate a nominal 24V DC power supply from an external DC source to a host equipment. Simultaneous recharge of the on board batteries is achieved by means of an integrated charger. The BPMS is engineered to the highest mechanical and environmental specifications and provides a robust and reliable power source for mobile and stationary placement systems. The BPMS may also be used in a stand alone battery configuration.


The LIPS 6 PMS is a 24V DC battery system designed for use in a rugged deployed environment. Like the BPMS, it is engineered to the highest mechanical and environmental specifications and provides a robust and reliable power source for mobile and stationary placement systems. It can be recharged using the standard Caravel Charger or configured for use as a rechargeable power supply in a UPS system.

The LIPS 8 PMS is a higher power version of the LIPS 6 PMS for applications demanding a heavy supply current.


Other Products

Lincad manufactures a wide range of battery interface adapters (BIAs), enabling its batteries to interface with any system. The Power Scavenging BIA allows the residual capacity retained within a fully discharged LIPS battery to be harnessed and used to re-charge other battery types.

Lincad also manufactures training batteries, designed to reduce the cost of training the end-users of clients’ systems, and a range of field test rigs to diagnose the state of health of LIPS batteries and perform battery resets where necessary.

Lincad's power scavenging BIAs allow the residual capacity retained within a fully discharged LIPS battery to be harnessed and used to re-charge other battery types.



Product Support

Lincad has developed a support infrastructure for all of its in-service advanced portable power management systems, right through to disposal at the end of a product’s lifetime. Wherever possible, the company provides remote software upgrades for its products as well as a worldwide, in-the-field product repair and upgrade service.

16 October 2014

Future Forces 2014: Hudson Supplies - A leader in Plastic Buckles and Plastic Fasteners

Hudson Supplies has been a proud International Master Distributor of ITW Nexus and ITW Military Products in North America since 1979.  ITW is one of the leading buckle manufacturers who invented the side release buckle in 1977 known as the ITW Fastex SR-1 buckle and has continued with their success as a luminary of  new product development with the introduction of engineered buckles in the backpacks/sporting goods industry and defense sector such as the Grimloc, Taclink and Web Dominator.

In 2014, Hudson Supplies introduced a new 30 PC Field Expedient Kit ,which consists of various ITW Military buckles featuring a split bar for repairs that do not require any sewing. These kits are available in Coyote Brown and Black. Some of the components are also available in individual packages either from an authorised distributor/reseller or through the company’s website.

Hudson Supplies also stock Fastmag’s magazines for 5.56, 7.62 and pistols in black, foliage green, coyote brown and Tan. They can also be mounted in the up or down direction, either on a molle vest or belt, and eliminate the need for traditional top closures.

Hudson Supplies is also a Worldwide Headquarter of buckles in Average Green color, which is a perfect match for OD/Green gear/fabrics or Kryptek Mandrake camouflage webbing.

Please note that the company's CEO, Marc Beaudoin, a.k.a. “dbuckleman” is a Velcro
Patch collector. Traders welcome. Be sure to have patches at events, he is ready to trade!



15 October 2014

AUSA 2014: Blog Feeder Report from Marty Kauchak

What a difference four years can make. While US and other nations’ ground forces were actively supporting combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Pentagon had an insatiable appetite for unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs). During the height of ground combat operations in the two nations AUSA delegates walking down the conference floor aisles had to keep their head on a swivel, as vendors enthusiastically demonstrated the capabilities of an array of commercial off-the-shelf ground unmanned ground vehicles in many aisles. Those days are in our rear view mirror, with the number of exhibitors and products in the UGV sector a fraction of the recent past.

Decreased numbers of UGV exhibitors aside, several pockets of innovation were evident in the sector at this event.

QinetiQ North America unveiled its TALON V Interoperability Profile (IOP) Compliant Tactical Robot. While the new TALON has increased mechanical and electrical capabilities compared to its older IV product sibling, the IOP capability is significant – it is a waypoint on the US services’ future UGV roadmap to achieving interoperability among current and future generations of these vehicles.

A second innovation noted by MILTECH on the conference floor was iRobot’s roll out of its first multi-robot control (MRC) tablet system for military and other UGV users. During a product demonstration at the iRobot booth, the MRC tablet’s capabilities were shown to include: a virtual joystick to allow the user to “touch and drag” anywhere on the main video feed to steer the robot; and predictive lines that help guide the operator through challenging spots.  

As US combat operations decrease in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army remains concerned about protecting its vehicles crews from asymmetric threats including improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The focus on crew protection has also shifted through the last several years. So while this AUSA’s delegates did not see the rollout of large numbers of new and upgraded vehicles programs to protect crews and passengers, subtle, but important, incremental changes are occurring in the manned ground vehicles space.

In one instance, Christa, Bowers, the media director for Alcoa Defense, advised MILTECH about her company’s success in manufacturing the world’s largest single piece forged aluminum hull for combat vehicles.

The Army is now testing the hull to examine its durability.

The hull was co-designed by Alcoa and the Army Research Laboratory.                
Marty Kauchak      

AUSA 2014: Seen and Heard on Day Three

Kopin introduced the Precision Acquisition and Targeting System (PATS) fully integrated fire control system on booth #1968, which converts most fielded optical sights into smart and lethal targeting systems. The unit simply clips on the front of existing weapon sights and provides a precision ballistic solution, which is day/night readable. Kopin's patented Augmented Reality Weapon Sight Technology provides ultra-high brightness levels and greatly improves the performance of the existing inventory of fielded weapon sights by reducing engagement times and improving the probability of hits at ranges out to 600 metres. Key to the PATS solution is the application of Kopin's Augmented Reality (AR) Weapon Sight Technology. This patented technology provides ultra-high brightness levels typical of larger systems seen in aviation-based Helmet Mounted Displays (HMDs) while being powered by a single CR-123 battery. The AR Weapon Sight technology allows the user to target through the sight while viewing overlaid symbology even in the brightest daylight conditions. The PATS unit has the potential to convert every green recruit into a precision shooter, increasing lethality while significantly reducing training and ammunition costs.

***

Donaldson (#8029), a leading producer of filtration systems and components for military, aerospace, and heavy industry applications, has been selected by Nimda to provide advanced engine air filtration for the Achzarit Heavy Armored Personnel Carrier (HAPC), used by the Israeli Defense Forces. Under the terms of the development contract, Donaldson has started to deliver Air Cleaner Assemblies to Nimda for use on the Achzarit HAPC. Each assembly will include a Strata Panel Pre-Cleaner, Ultra-Web Vee-Pac Filter Elements, and Filter Element Retention Mechanisms. Production of vehicles began in 2014.

***

Lockheed Martin received a $90.6 million foreign military sale contract from the US Army to provide Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor (M-TADS/PNVS) systems to the Qatar Emiri Air Force. Qatar marks the 14th international customer for the M-TADS/PNVS system.

***

W. L. Gore & Associates is featuring its expanded line of flame-retardant (FR) military apparel in booth 2719.  The portfolio includes: Gore’s FR Lightweight Loft (LWL) Jacket; GORE PYRAD Hardshell Jacket; EWOL (Extreme Weather Outer Layer) Jacket; and an IWOL (Intermediate Weather Outer Layer) Jacket.

***

Saab is presenting the newly-developed next generation CARL-GUSTAF M4 at AUSA. The M4, known in the US as M3A1 MAAWS, is the latest man-portable shoulder-launched multi-role weapon system from Saab designed to provide users with flexible capability and help troops to remain agile in any scenario. The new light-weight CARL-GUSTAF M4, weighing approximately 15 pounds, offers significant weight savings to the soldier. Story here.

***

AUSA 2014: OSG HighlightsTougher, Longer Life, ADI Armour Glass

At AUSA 2014, Oran Safety Glass (OSG) is exhibiting ADI technology for transparent armor. OSG’s new ADI technology replaces the conventional PC No-spall (shrapnel) plastic layer in transparent armour. The no-spall layer is typically attached to the ‘safe side’ of the glass, but it is subject to delamination, requires careful maintenance and reducing the lifecycle of the transparent armour.

OSG’s ADI technology has a high ‘Technology Readiness Level' meaning it has been tested and certified as ready for field deployment. Indeed it has already been used in some European military projects. ADI technology delivers the same level of protection while removing the need for plastic, effectively doubling the lifecycle of the transparent armor from 3-5 years to 5 -9 years.

Transparent armour is used in a large variety of military and police armoured vehicles to provide superior situational awareness while preserving the security of vehicle occupants.

OSG  also exhibits its ScreeneX in Washington. ScreeneX is one of the world’s first windshields with a built in LCD screen, suitable for use in military and civilian vehicles and all types of transportation platforms. “The feature-rich ScreeneX digital display can be positioned anywhere within the vehicle’s windscreen and it is fully integrated into the screen’s structure,” said Daniel Cohen, CEO of OSG. “The ScreeneX can display high-resolution video, text and graphics including maps and video feeds from a control base or from sensors and cameras mounted on the vehicle. Particularly in military settings it offers dramatically improved situational awareness while maximising the space within the driver’s compartment. The ability to effectively display night vision adds to the system’s capabilities.  These advantages are delivered while maintaining superior levels of safety. The rugged ScreeneX features an overlap of armored steel, ensuring no decrease in the protection level of the vehicle’s window. In addition, the ScreeneX’s military-grade screen is fully protected from ballistics, theft or vandalism.”

OSG is also displaying its line of Ultra-Light Weight technologies, which are 30% lighter than those currently on the market, according to the company, and a light weight advanced materials frame for transparent armour, which is lighter than steel, equally durable, strong and cost effective, compared to conventional technologies, said OSG.

OSG is a leading supplier of armoured windows for the MRAP and M-ATV family of vehicles for the US Army, and a supplier of armoured windows for the FHTV. OSG has also been involved with the PVP for the French Army, the HUSKY - for the British Army, ZETROS and ACTROS for Daimler, DINGO for KMW, MAN for the German Army and the ASTRA – for the Italian Army.

AUSA 2014: US Army Interoperability of Helicopters and UAS

A new first has been achieved by the US Army in the interoperability of helicopters and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). In the past, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in flight have shared surveillance video with helicopter pilots via a ground station control system, but recent technological developments now allow AH-64E APACHE attack helicopter pilots to control themselves the payloads, sensors and flight of unmanned aircraft systems.

Boeing AH-64E APACHE attack helicopter. (Photo: AF)


"From an operational standpoint, this provides the APACHE with another pair of eyes higher in the sky and a third crew member from the Ground Control Station operator," said Sean Gilpin, UAS Level IV interoperability lead, APACHE Project Office, Program Executive Office (PEO) Aviation. "Unmanned aircraft help to take away the unknown on the battlefield because they can fly out from the APACHE and allow the APACHE pilot to see over the horizon. Any additional capabilities we can provide above what we have now will only make it better for our APACHE pilots."

The Army said the new level of interoperability is the result of a 2 1/2-year effort by the military and industry, which culminated in technology testing at the Redstone Arsenal in Alabama and El Mirage Flight Test Facility in California. Contributing to the effort were Textron, General Atomics, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman.

The tests involved Boeing's newest APACHE E variant, the GRAY EAGLE medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) UAS from General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI), and the Textron AAI RQ-7 SHADOW.

Textron's SHADOW M2 (Photo: DPM)

"During our test events, we've taken the manned-unmanned capabilities of SHADOW and GRAY EAGLE, and the APACHE E model to a level where the APACHE cannot only receive information but also transmit command and control to the unmanned systems," said Doug Wolfe, interoperability lead, Common Systems Integration, Unmanned Aircraft Systems Project Office, PEO for Aviation. "We have also tested the use of a One System Remote Video Terminal, where the soldiers in the fight can use the OSRVT to control the sensors on all unmanned aircraft systems. Right now, the OSRVT allows the receipt of data from different UAS. But the next version will make OSRVT bi-directional so that it cannot only receive from all UAS, but also transmit to all UAS to control their payloads."

The GRAY EAGLE UAS is the largest UAS in the Army fleet. It can fly as high as 29,000ft and is primarily used for wide-range intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR); convoy protection; IED detection; close air support (CAS); target acquisition; and communications relay. It is also capable of carrying HELLFIRE missiles.

The SHADOW is a small UAS used by brigade commanders for reconnaissance, surveillance, targeting and assessment missions. It can fly as far as 77.5mi away from ground control stations. The Army says the catapult-launched SHADOW can detect and recognise tactical vehicles while flying at an altitude up to 8,000ft and from a range of more than two miles.

The two types of UAS are the anchoring systems in a UAS fleet featuring a variety of aircraft.

"These new capabilities are a force multiplier for infantry and field artillery," Wolfe said. "The experiences we've had with this testing have exceeded my expectations. I am very positive about the results of our testing and the capabilities that will be provided to the warfighter."

AUSA 2014: AmSafe Bridport Displaying its TARIAN RPG Armour System

AmSafe Bridport is displaying its TARIAN rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) Armour system on stand 6503 and, fitted on a vehicle, at Kongsberg stand 1407.  This lightweight and durable armour is fitted to General Dynamics Land Systems’ eight-wheeled combat vehicle demonstrator (WCVD) that is representative of both the STRYKER and LAV platforms. The WCVD is located on the Kongsberg stand. This is the first time AmSafe Bridport’s latest technological advances in passive RPG armour have been shown mounted to a vehicle platform at AUSA. Previously, this vehicle, along with its TARIAN fit, was displayed at the Warfighters Conference in Fort Benning, Georgia where it received substantial interest.

Developed in close collaboration with the UK Ministry of Defense (UK MoD), the TARIAN system has been extensively tested – including over 800 live shots – in the USA, UK and Europe. This testing verified TARIAN’s high level of performance and multi-hit capability. TARIAN was first deployed operationally in 2009 and it is now fitted to a variety of British military vehicles, including those in service in Afghanistan, following a $17 million order from the UK MoD in 2012.