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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

11 February 2016

Successful Missile Trials for Eurofighter TYPHOON Continue

The STORM SHADOW deep strike missile and METEOR Beyond Visual Range air-to-air missile, both produced by MBDA, again have been successfully released from the Eurofighter TYPHOON as part of the Phase 2 Enhancement (P2E) programme, introducing new long-range attack capabilities to the aircraft.

Eurofighter TYPHOON IPA6 (left) and IPA2 (right) on the UK MoD’s Hebrides range in Scotland - respectively armed with METEOR air-to-air missile and STORM SHADOW air-to-surface missile. (Photos: Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug)

The release of the STORM SHADOW missile has been carried out in the UK MoD’s Hebrides range in Scotland from the Italian Instrumented Production Aircraft (IPA) 2, following a successful trial of STORM SHADOW in November 2015. Also at the Hebrides range, another METEOR missile has been fired from UK TYPHOON aircraft IPA6. This firing followed trials held in late 2015, during which TYPHOON aircraft conducted guided METEOR firings against real air targets.

STORM SHADOW adds attack stand-off capability to TYPHOON which now really accomplishes every possible role in the combat scenario. The aircraft retains excellent performance in an incredible low pilot workload cockpit environment, essential for a single seat multirole aircraft,” Enrico Scarabotto, the Italian Chief Test pilot who flew the IPA2, said, while Steve Greenbank, Director of Aircraft Programmes for Military Air & Information, BAE Systems, commented on the METEOR trials: “These latest METEOR firing trials are another step forward in the integration of the missile onto the TYPHOON aircraft, demonstrating they can operate safely, accurately and effectively.”

In addition to METEOR and STORM SHADOW, the integration of MBDA’s BRIMSTONE will be part of the Phase 3 Enhancements (P3E) programme.

Eurofighter TYPHOON IPA2 with STORM SHADOW air-to-surface missile.

Eurofighter TYPHOON IPA6 with METEOR air-to-air missiles.

10 February 2016

Saab: "We Are the Only Ones Building a Brand-New Submarine"

During a press and analyst meeting, where Saab CEO Håkan Buskhe and CFO Magnus Örnberg present the 2015 year-end results, Bushke sees a need of 50 submarines around the world, which include opportunities in Poland, Norway, the Netherlands, Canada, and more, which he would not comment on. Saab is working hard on on these, according to the CEO, as, "we are the only ones building a brand-new submarine," he said.

At year-end, the order backlog amounted to SEK113,834 million, which is more than four times annual sales. During 2015, Saab received several large orders, including GRIPEN for Brazil, the submarine A26 for Sweden, and an airborne surveillance system for the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Cash flow was positively impacted by milestone payments related to GRIPEN for Brazil and the submarine A26 for Sweden.

In 2015, Saab has signed a contract with the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) for the construction of two new Type A26 submarines (total order value of SEK7.6 billion), with a very solid proposal from the customer (Swedish Navy). During the press conference, Buskhe said deliveries of the A26 next generation submarines are expected 2022-24, and that they currently are in full production.

On design the company said in earlier interviews: “Saab will deliver world-class submarines to Sweden. Our ability to work closely with customers, to meet their needs with modern manufacturing and products, is one of Saab’s greatest skills. Saab is also exploring export opportunities to provide complete submarine systems to a select number of countries, plus subsystems across the wider market. The A26 will be a unique and high-tech submarine with proven modular design, which gives the platform a high level of availability at a low life-cycle cost. The submarine will have long-endurance submerged performance and excellent manoeuvrability in all waters. Safety is paramount and A26 will be highly survivable thanks to modern underwater stealth technology and a unique heritage of shock resistant design. It is a privilege to lead this development.”

The submarines will be powered by conventional diesel-electric propulsion machinery and equipped with the Kockums Stirling AIP (air-independent propulsion) system. The Stirling system will make the Type A26 very stealthy and difficult to detect.  The submarines will be designed and constructed at Saab’s facilities in Malmö, Karlskrona, Järfälla and Linköping, Sweden.

Rheinmetall to Supply 338 TGS-MIL & TGM MIL Vehicles to Latin America

An undisclosed Latin American customer placed a major order with Rheinmetall today for 338 logistic vehicles (92 TGS-MIL and 216 TGM MIL vehicles to the army + 30 TGS-MIL to the navy), worth over €53 million with an option for 337 more vehicles. The order also includes support services.

The militarised TGS is a heavy-duty truck with a gross weight of 41 tonnes. Its MAN D2676 common rail diesel engine performs up to 397kW (540hp) and 2,500Nm. The TGS-Mil is based on MAN’s Trucknology Generation, heavily reengineered to meet the needs of the military.

The TGM and TGS model series are based on the globally proven MAN Trucknology generation. The versatile TGM-MIL and TGS-MIL vehicles can operate in all climatic zones at temperatures ranging from -32°C to +49°C. As NATO mobility class ‘C’ logistic vehicles, they combine excellent off-road performance. Tried and tested, their engines can run not only on diesel but also a variety of other battlefield fuels, such as aviation turbine fuel (F-34).

Their heavy carrying capacity enables a wide array of different build-ons. Most of these are commercial off the shelf systems, and thus safe and easy to operate. Possible configurations include hook-lift/interchangeable pallet carriers, cargo vehicles, dump trucks, mobile cranes, fire-fighting vehicles, tankers for fuel or water, troop carriers maintenance vehicles and recovery systems. All of these configurations have proven highly effective in all climatic zones. The current order consists of vehicles configured as troop carrier/cargo trucks as well as water and fuel tankers and mobile repair shops. They are therefore extremely well equipped to serve in a disaster relief role in response to the El Niño phenomenon, meeting the full range of requirements for dual use vehicles.

Last but not least, TGM and TGS vehicles are economical to operate. Today the armed forces of over fifty nations armed forces place their trust in these trucks, more than 80,000 of which are in service worldwide.




Saab SRSS is a True Swing-Role, Multi-Purpose System Working Across Air, Land and Sea

During a press and analyst meeting, where Saab's CEO Håkan Buskhe and CFO Magnus Örnberg presented the 2015 year-end results, Bushke said that the UAE's new Swing Role Surveillance System (SRSS) will be offered into the Asia-Pacific region, as well.

SAAB's new SRSS combines AEW&C with MULTI-INT capability, and the UAE’s new aircraft will not only feature the dorsal plank antenna configuration that is found on current ERIEYE-configured aircraft, but also a wide range of other sensors including a dorsal mounted maritime-patrol surface-contact radar, an EO/IR sensor and ESM equipment. (Photo: Saab)

Saab is responding to the challenge of carrying out air, ground, and maritime radar surveillance in a single platform. The Swedish defence manufacturer’s new SRSS airborne swing role surveillance system draws on previous generations of the company’s heritage ERIEYE system and also on Saab's wider development work across the entire spectrum of radar technology.

Saab has recently unveiled a new family of surface-based AESA radars and a new fighter AESA, all with new technologies. The SRSS is the latest chapter in the story of Saab sensor system development, but it is more than an evolutionary product – it is a leap ahead because of what it brings to the air surveillance market and to customers' national capabilities.

Saab's SRSS is well-named because it is a true swing-role, multi-purpose system than can work across the air, land and maritime domains with multiple sensors in a single mission. The current ERIEYE system already has an excellent reputation for long-range and high performance in complex environments, against both air and sea targets. ERIEYE specialises in detecting and tracking the most difficult target sets: In the air this includes all high-and-fast and low-and-slow targets, stealthy targets, cruise missiles, unmanned air vehicles, etc.

Indeed, Saab, in another interview, further declared that at sea the ERIEYE can operate out over the blue water ocean and in the most difficult littoral waters, while tracking targets as small as a jet ski.

As significant, the SRSS adds a third dimension to this level of capability - something that is unique - an overland mode to detect and track moving targets across a wide area and over many different types of terrain.

At Dubai Airshow 2015, the UAE Armed Forces said publically they would acquire two SRSS aircraft along with upgrades to its existing ERIEYE aircraft (Saab 340 platform) under the terms of a November 2015 contract. Deliveries will be made according to the customer's schedule.

The current SRSS configuration was developed in close coordination with the UAE customer to meet customer requirements. According to Saab the Bombardier GLOBAL 6000 is a high performance platform which, when coupled with Saab's overarching system know-how will meet the requirements of many other nations, too.

The Bombardier GLOBAL 6000’s details provide some intriguing insights into what is clearly becoming an evolving “mid-size” but capable surveillance aircraft market space. A side-by-side comparison using content on the Bombardier and US Navy websites available this 8 January indicated, in part, at maximum takeoff weight of 99,500lbs has a range of 6,000nm and maximum operating ceiling of 51,000 feet. Similarly, a P-8 POSEIDON at 188,200lbs. has a range of 1,200nm (with four hours on station) and maximum operating ceiling of 41,000 feet.  
Unlike its competitors in this market, Saab is both an aircraft company, a radar manufacturer, and a complex system integrator – allowing it to be best-placed to develop and deliver whatever a customer needs. Saab is the SRSS prime contractor and has full responsibility for the system design, development, integration, and delivery. 

Elbit Systems Introduces SKYLARK 3 Mini-UAS

Elbit Systems has developed the SKYLARK 3, a new autonomous mini-Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), best suited for brigades and divisions in “beyond the next hill” reconnaissance, counterinsurgency, and force protection missions, as well as for use in a range of civil applications, such as border and coastal security and anti-terror operations. The new system has already been selected by an undisclosed customer.

Launched via a pneumatic launcher, mounted either on the ground or on a vehicle, Elbit Systems' SKYLARK 3 offers upgrades such as improved payloads with better target detection, classification and surveillance capabilities. These deliver Electro Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) video and photographic imaging in both day and night operations and in adverse field conditions. (Photo: Elbit System)

Leveraging the proven technology and operational experience of the SKYLARK family of mini-UAS, SKYLARK 3 offers a wide range of system enhancements, including a significantly larger range (more than 100km), flight endurance (up to six hours) and payload capacity (up to 10kg).

The aerial vehicle incorporates an electric motor that reduces sound signature and enables operating over long distances and at high altitudes, has a 4.8m wingspan and a maximum takeoff weight of 45 kilogrammes. It has a service ceiling of 15,000 feet.

To support interoperability, SKYLARK 3 uses the same advanced technologies and know-how found in other Elbit Systems’ UAS. In addition, through a shared Ground Control Station (GCS), two SKYLARK 3 vehicles can be assigned to the same mission simultaneously, meaning a consistent target acquisition is maintained from two aspects. This also offers ground forces the ability to significantly extend the flight endurance of their mission by UAS hot-swap.

"SKYLARK 3, the latest addition to our family of ultra-lightweight UAS, delivers brigade-level and division-level units, an ideal solution for carrying out complex ISTAR missions in a truly organic network-centric manner," Elad Aharonson, General Manager of Elbit Systems ISTAR Division, commented. "Its easy launch, autonomous maneuverability and control, coupled with its cutting-edge payload technology, provide ground force commanders unrivaled situational awareness and enhanced force protection capabilities, ultimately allowing them to make faster, smarter and more cost-effective decisions."

Designed for brigade-level and division-level units, Elbit Systems' SKYLARK 3 mini-UAS delivers ground commanders organic intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities – both easily and affordable. (Photo: Elbit Systems)
SKYLARK 3 will make its first appearance at the Elbit Systems’ booth (N65) at the Singapore Airshow 2016, set to take place 16-21 February 2016.

09 February 2016

CAMCOPTER S-100 Successfully Flies Detect and Avoid System

Schiebel and the Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR), the Netherlands Coast Guard (NLCG), and the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) conducted a series of successful flights with a newly developed airborne Detect and Avoid System (DAAS) at the airport of Den Helder in December 2015. This AIRICA project (ATM Innovative RPAS Integration for Coastguard Applications) marks a major step forward in the process of safe integration of RPAS (Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems) into all classes of airspace.

CAMCOPTER S-100 during AIRICA project trials. (Photo: Schiebel)

During a special demonstration held at De Kooy Airfield in Den Helder, Schiebel provided its unmanned helicopter, the CAMCOPTER S-100, onto which the NLR developed AirScout DAAS was installed. The NLCG provided a RUAG Dornier Do-228 as “intruder” and the RNLAF contributed with an ALOUETTE helicopter as “intruder,” and provided Air Traffic Control services.

Several scenarios were successfully executed where the CAMCOPTER S-100 “unexpectedly” encountered an intruder aircraft. The system then determined in real time the corrective action to ensure the necessary separation from the intruder aircraft.

The AIRICA project is funded through the European SESAR programme (part of the Single European Sky initiative) and the key focus – integration of an RPAS into the airspace for NLCG´s applications – was effectively demonstrated during the flights.

"In the future we hope to use unmanned systems for our search and rescue operations," Edwin van der Pol, Head of Operations Kustwacht (NLCG), said. "These trials are important to achieve regulations for bringing RPAS into non-segregated airspace.”

"This demonstration is another positive step towards unmanned air systems gaining access to a broader range of airspace," Chris Day, Head of Capability Engineering at Schiebel, boasted.

Elbit Systems Introduces SEAGULL Multi-Mission USV for Maritime Warfare Missions

Drawing on its know-how, derived from generations of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) design, development, and operation, and its naval capabilities, Elbit Systems’ newest offering in the unmanned platform field is SEAGULL, an organic, modular, highly autonomous, multi-mission Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV).

Elbit Systems' SEAGULL Muli-Mission Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV). (Photos: Elbit Systems)
Elbit Systems' SEAGULL Muli-Mission Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV). 

SEAGULL is a 12m USV with replaceable mission modules, with two vessels capable of being operated and controlled in concert using a single Mission Control System (MCS), from manned ships or from the shore. According to Elbit Systems, the system provides unmanned end-to-end mine hunting operation taking the man out of the mine field. It provides mission planning, and on-line operation in known and unknown areas, including area survey, search, detection, classification, identification, neutralization and verification. It is equipped to search the entire water volume and operate underwater vehicles to identify and neutralise mines.

SEAGULL, according to the company, changes the dynamics of anti-submarine operations by creating a threat to submarines using a cost-effective and available asset, replacing and augmenting manned assets with minimal threat from submarines. It empowers a surface vessel or naval base commander with off-board, available and rapidly deployable Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) capabilities to protect critical sea areas and high-value assets from submarine as well as sea mine threats.

Elbit Systems' SEAGULL Muli-Mission Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) Sonar. 

Elbit Systems' SEAGULL Muli-Mission Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) Sonar. 

Incorporating Elbit Systems' extensive experience in UAS, SEAGULL features a robust, highly-autonomous and safe sailing capability as well as modular mission payload suites, selected to match a variety of required missions including EW, surface force protection, hydrographical missions in addition to the core MCM and ASW missions. The sailing suite includes a patented Autonomous Navigation System (ANS), with obstacle avoidance, which considers the international regulations for preventing collisions at sea.

Network ready and long enduring, SEAGULL features inherent C4I capabilities for enhanced situation awareness and can remain at sea for over 96 hours. The Seagull multi-mission USV system offers navies a true force-multiplier in reducing risk, cost and manpower requirements in performing missions which have only been performed to date by costly manned assets.

Elbit Systems' SEAGULL Muli-Mission Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV).