Eurosatory 2012, the Land Defence and Security Exhibition was held at Villepinte (Paris) from 10-15 June 2012, and, with its increasing international dimension, was a success.
Eurosatory, remains mostly the rendezvous for land and air-land defence, but recently also responded to the expectations of players in the field of security. Eurosatory 2012 has once again offered the public a wide range of real-life material and vehicles, as well as novelties in all sectors covered by the event.
A plus was the specific areas dedicated to safety and security, unmanned vehicles, and simulation and training; making it a very organised event, even though hard to walk from one place to the next, as there was so much to see.
This report complements our printed magazine, and the up-to-date coverage of this blog at the show.
Armour at Eurosatory
Vehicle armour was to the fore at Eurosatory 2012, with protection from blast naturally forming a strong theme and with industry showing innovative solutions in a variety of materials including steel, aluminium, reinforced plastics, and transparent ceramics. Active blast mitigation technology was also on show.
Nexter Systems' ARAVIS ARX 20. (Photo: Mönch / DPM)
IBD Deisenroth Engineering
displayed its AMS active mine protection system
for the first time. AMS integrates arrays of sensors and active explosive countermeasures into plates under a vehicle’s floor. Developed in cooperation with ADS
, AMS is based on experience gained in the development of hard-kill active ballistic protection technologies. Deisenroth’s performance Strategy Manager Michael Rust
pointed out that it is important to distinguish between such active countermeasures and ERA, because explosive reactive armour reacts on being hit but active systems, such as AMS, sense the incoming blast wave and initiate a counter blast to mitigate the residual effect on the vehicle. “Explosive reactive armour, as the name suggests, reacts; but we act
The active mine protection system requires a much shorter reaction time than a ballistic system because the typical distance of the vehicle floor from the ground is about 400 millimetres. With a typical blast propagation speed of about 6,000m/sec, the reaction time of the system must be in the range of 100µs, says the company.
(Photo: IBD Deisenroth)
"This is a new concept, which we are now introducing
," said Rust
. "We are working on certain programs with this system already, but this is the first time we can talk about it
Deisenroth also put on a series of live ballistic tests over a video link between its exhibition booth and its test centre in Germany, with the shots called by a master of ceremonies at the show. This ruse was successful in drawing respectably sized crowds to the booth, where the Deisenroth exhibited its new transparent ceramic armour alongside several large armoured vehicle components made from its new FLEXICOMP nanocomposite material. These included wheel arches, hatches and even primary structural parts.
One such part on display was a wheel arch for a Nexter
VAB 4x4 armoured vehicle. Designed to improve protection against mines and IEDs, the wheel arch has been moulded as a single piece from FLEXICOMP. Rust outlined the advantages of this solution as the avoidance of weak points in the structure that welds and conventional mounting points can induce along with at least a 50% weight saving over a comparable steel part.
With particle sizes in the sub-micron range in both the polymer matrix and the reinforcing materials, said Rust, the overall material generates much higher ballistic performance so that a given level of protection can be achieved with much less mass.
Renault SHERPA Special Forces Heavy (left) and ALTV Border Surveillance (right) (Photo: Mönch / DPM)
General Dynamics European Land Systems presented, for the first time, the newest member of the EAGLE family of vehicles, the new EAGLE 6x6 light tactical vehicle, and the new CBRN Armoured Reconnaissance Vehicles, based on the PIRANHA 3 and DURO 6x6 chassis, in Hall 5 on Stand No. 05-C186. (Photo: Mönch / DPM)
Indicating the hatches and the curved IED protection plating on the Deisenroth booth, Michael Rust said that the material can be formed into any desired shape, which means that the armour can be made integral to the structure – “not as an add-on, but as an integrated part of the vehicle,” he said. “It doesn't mean that we are going to build plastic tanks in the future, but adding all these components together -- when you take an 8x8 for example -- the weight saving can go up to about 1,500 kilograms.”
Weight savings for windows was the theme of another demonstration on the Deisenroth booth, this time in the form of a framework in which two samples of bullet resistant transparencies could each be lifted with the aid of a handle, cable and pulley. One sample was of conventional laminated glass, while the other was of the company’s new transparent ceramic armour. They were of the same size and the same rating of STANAG 4569 Level 3, but the ceramic sample was obviously thinner. It was also much lighter, as this writer could easily lift it with one hand but struggled to lift the conventional armour glass sample with two. To put some numbers to this subjective test, the standard glass weighed 200kg/m2 compared with a claimed 56kg/m2 for the ceramic sample. The company says that this material could reduce the weight of vehicle windows by about 60% when compared with standard armour glass. On a truck with a typical window surface area of about 3 m2, standard armour glass weighs about 600 kg, says the company, positioned relatively high on the vehicle.
Aluminium is a material with a long history in lightweight armour, and Aleris
displayed a couple of large components made from aluminium alloy. One was a generic, milled vehicle door in ALUSTAR AA 5059 H136
, which the company describes as a cost efficient material with excellent ballistic and mine blast deflection characteristics, designed to reduce the mass of the door and optimise its closure behaviour.
Aleris’ Account Manager for rolled products, Steve Rogers
, told MILITARY TECHNOLOGY that the door was made by bending a single thick plate and using CNC milling machines to remove unwanted material, which makes the door significantly lighter without reducing its strength or blast protection performance, while enabling mounting points for accessories and spall liners etc to be machined integrally at the same time.
Compared with a typical steel door of welded construction, and the bent and milled ALUSTAR door is a claimed 30% lighter, although the material is somewhat thicker. A comparable steel door would have a maximum material thickness of 12mm and waiting 9 kg for density of 7.85g/cm3, whereas the aluminium door would have a maximum material thickness of 38 mm and weigh 62kg, for a density of 2.64g/cm3.
The company also claims better blast protection for the aluminium door because, although its maximum deflection at the centre of blast is slightly greater than that of the steel door a much greater proportion of that deflection happens as the aluminium door springs back towards the direction from which the blast came, so that it intrudes less into the vehicle cabin volume, Steve Rogers told MILITARY TECHNOLOGY.
The other was a vehicle floor plate that had been subjected to a significant blast test to show the deformation: it clearly exhibited plastic deformation without rupture or cracking. Aleris says that its mine blast test results show that aluminium alloys absorb blast energy better than steel alloys, enabling the distance between the mine and the plate to be reduced.
Renault range of vehicles at Eurosatory (Photo: Mönch / DPM)
Steel armour manufacturers, however, are fighting back. Sheffield, UK, based MTL Group
, for example has been attracting interest from vehicle OEMs from around the world with its newly developed capability to bend very hard armour steels such as ARMOX 600
, which enables it to manufacture parts with complex shapes from a single piece, eliminating welds.
The enabling technology is a robotic press brake from Sweden’s Ursviken
. Customised to MTL’s specifications, this press is said to be the largest of its kind in the world. Defence and Export Sales Manager Simon Hurst
told MILITARY TECHNOLOGY that the new press enabled them to redesign an armoured vehicle floor for a German customer. The original design called for the floor to be welded together from three pieces, which proved difficult to do with the required accuracy, and this design failed a blast test. “We reviewed the design
,” said Simon Hurst, “…and we put it through our design-for-manufacture review team, came back with a proposal and then reproduced the floor in one piece from the same material of the same thickness. They put it through the same test – it passed
MTL is also attracting a lot of attention with its IMPAS armour
, which is made from perforated steel plate that the company offers in STANAG protection levels 1, 2 and 3 as an alternative to composites in add-on applications. The edges of the holes break, bullets, cause them to tumble and/or strip jackets off while the holes themselves act as barriers to crack propagation, improving multi-hit capability, says Simon Hurst.
Recently, the company has learned to bend IMPAS armour, greatly increasing its options in terms of shaping it for specific customers’ applications. “The material is ultra high hard
,” said Simon Hurst, “more than 600 Brinell. And everyone was asking whether we could bend it. We couldn’t the other month, but we can now. No one has done that before
offers a wide range of armour systems, which were displayed on no fewer than 12 vehicles at the show. Vehicles sporting Plasan armour included AM General
's MECV, Acmat
's BASTION and PATSAS, Iveco
's ASTRA truck, Navistar Defense
's HUSKY, Oshkosh Defense
's M-ATV and SANDCAT (the latter fitted with the FLEX FENCE system), the SHERPA from Renault Trucks Defense
, and the Thales
Also from Israel, FMS Enterprises Migun
was showing its new GS3000P composite material
. The company says that this is a revolutionary product that combines para-aramid fibres with a thermoplastic matrix in a uni-directional non-woven composite that is capable of absorbing more energy than similar woven products. "It consists of four plies of uni-directional aramid fibre tapes cross-plied at 0°/90°/0°/90°
." It is designed to use in applications including hard armour stand-alone plates, as backing for steel or ceramic plates and is pressed panels for vehicle armour and provides protection from fragments and handgun bullets.
At Eurosatory, Teijin Aramid
launched their newest unidirectional laminate product, the Twaron UD21
. To meet the demands of ever changing threats and temperature ranges in conflict zones, Teijin Aramid has designed Twaron UD21. It is especially designed for use in hard ballistic applications like armoured vehicles, aircraft and naval vessels to provide high ballistic protection at low weight. It can be applied internally as a spall liner, but also externally as part of bolt-on or add-on armor, protecting against hits from bullets and fragment caused by IED’s and EFP’s.
At Eurosatory, Alpha Armouring
Panzerung presented the ATLANT
, a technically sophisticated, dynamic and agile special armoured vehicle. Furthermore Alpha Armouring Panzerung developed an unique fusion of state-of-the-art safety cell vehicle and two highly advanced special features: On one hand an observation system and an EOD Fast Response Vehicle on the other.
Eurosatory Medium Range Air Defence Round-Up
Although the air threat to US-led ground forces in Iraq and Afghanistan has been all but non-existent, there is no guarantee that this will be the case in future wars. Ballistic missiles of all shapes, sizes and ranges continue to give defence planners sleepless nights, especially taking the current uneasy stand-off with Iran over that country's nuclear weapons programme into account.
Meanwhile, despite the change in leadership, North Korea remains a dangerously unpredictable place, where the relatively low-cost yet politically high impact of such weapons could have an irresistible lure during any future altercation with the US or other countries flanking the Korean peninsula. With this in mind, it is not surprising that this year's Eurosatory saw a large range of medium altitude Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) systems on display and in discussion.
For further reading please see blog-entry of 13 August 2012 "Medium Range Air Defence Round-up
China's Norinco treated Eurosatory visitors to the display of a model of its SKY DRAGON medium-altitude surface-to-air missile system. SKY DRAGON is a new product and, according to Norinco, is not yet in service with China's Armed Forces. (Photo: Thomas Withington)
Rafael Advanced Defense Systems' Modular Integrated C4I (MIC 4 AD) system displays on a single screen all the threats that air defenses need to deal with in a single defined sector, including PATRIOT anti aircraft and anti-ballistic missile batteries, IRON DOME anti rocket batteries, the future MAGIC WAND intermediate range rocket interceptor, SPIDER antiaircraft batteries, combat jets, and UAVs. A single command and control system for the simultaneous management of all weapons systems is Rafael's answer to the problems of crowded skies that bedeviled the Israel Air Force during the 2006 Second Lebanon War and 2009 Operation "Cast Lead in Gaza." (Photo: Mönch / DPM)
Norwegian Firing Trials Boost JAVELIN Vehicle Launch Export Potential
As part of a bid to supply Norway with a vehicle mounted anti-armour missile capability, the Raytheon/Lockheed Martin
JAVELIN joint venture team announced at Eurosatory that it has successfully launched the fire-and-forget missile, originally designed for operation by dismounted soldiers, from a Kongsberg
PROTECTOR RWS fitted to a GD Mowag
PIRANHA V in a series of demonstrations that took place in February on Norway’s Rena range. Sponsored by the Norwegian MoD, two missiles were fired at two targets, one 1,650m from the vehicle and one at 800m, both scoring direct hits. JAVELIN Vehicle Launch (JVL) electronics enable the missile to interface with vehicle fire control systems without affecting its ability to work with the standard Command Launch Unit (CLU) that infantry use. The Norwegian tests follow JAVELIN firings from a CROWS II (a Kongsberg PROTECTOR variant) fitted to a US Army STRIKER (a PIRANHA variant) that took place in 2010 and represent the first demonstration of Javelin’s vehicle launch capability for an international customer, according to Raytheon’s Brad Barnard, Senior Manager for International Business and Strategy
with the Javelin JV.
went on to say that JAVELIN vehicle launch capability offers extra options for deployment of JAVELIN in the field through a simple and flexible integration into a wide variety of platforms while also reducing target engagement times and the operator’s exposure to enemy fire.
From an integration perspective it relies on a highly simplified approach that leverages the vehicle’s existing fire control software.
” He also said that the JVL also gains leverage from an established electronics package that can also be applied to any remote weapon station or turret, manned or unmanned, and from there on to any combat vehicle or tactical vehicle. This electronics package is basically the guts of the CLU minus its electro-optics, whose function is taken over by those of the host vehicle or RWS.
The triggers and switches on the CLU hand controls are also replicated on the vehicle’s weapon control grips so that the operation of the weapon remains the same, says Lockheed Martin’s Joe Elmer, Senior Manager, International Business Development
, for the Javelin JV. “When locking the seeker on the target, the same symbology that the gunner sees
[in the existing CLU] will be displayed to the operator in the vehicle, but on the display that is already in the vehicle
,” Brad Barnard
continued, JAVELIN “extends the overwatch of a unit through a vehicle that has Javelin capability. It enhances the ability to destroy hardened targets at extended ranges, and it shortens the engagement timeline significantly for a unit. It also enables the soldier to fire the weapon from under armour, minimising his exposure and increasing soldier protection
One benefit of using JAVELIN through the targeting system of the host vehicle is that the high performance EO of the Kongsberg PROTECTOR, for example, extends the missile’s effective range without changing the weapon itself. JAVELIN’s quoted range performance covers 65m to 2.5km, the maximum limited by the CLU’s ability to provide a good enough image to positively identify targets. With the better optics in the RWS, the range can be extended to 4km or even beyond, according Elmer
The JV officials were reluctant to confirm the missile’s ultimate maximum aerodynamic range, independent of the targeting sensors’ performance, but stated that range is very much constrained by the size of the target, its thermal signature and the conditions for transmission of infrared light through the atmosphere. “I can't tell you the exact range, but it's well beyond the current fly out capability that is advertised
<P>,” said Barnard
Not only does vehicle mounting extend the weapon’s effective range, it also speeds up the entire engagement, said Elmer
. “Now that the gunner is actually inside the vehicle and under armour, he doesn't have to dismount the vehicle, get to a position of cover or concealment and then load the round… the round is already in position on the remote weapon station. So he actually cuts the time from target detection to target ID to target engagement by around 67 percent
Any sale of JAVELIN capability to Norway resulting from these trials would be under US FMS rules, with the US Army’s Close Combat Weapon Systems organisation as the lead agency. "These firings will lead to further discussions with Norway, as they evaluate the potential of employing their Javelin missiles on their existing vehicles
," said Duane Gooden, JAVELIN JV President
GD Seeks to Break Specialist Vehicle Pre-Prototype
In preparation for MoD trials that General Dynamics (GD)
said have some of the most demanding reliability targets ever established for a developmental AFV programme, the company has rolled out the Mobile Test Rig (MTR), a pre-prototype that will be a key risk reduction asset for the UK’s Specialist Vehicle (SV) programme. “We are going to do everything we can to break this vehicle
,” says Peter Flach, GDUK's Military Liaison Director, Advanced Projects and Technologies
, speaking at Eurosatory. “The more faults you can generate the better. You can then find out what caused the fault, correct it and end up with a much more reliable vehicle
,” he explained.
The MTR rolled out on 6 June at GDELS
' facility in Vienna, Austria, will be used to test the automotive components to destruction over the next year. GDUK is the prime contractor and project manager for SV and is also responsible for systems engineering and the vehicle’s electronic architecture and survivability.
The automotive components to be tested in the MTR include the engine, gearbox, cooling group, running gear, suspension and track systems. All have been individually tested in static rigs before being integrated into the MTR. They will also be fitted to six further prototypes that are scheduled to take part in the test programme; three Scout, one Repair, one Recovery and one Protected Mobility Recce Support (PMRS) prototypes will join the MTR as the trials ramp up.
As testing progresses, the team will add ballast to enable testing across the full range of weights needed to prove the vehicle's growth potential over its expected 30 years of service life. In standard Major Combat Operations (MCO) configuration, the scout reconnaissance variant is expected to weigh 34 tonnes, rising to 38 tonnes for the Peace Support Operations (PSO) rig up to a maximum anticipated weight of 42 tonnes.
The MTR will also be used to demonstrate the SV's all-terrain performance. Trials will probe the SV's ability to cross gaps, climb, descend and traverse steep slopes, accelerate and decelerate at all these weights.
Accelerated Life Testing
While the destruction testing, as the term implies, is intended to break things to identify areas that need reinforcement or redesign in the subsequent prototypes, the Accelerated Life Testing (ALT) phase will probe long term reliability under conditions more representative of real world missions while also contributing to efforts to minimise internal noise, vibration, harshness and its external acoustic signature. ALT will involve around 10,000km of running on a variety of terrain types through 36 'battlefield representative mission equivalents', says GDUK. The idea is to provide the customer with 'progressive assurance evidence' of the SV's performance in the run up to final trials of the prototypes to be delivered towards the end of the demonstration phase.
Testing with the MTR has the further advantage of enabling the SV team to refine the Trials Readiness Review (TRR), which include vehicle sign off and the Data Recording and Corrective Action System (DRACAS) they will use in trials of the final prototypes, says the company. “TRR and vehicle sign-off allow the SV team to confirm that the vehicle is ready to commence trials, with all supporting documentation and the appropriate support, spares and trained personnel available
.” DRACAS is described as a closed-loop system that ensures that all incidents and key activities are captured, analysed and acted upon. “This is a closed-loop system that ensures that any weaknesses or deficiencies revealed by the testing are addressed in the evolving design.
The design of MTR vehicle, which is not fitted with a turret, is derived from the Ulan and Pizarro vehicles developed for the Austrian Spanish Cooperative Development (ASCOD) programme, Flach explained, and represents the Common Base Platform (CBP) of the SV family. It is clearly different from the concept demonstrator, which was based on an old PT3 chassis with a fairly representative human machine interface and turret.
The MTR most closely resembles the basic PMRS variant and will carry a crew of two plus a complement of 95th percentile soldiers. The prototypes will be about 20mm wider than the MTR to give the driver extra shoulder room for survivability reasons.
SV is described as secure within the UK's “armoured fighting vehicle pipeline” defined in the aftermath of the coalition government's 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) and is a central element of the programme formerly known as the Future Rapid Effects System (FRES), but FRES is not a term that the UK MoD likes to use any longer.
Simulation and Training
Belgian defence manufacturer and integrator CMI Defence unveiled a new turret simulator for its 90mm Weapon System that is applicable to a wide variety of wheeled and tracked vehicles. Using COTS solutions, the new training and simulation system offers infinitely variable interactive scenarios and advanced post-action review and analysis. Thanks to the modular and open electronic architecture of the company’s COCKERILL weapon systems range, the new PC-based and embedded simulation tools can be easily plugged into all of them. CMI Defence’s new training and simulation solutions combine three configurations: static systems, embedded turret simulators and mobile simulation systems. The company worked with SILKAN in Paris, a modelling and simulation firm specialising in developing integrated simulation solutions for defence and security. (Photo: Mönch / STN)
Since March 2012, CAE
promotes its newly developed SEGen Server (SEGen), which is a server-based software solution for low-cost generation of high-fidelity, highly realistic synthetic environments for training and development or prototyping of R&D simulation applications. SEGen allows military and commercial users to construct and load immersive and realistic natural or urban environments into their training or simulation applications at run-time or save it offline to disk, Keith Wakeford, the project’s Field Application Engineer at Presagis
said. Significantly, no imagery is stored on disk, thus saving time and cost in application development and delivery.
Quantum3D developed a dismounted infantry training platform named ExpeditionDI. It is the only man-wearable immersive solution, which is currently in use for actual training. It features a correlated motion and input system that enables soldiers to advance through and interact with a virtual environment using their natural instinct and reflex reactions. ExpeditionDI responds to body movement and presents the correct view according to that movement, providing a realistic, active, three-dimensional training experience. The self-contained simulator has been adopted by the US Army for infantry training in 2011. The anatomy of an ExpeditionDI Warrior includes a wearable computer pack, a head motion tracker, an audio headset delivering surround sound and IP radio, a head-mounted OLED display, a load-bearing vest, a weapon subsystem, and a body posture tracker. (Photo: Mönch / STN)
Turkish Defence Industry’s Eurosatory Participation a Sign of New Era in Turkey-France Relations ?
As the leading supplier of 4x4 tactical and armoured vehicles for the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF), Otokar displayed the recently developed COBRA Armoured Reconnaissance and Surveillance vehicle (ARSV, interior pictured, and showcased for the first time), ARMA 6x6 with closed turret weapon station, ARMA 6x6 Amphibious Armoured Personnel Carrier, KAYA-I Mine Resistant Troop Carrier, and COBRA APC with Remote Control Weapon Station. In addition to its tactical wheeled armoured vehicles, Otokar also promoted its ALTAY MBT programme over a small-scale model of ALTAY MBT displayed at the stand. Equipped with Aselsan-built sophisticated electro-optics, mounted on a telescopic mast, the COBRA ARSV, can detect, recognise and identify remote targets under day/night and all weather conditions. And, images of the detected target can be transmitted in picture or video format, with the location and identification info, with other vehicles within the operation and the command centre. According to Otokar officials the total height of mast is around 3.7m including the vehicle height and two countries have already declared their interest to COBRA ARSV. The COBRA ARSV will be sent to one of these countries for demo in September 2012. As the one of the most desired and well-known armoured tactical vehicles of its range throughout the world Otokar, has so far managed to sell COBRA vehicles to over 10 customers worldwide and recently signed an MoU with Kazakh State Company, <rot>Kazakhstan Engineering<P> for manufacturing COBRA vehicles in Kazakhstan. (Photo: IS)
According to the Undersecretariat for Defence Industries’ (SSM) 2011 Annual Report, which was issued in April 2012, the Turkish defence and aerospace sector achieved a $4.38 billion turnover and a $1.09 billon worth of exports (including civil aviation sales) in 2011. Targeting to increase its defence exports to $2 billion by 2016, the Turkish defence and aerospace sector pays great importance to the promotion of Turkish defence capabilities through the participation at international defence fairs. Exports are widely considered as a trigger for defence industrial development.
Contrary to the previous exhibitions, Turkey took part at Eurosatory 2012 with a National Pavilion for the first time. This could be considered as a clear sign of restoring bilateral relations between Turkey and France. Relations between the countries became strained under former French President Nicolas Sarkozy. His election defeat earlier this year was viewed in Ankara as a chance to start a new phase. France has already given green light to Turkey’s OCCAR membership and in June 2012, following their meeting during the UN Rio Summit, Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan and new French President Francois Hollande agreed to turn new page after Sarkozy-era deterioration in relations, especially after Turkey had applied a series of sanctions on France following the French Senate’s approval last December of a bill criminalising the denial of so-called Armenian genocide claims for the events of 1915. Plus, in late June 2012, Turkey's Energy Minister Taner Yildiz, announced that leading French companies could apply to take part in the nuclear plant construction tender.
Eurosatory 2012 witnessed the participation of 12 Turkish defence companies plus IDEF Exhibition organiser TUYAP and SSI (Defence and Aerospace Industry Exporters’ Association). The Turkish companies displayed their latest products in Hall 6, and Oztiryakiler
displayed its solutions in the outdoor area. As a result of lock of coordination and a last minute changes, the Turkish pavilion was divided into two separate areas: While FNSS
, Gate Electronics
, and YDS
displayed their solutions at stand C201 under the SSI umbrella, BMC
, and Oztek Textile
have displayed their products at separate stands in Hall 6.
Turkey’s rockets and missiles centre of excellence Roketsan displayed mock-ups of CIRIT 2.75" semi-active laser (SAL) guided rocket, UMTAS long range and OMTAS medium range anti-tank guided missiles as well as 300mm, 122mm and 107mm unguided artillery rockets designed, developed and produced to meet both Turkish Army and foreign customers requirements. (Photo: DPM)
During Eurosatory, BMC displayed the 4x4 and 6x6 variants of its KIRPI MRAP at the stand. BMC currently continues the deliveries of KIRPI MRAPs to Turkish Army and showcased the 6x6 configuration of the vehicle for the first time at Eurosatory 2012. (Photo: DPM)
Unmanned Systems at Eurosatory
Novadem sold its first NX110m tilt-rotor drones to the French Army. Described as the true soldier’s remote eye, the drone carries exchangeable payloads, including a daylight camera, an LWIR camera containing 640x480 microbolometer technology, and various other specialised sensors.
Pascal Zunino, Director R&D Electronics, said that the new drone guarantees an immediate availability thanks to its foldable design. An important design characteristic is that the drone folds into its protective transport cylinder, with its accessories be carried in a pack-pack by a single soldier. (Photo: Mönch / STN)
Cassidian presented its TANANTM300 new-generation compact VTOL tactical UAS for maritime and land missions. Designed in close collaboration with potential customers in order to match their specific requirements, TANAN 300 is a real “eye in the sky” thanks to a full HD imagery chain and to its main payload, which allows an easy switch between EO/IR high-definition cameras. According to Alain Dupiech of Cassidian, TANAN 300 is able to carry a 50 kg payload, including an AIS (Automatic Identification System), an IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) system, a maritime radar, an electronic surveillance system, and a direction finder. The aircraft’s endurance is quoted at eight hours. Packed inside a shelter or a vessel, the air vehicle is manageable by one operator and can be deployed in unprepared areas and/or at sea. It is specifically equipped for operating at temperatures of between -20°C and +50°C and in challenging weather conditions, Cassidian said. The ground control system is set up to reduce the operator workload to a minimum, which is thanks to a user-friendly human-machine interface that displays all necessary information on one straightforward double screen. Information can be exported via video transmission to a ground control station or a remote C2 station. The demonstrator’s first flight took place in 2010 and development is currently continuing according to schedule, Cassidian said. (Photo: Cassidian)
Thales WATCHKEEPER (Photo: Mönch / DPM)
Thales SPY’COPTER multirole autonomous Mini VTOL UAS and SPY’ARROW (Photo: Mönch / DPM)
Oto Melara’s UGV offering (two above) and Oto Melara HORUS UAS “launched” from CENTAURO VBM EXPLORER (Photo: Mönch / DPM)
Survey’s UAV offering (Photo: Mönch / DPM)
Elbit Systems SKYLARK I-LE (Photo: Mönch / DPM)
The WASP AE Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) is the all environment version of AeroVironment’s battle proven WASP III. With special design considerations for maritime and land operations, WASP AE delivers, in a man packable asset, exceptional features of superior imagery, increased endurance, encrypted video, and ease of use that is inherent in all AV UAS solutions. (Photo: Mönch / DPM)
Indra PELICANO (Photo: Mönch / DPM)
Sagem Phoenix – Novadem DRAGONFLY VUAV & FELIN (Photo: Sagem)
RUAG GECKO technology demonstrator (Photo: Mönch / DPM)
Datron SCOUT (Photo: Mönch / DPM)
The PATROLLER from Sagem (Safran group) is a multi-mission long endurance UAS, with three models available: PATROLLER S for Homeland and Army requirements, R for Air Force and M as a maritime solution. The light MALE UAS offers a payload of 250kg and a flight duration of 20-35 hours, depending on the configuration. The air frame comes from STEMME in Germany. The PATROLLER is unmanned but can be manned – if needed – in two hours for the use in civil aerospace or transit flights. (Photo: Mönch / AF)
Various Unmanned Systems Demos at Eurosatory
Radios and Intercomms: Green Boxes Ahoy
The Parc des Expostions was filled with innovation with new solutions and capability enhancement to existing products.
made a new addition to its RF-7800W
product line extending the frequency range from NATO Band IV to 4-4-5Ghz (the RF-7800W-OU470) to a new solution which operates from 4-5.875Ghz (the -OU500). The first three customers, who are all existing RF-7800W customers will begin receiving their terminals by the end of the year. Perhaps the biggest change in comms at Eurosatory came with the launch of the 1.5-60Mhz Type 3 RF-7800H-MP High Frequency (HF) MANPACK set, which sees a 20% drop is size and volume over the PRC-150(C) and RF-5800H-MP, which is significant in itself, however, the new set also allows users to operate broadband communications in 1.5-30MHz moving from the current limit on the current company sets of 9.6Kbps at 3kHz up to 120 Kbps at 24 kHz, the radio giving user the capability to automatically switch between frequency allocation in 3kHz allocations although a frequency hopping capability will only be offered at 3kHz. This is the first tactical implementation of this broadband capability.
and Rockwell Collins
are co-operating with the US DoD in the development of a certification standard for broadband HF Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC)
with the latter company working on larger, more powerful HF systems.
A key development for Codan
was the new ENVOY
radio, an HF Software Defined Radio (SDR) with the same form factor as the fixed and vehicular NGT set from the company. The IP-capable ENVOY, designed with a smart interface with simple PC-band intuitive HMI the system can be tailored to particular users and is able to support multiple foreign languages. At the heart of the systems is an embedded software modem which supports 2G ALE and at a transmission of 6Kbps. In addition the company has recently added 3G ALE to its 2110M military MANPACK.
A cellular solution on show was IAI Elta
's new Tac4G, which uses a mix of military and ruggedised COTS technologies to support a range of military and public safety apps. Design for vehicular, MANPACK and had held implementation prototypes of the ruggedised handset is due for completion by the end of the year.
Indonesia firm Len
brought its HF and VHF MANPACKs to Eurosatory. Its ALKOM FISCOR -100 HF/SSB frequency hopping solution is in the process of completing certification and has a data throughput of 2.0Kbps. The VHF XISCOR-100 is in development with completion scheduled for later this year.
True to the motto “secure communications for land-based operations,” Rohde & Schwarz
presented its interoperable solutions at this year’s Eursatory: The R&S M3TR is a tactical radio used in ground vehicles, ships and dismounted operations. Offering an exceptionally wide frequency range and a variety of waveforms, the radio is equipped with a standard IP interface, supports high data rates and includes an embedded encryption solution. With these capabilities, the R&S M3TR is exceptionally well-suited for brigade-and-below applications.
C2, C3 and C4I: Integrated Solutions
Thales MARGOT 3000 V mobile optronic surveillance, based on the SOPHIE multifunction handheld camera, offering both nomadic static surveillance and "on the move" observation. (Photo: Mönch / DPM)
A number of companies implemented end to end solutions to demonstrate C2 capabilities.
Belgian Advanced Technology Systems (BATS)
developed a new coastal surveillance radar that detects all types of surface targets under extreme adverse weather conditions. The X-band radar features automatic detection and tracking of targets (rubber boat >20km, patrol craft >60km), providing a reliable situational awareness capability.
demonstrated its suite of systems against the theme of Terrain Dominance shown in a scenario in which insurgent and terrorists threats were detected tracked and engaged in one example a bombmaker dubbed “Red Joker.” This was expressed in four key categories.
The first was intelligence and reconnaissance using a COMINT detector to detect a tracked a particular mobile phone number linked to intelligence systems such as WiT (Wise Intelligence Technology), which has moved from a police and security focus to a military specific version; Sensors such as the covert Engager EO/IR solution, the FOXTRACK radar and new SAND unattended ground sensors, as well as airborne Wide Area Surveillance via the new SKEYE payload on board a HERMES 900 UAV.
The second layer was C4I suite shown in systems such as TORC2H to communicate key information to military units in the field, which was then communicated via a transport layer comprising the SDR-7200 and the CNR-9100, the latter a new integrated, vehicle mounted combination of the CNR-9000HDR and the MIPR. The MASUA 600, the version of TORC2H used by the IDF is now in widespread deployment under the country's Digital Army Program (DAP).
Thirdly, the information was then linked to fire assets such as an APACHE attack helicopter, CARDOM mortar firing precision munitions and a STRYKER equipped with a UT-30 remote weapon station with targeting via the RATTLER G and Long View Systems.
Less tightly linked than Elbit Systems in its demonstration but more comprehensive in the battlefield options offered was Thales
’ demonstration with C2 applications linked via their NEXIUM tactical network portfolio.
For the SOTAS family of intercomms, Thales showed the latest implementation of SOTAS IP which uses a 25Gb powered Ethernet connections and a new Tactical Advanced User Station, a crew box with a colour screen and integrated Cisco router. The company is delivering the systems to the large scale launch customer in August which every crew station will use the new advanced crew station although it could also be used in conjunction with the standard and simpler Tactical User Stations. Another new solution was the TRC-9310 vehicle mount, designed for the TRC-9110.
Thales developed its own SATCOM-on-the-Move (SOTM) solution, which is known as the XOTM SATMOVE quick halt terminal. It is operating in the X band, using an active antenna that, thanks to its beam steering axis performance and electronic tracking capability, greatly reduces the mechanical constraints on the pedestal. The XOTM SATMOVE active antenna carried by a PANHARD PVP. (Photo: Mönch / STN)
Moving up the communications food chain, Thales delivered their TRC4000 band IV relays to Australia for JP2072 Phase 2B trails immediately after Eurosatory. Thales had the newest variant in their relay family on show with the TRC 4000E-AFS which features a multi-beam antenna to aid in the suppression of jamming and other interfaces.
Thales Italy are on schedule to add a fourth waveform to its St@rmille family based on Maxtech technology, which will increase the radio ability to undertake ad hoc networking to up to eight hops from today's two.
For the future, Thales Communications are also on the cusp of signing the contract for the DGA's Contact SDR programme, which will deliver three radio types: vehicular, hand held and worn with the first prototypes due to be delivered in 2016 with fielding beginning in 2018.
Thales new SOTAS IP Tactical Advanced User Station that will begin delivery to the launch customer in August (Photo: Adam Baddeley)
In the SATCOM world, the company were promoting, the company are also working with NATO on making its Net-IP network optimisation software which for SATCOM, optimises and prioritises traffic according to meteorological and other tactical conditions.
demonstrated a network linking C2 systems with sensors via its new Milicom 4G LTE systems operating at 380-400MHz, which supports up to 250 active users with 1000 users in a network overall and supports ranges of up to 10km for hand sets and 20km for vehicles. As there is currently no supplier of an LTE handset the system has a WiFi interface to link to terminals in the demonstration command tenet and had a 2.6GHz WiMAX link to UAVs using Cassidian’s BLR systems currently in service with the French Army.
The C2 systems operated in the demonstration included France's Système d'Information Régimentaire and ACTINT for ISTAR operation sensors integrated into the systems included the new TANAN VTOL UAS.
launched their latest version of SITARWare, SITAWARE frontline which comprises two parts: a user interface applications and BNS and a secondly a vehicle interface to on-board systems and communications.
Spanish firm Expal
had their TECHFIRE fire support information systems on display.
Elno launched its ELIPS digital intercom at Eurosatory 2012 (Photo: Adam Baddeley)
showed a complete vehicle architecture and BMS built around the Info-Comm Systems SUPERNET ST6800 intercomms, the CETEON vehicular computer 520 and 920 as well as an in-house BMS solution.
At a higher level, Raytheon BBN Technologies
showed their BBN Broadcast Monitoring System, which monitors and translates new and other information feeds and present them to the users in an intuitive form. Originally developed for the US and fielded in 2003 it is now in service with multiple users. By the end of the year the company are scheduled to bring out a similar solution but which monitors social media. The company's phone sized TRANSTALK was used in June at the UJK' Urbex event. A company offering another similar in-service solution was Athena Security Implementation's CK2I (Centric Knowledge to Insight) along with the already completed CY-HUMINT product also designed to montor social networks.
At Paris, Rockwell Collins
were able to announce the success of their FIRESTORM terminal for the Land 17 Digital Terminal Control Systems programme with 152 systems being delivered in a $68 million award.
had their Advanced Satellite -based personal C4I Device on show and Iridium and cellular based tracker currently in service with Macedonia, Honduras and Brazil.
had their TARANIS Battlefield systems on show with multiple modules for specific requirement.
had their ODIN Fire Support applications, as well as the Kongsberg Exploitation Service solution.
Norwegian firm Teleplan
completed successful trials of its FACNAV BMS software on the Black Diamond Modular Tactical System, a wearable C4ISR system. The FACNAV software was recently used by Norway in NATO's Exercise Cold Response in February this year and licenses for the software have been acquired by Sweden and New Zealand.
Plextek showed its latest development, the BLIGHTER B303 GSR, allowing 180° azimuth scan angle detection of moving vehicles and persons over a wide area at 8km range. The radar that forms part of the BLIGHTER family of GSRs can be operated (via wired or wireless TCP/IP network connections) in association with cameras or thermal imagers, Plextek’s Nicholas Booth, Sales & Marketing Manager, said. The radar incorporates, as the company underlines, unique combination of FMCW and Doppler processing technology, ensuring unsurpassed ground clutter cancellation with the ability to detect slow movement of objects. (Photo: Plextek Ltd.)
In the airborne SATCOM world, Thales have brought developments of its ANTARES family of terminals. The ANTARES-H, three-axis parabolic terminal supports throughput in the hundreds of kbps, the ANTARES-P for UAVs with throughput of 20Mbps in a two-axis design with an order for the systems in 2012. The ANTARES-A for larger platforms such as tanker aircraft uses a phased array design also used for land OTM solutions and has been tested with the UK's SKYNET 5 and Germany SatcomBW, with work on the US Wideband Global SATCOM system qualification having begun. Technology from Tampa Microwave a small terminal specialist from the US is also being used to support development of ANTARES while the Colombes-developed Modem 21e has been implemented in US designs. (Photo: Thales)
Chemring Detection Systems showcased the newly developed I-SCAD standoff chemical agent detector. The unit uses a passive IR detection system that automatically searches the 7-14µ region of the surrounding atmosphere for chemical agent vapour clouds. Once detection is made, I-SCAD identifies the agent cloud and alerts operators with audible and/or visual alarms. (Photo: Mönch / STN)
An evolution of Chess Dynamics' SEA COBRA system, a new device launched in Paris offers crews long-range detection, giving them vital early warning of possible piracy attacks, and the time to issue distress messages and to deploy appropriate defence measures. Designed as a piracy protection system for commercial shipping, the CROW’s NEST device presents a non-lethal deterrent that sends out an unequivocal signal to steer clear, before other more forceful measures come into play. Currently under trial on ocean-going car transporters, the CROW’s NEST device is developed with strategic French partner Automatic Sea Vision (ASV), which is capable of spotting small boats up to 6 kilometres and larger vessels up to 10 kilometres. (Photo: Mönch / STN)
The Israeli EO/IR specialist Controp Precision Technologies presented for the first time its newly developed SPEED-V gyro-stabilised sensor system that has been specifically designed for use on mobile surveillance vehicles (MSV). The 24kg sensor system can be employed for a wide variety of mobile security missions, including long-range coastal observation, border surveillance, and force protection. (Photo: Controp)
<rot>Sagem<P>'s bid for the Dutch VOSS programme now in trials (Photo: Adam Baddeley)
A number of users had their offerings for current and future programmes as national efforts move from development to fielding.
solution for Canada's ISSP was on show. Dubbed PALADIN, the systems uses the GDC4S
PATHMAKER soldier radio using the Esterline Racal Acoustics
RA6000 TALON audio ancillary linked to a variant of a GD300 Rugged Wearable Computer initially supporting Android 2.1; but for the ISSP qualification process a new wear version of the smart device running Android 4.0 will be submitted.
The Thales - General Dynamics bid for Canada ISSP programme, known as PALADIN (Photo: Adam Baddeley)
The C2 software used is the SOLDIERVIEW solution with power supplied by Ultralife
. Other bidders for the ISSP programme include DRS
with Selex Elsag
, Elbit Systems
and a Rheinmetall
To link into Canada's Land Command Support System the systems used an AN/PRC-148 MBITR. The Thales
NORMANS solution contracted by Norway last year was on show with versions showing using both the Thales St@rmille and JTRS HMS AN/PRC-154 RIFLEMAN radio on show. The company also had soldier systems developed by Sapura Thales
as a candidate for Malaysia's SAKTI programme.
In Europe three solutions have been down selected for the current selection trials for the Netherlands led VOSS programme, which will deliver a smart vest, power and C2 system from Elbit Systems
, and Sagem
. Elbit Systems
are offering their DOMINATOR Light for the VOSS programme, which uses the PNR-1000A ad hoc networking radio and for Canada's ISSP largely using its own products, but has partnered with Ultralife
for power. Sagem
's solution for Elbit is derived from FELIN but with technologies that could be reintroduced from FELIN v2, scheduled for 2020. Sagem have currently delivered to seven battalions with over 7,000 systems delivered and equipped by the end of May. In addition a new vehicle mounted RIF2 radio for FELIN, supporting up to NATO restricted, is on schedule to be qualified by the end of the year. The solution for VOSS includes a vest with Level 4 ballistic protection the Harris
SPR and Esterline Racal Acoustics
6000 and FRONTIER 1200 headsets with the squad leaders and above having additional situational awareness systems and PY GPS.
At Eurosatory, Sagem introduced an export version of its FELIN soldier systems, used by the French Army, with a SMART-vest. This vest is more modular than the French Army FELIN, where only the ballistic protection was modular. The display is smaller as well, and communication can be adapted to customer requirements, while two new sights are offered (the SWORD Light is a thermal day and night sight, whose medium version is intended for snipers). The export system is much lighter than the original FELIN system, so the soldier can carry more ammunition or other equipment. (Photo: Mönch /AF)
On the Thursday of Eurosatory, Rheinmetall Defence Electronics
signed an €100 million plus contract with the BwB for the GLADIUS solution systems, the name given for the former IdZ-ES/IdZ-2. The contract for 900 individual equipment set with the first 300 set due to be delivered in October where they will be sent to two 'ASB' units formed from a Mountain and Mechanised battalion respectively in preparation for deployment to Afghanistan in 2013. The final trials completed in 2012 with the final changes comprising the introduction of a new helmet ACH-type from Ops-Core and a new load carriage vest from Mehler
The Bundeswehr has placed an order with Rheinmetall to supply it with state-of-the-art infantry equipment. A contract to this effect has recently been signed at the Federal Agency for Defence Technology and Procurement in Koblenz. Under the initial order, a total of 900 soldiers (90 infantry sections or squads) will be outfitted with the new equipment. Units due to deploy to Afghanistan in 2013 and 2014 will be the first to be equipped with GLADIUS. (Photo: Mönch / DPM)
Rheinmetall's software for GLADIUS is currently called INIOCHOS-Soldier although this is due to be renamed over the summer. This uses ODU for its connectors. By the end of the year, the BwB will decide on the new hand held CNR for GLADIUS from Harris
No element from GLADIUS are included in the company solution with Saab
for ISSP although for the future Rheinmetall is developing three versions for export: Advanced corresponding to the system deployed with the Bundeswehr, Light - an emitter only solution for individual soldiers and Basic – with added SA for low level unit commanders.
For ISSP, Saab
is providing its Land – Soldier software coupled with the Harris SPR although at Eurosatory, the system was shown with the Radmor PRC-35010.
Eurosatory Night Vision
Exelis’ F6044 TM-NVG is a new NV monocular device designed for use by the individual soldier in a variety of ground-based night operations. The device features a variable gain control to achieve an optimum balance in the images seen by both eyes. The dark-adapted unaided eye provides situational awareness and vision of close-range objects, while the night vision aided eye provides long-range vision of potential threats and targets. This visual flexibility enables the soldier to move quietly and effectively under all night-time conditions. (Photo: Exelis)
Night vision (NV) for ground troops was a strong theme at Eurosatory, with innovative products on show including new clip on thermal imagers, fused weapon sights and stereoscopic thermal binoculars.
launched its new XACT-NV32
, a 180g image intensified monocular device intended for mounting on a soldier's weapon, head harness or helmet, for which it has a flip-up adapter. Two devices can be fitted to a common mount to provide binocular vision. The company claims that the XACT-NV32 is the lightest and most compact NV micro-monocle on the market.
displayed its new ThermoSight T70
in Europe for the first time, with the 600g uncooled rifle sight developed for the USMC. Intended for short-range weapons such as assault rifles, the T-70 has a fixed 7° field of view, and detection range against a human sized target of up to 700m, courtesy of its 640x480 pixel vanadium oxide (VOx) microbolometer detector. In addition to the usual facility to switch polarity between black hot and white hot, the T-70 also has a ‘rainbow’ function that applies graduated false colours from blue to red, Adriana Raczec, Business Development Manager with Flir Systems’ land systems in Europe division
explained. This exploits the detector's temperature measurement capabilities that enable the user to pick out potentially important details in a scene, including the thermal traces left, for example, on a wall or foliage by a person brushing against it, with the temperature of the trace giving an indication of its age. The T-70 also features E-zoom with magnifications settings of 0.5x, 2x and 4x, along with the DDE digital enhancement algorithm that can pull yet more detail from the thermal picture.
As one of the world’s leading providers and integrators of threat detection sensors and systems, FLIR Systems continues to create innovative solutions for their customers. The company launched CommandSpace CERBERUS MX, an all-terrain vehicle-based long range detection system . Designed for use by security professionals, the CERBERUS MX is a self-contained mobile integrated surveillance system for rugged environments. This ATV solution hosts on-board integrated surveillance, communications and power systems. The CERBERUS MX is compatible with FLIR ground surveillance radar, C2 systems, EO/IR and overwater radar sensors. Security professionals now have the ability to detect, assess and respond to a threat with this advancement in ATV surveillance. (Photo: Mönch / DPM)
Sharper Sniper Sights
also offers sniper sights in both image intensified and thermal versions that provide detection ranges of up to 1,500m on human targets. The S100
and S150 HISS
thermal night sights currently use a 320x240 element detector but, according to Raczec, will be available with a 640x480 device by the end of the year. Video outputs from these thermal sights can feed images to PDAs or other portable or wearable computers and, Raczec tells MILITARY TECHNOLOGY, Flir Systems Is working on the facility to exchange information with the company’s hand-held EO devices such as the Recon B2 used, for example, by the spotter in a sniper team. It is, however, that the smaller and lighter end of the company's hand-held product range where the really new kit is. The M24, for example, is a hand-held thermal viewer with a 640x480 pixel micro-bolometer detector and 24° field of view. Small enough to carry in a pocket, it can also be mounted on a tripod and provide a video output and offers a runtime of more than three hours. The similar M18 has a slightly longer range and also features a laser pointer. Most hand-held sensors described as binoculars are actually bi-ocular devices because they have a single optical channel that contains and infrared detector, even though the images fed to eyepieces. Flir Systems' BN10 is different because it is a true pair of binoculars, featuring two separate detectors and associated optics being a separate image to each eye. The benefit of this is depth perception bestowed by stereoscopic vision. Its field of view is 10 degrees.
Real Depth Perception
It was immediately obvious to this writer from a brief glance around the exhibition hall that the BN10
is something new and different. The picture from most hand-held thermal imagers is flat and two-dimensional and differences in range between objects have to be inferred, but with this true binocular the image stood out in three dimensions. ‘Extreme’ was the word used by Eric Garris, a principal member of the technical staff
, to describe the level of interest that its i-Aware family of data and imagery communications enabled NV goggles (NVG) was generating at the show, in particular the exportable i-Aware Tactical product. "We have had a lot of the prime contractors from soldier modernisation programmes interfacing with us here at the show and at other shows
," he told MILITARY TECHNOLOGY. "There is a Western European nation that is very close to completing its evaluation – a very favourable evaluation – of this goggle for their modernisation programme
This brings to reality a concept that has been around for a long time now, said Garris
. "And it says you don't have to wait for a full up digital goggle to come down the road, you have this capability with your image intensified goggles right now
The soldier selects the information he or she wants to view in the goggle by selecting the appropriate channel on the radio to which the goggle is connected. "If they've got a multi Channel receiver and want UAV information, they just choose the proper channel
," said Garris
. "If they want map information that they choose a different channel
,” he explained.
To minimise weight and cost of the goggle, most of the smarts of the i-Aware system are embedded in the soldier's computer or communications device. "The goggle just allows you to receive the information or capture imagery and transmit it back out through your communication device
A cable system currently links the goggle to the radio, but Exelis
is working on a wireless version.
While the image quality of the best image intensifiers is still unmatched, Photonis
' Chief Marketing Officer Emanuel Nabet
reported strong interest in its newly launched Lynx CMOS solid-state digital NV sensors, which are effective in darkness down to levels 3 and 4 and are proving very attractive in security surveillance applications for suburban areas, borders and sensitive sites. Coupled with an image-intensified tube, Lynx CMOS sensors are effective down to level 5 and provide a digital output. At Eurosatory, the company showed a Lynx CMOS camera integrated into an armoured vehicle driver’s periscope, which provides 24-hour capable solid-state sensor while keeping the direct view optics that vehicle drivers insist upon.
Shades of Grey
also reports quiet progress with its fairly new black and white NVGs, particularly from Special Forces. Naturally this is generating interest among other end users. However, the white phosphor screen's advantage over its more familiar green counterpart is more qualitative and quantitative, according to Nabet. "Our human brain is much more adapted to black and white and green, therefore the identification and reaction from the user can be much faster
," he explained.
used Eurosatory as the second launch point for its new SAKER
fused image intensified and thermal sight family. "It is optically rather than digitally fused
," said Qioptiq Communications Manager Craig Taylor
. "We went for the optical option because it is less power hungry
," he continued. Users are asking for sights that run on less power as well as being smaller and lighter, he told MILITARY TECHNOLOGY.
"And with optical fusion we can deliver that
." SAKER's controls allow the operator to mix-and-match the two sensors, depending their needs of the moment and on the light levels. "The channels can be turned up or down, so you can use it as a purely image intensified sight or purely thermal sight, or you can increase the thermal overlay to get detection and recognition -- so it gives the best of both worlds really
." To reduce the training burden, SAKER use the same human familiar interface as Qioptiq's KITE, DRAGON and MERLIN devices, and it may also eventually be offered for the same short-, medium- and long-range applications from assault rifles through heavy support weapons to sniper rifles. A laser rangefinder is offered as an option. SAKER runs on AA batteries and can also accept power from sources such as powered rails or grips. As a clip-on device, it mounts on a Picatinny rail with the day sight. Like all of Qioptiq’s sights, SAKER is free of ITAR restrictions.
Many operators want fusion capability without replacing their existing NVGs, which is where clip-on thermal imagers come in. Thermoteknix
' take on this theme is the ClipIR
, which is compatible with most NVG and monocular devices including the AN/PVS 14 and AN/PVS 15, matching their 40° field of view. ClipIR runs on a single AA battery for its 384x288 pixel uncooled long wave detector that provides a claimed 40% extra coverage compared with 320x240 elements detectors. MILITARY TECHNOLOGY took the opportunity of a brief demonstration in the dark tunnel tent at Eurosatory's NV technology area. The value of fusion was immediately obvious as it was easy to keep track of Alistair Brown, Product Manager, imaging, for Thermoteknix Systems
as he walked from the lighted entrance to the tunnel into its black depths, despite the intensified image gradually fading out. ClipIR is optically fused but with some processing in the device to provide that outline. "When you overlay the outline of top of the intensified image, you don't destroy the information coming from the intensifier
," said Brown
. "And as a result you get a more usable image. For example, if someone has text written on their clothing, you will be able to read ‘police’ in the intensified image
The Swiss-based optronics expert Vectronix
introduced its newest clip-on night sight called the NiteSpotMR
, already unveiled at DSA 2012 in Malaysia. The medium range clip-on night sight NiteSpotMR adds night vision capability to a wide variety of rifles and easily attaches to the front of a day-sight objective and can be rapidly removed when not in use. NiteSpotMR does not affect the optical alignment of the day sight, eliminating the need for re-adjustment/boresighting when changing between daytime and nighttime operations. The ruggedly designed clip-on device can withstand the hardest recoils and performs effectively even under the harshest conditions and can be used with any rifle (up to .50 caliber). The optional remote control for gain and focus adjustment enables the user to remain undetected by eliminating the need to move in order to obtain a focused and clear image. NiteSpotMR provides three optional mounting possibilities for additional attachments, providing the user with flexibility. When the NiteSpotMR is combined with Vectronix’ TACS-M, thermal capability becomes an additional feature available, further enhancing situational awareness.
The integrated optoelectronics company Jenoptik launched a new multifunctional thermal imager, named NYXUS BIRD. It combines day/night vision with a target localisation capability. The device, weighing less than 1.5kg, is primarily designed for use by infantry and Special Forces, including combat swimmer. It features an eyesafe Jenoptik laser rangefinder operating at 1,550nm, which prevents detection by night vision devices based on image intensifiers. A digital magnetic compass (DMC) and GPS module warrants exact target localisation at large distances. (Photo: Mönch / AF)
German Technology on Eurosatory
Around 90 German companies were presenting their products at Eurosatory, a 20% increase to two years ago.
Diehl Defence's PILUM (Photo: Mönch / DPM)
brought a whole range of new products to Eurosatory. The brand new DE-tector
is the third generation of the IMS based trace detectors with a Drugs Explosive detector, available by next year. BRUKER is especially looking at the South American market. A new product launched was the Radiation Backpack Sentry for radioisotope identification, identifying isotopes, with minimal weight and wireless accessories. Under development but nearly finished is the M-BL Mobile Biological Detection Laboratory platform, as well as the pTD portable Toxin Detector. The Scanning IR Gas Imaging System (SIGIS) 2 is a follow up of the RAPID Remote Air pollution IR Detector.
brought a broad portfolio of its products, including ammunition, missiles, an air defence system, and a new non-lethal technology to Eurosatory 2012. Diehl Defence was showcasing innovative system solutions for countering air threats setting new standards in ground-based air defence. Apart from the European IRIS-T
air-to-air guided missile, which is operative in ten Air Forces, a model of the air-to-ground glide missile PILUM
planned in cooperation with Israel is on display.
König Komfort- und Rennsitze
presented the seat system (KSMS-13/14
) of the BOXER, where all seats have airbags as head and side protection. The KSMS-14 also has an integrated toilet seat. Their new multifunction seat (23-IdZ2000) is directional to all driving directions and can be lowered by 90° to the back and front.
Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW)
was showing their mission proven vehicles BOXER
, as well as the new developed AMPV. As a logistic solution they brought a different MULTIBOX Systems (wheel mounting, engine and wheels and large parts) and warehouse management programme. The MULTIBOX engine and wheels now comes with an electronic extract to get the equipment out of the container.
A complete family of protected vehicles was presented by Mercedes-Benz
. Starting with the LAPV 6.1 (GVV)
for up to four passengers, the next size would be the well known UNIMOG U5000 with a 2t payload, followed by the ZETROS 1833 4x4
, that was just ordered by the Bundeswehr (100 of these should be in Afghanistan by the end of next year). The family is completed by the ACTROS 6x6 and 8x8 models.
Mercedes Benz' FGA Component Kit (Photo: Mönch / DPM)
The camera systems of MOTEC
should help drivers and passengers of protected vehicles to get a better situational awareness (through a vehicle round view) and avoid critical driving situations. The MOTEC multi-camera –system offers the plug in for up to eight cameras (six stare and two moving cameras), steered by a tablet-PC and presented on two separat displays. These systems are used by companies like GDELS
With its different vehicles Rheinmetall
points out that it is a system house with capabilities in all areas. With the look of an insurgent- or rebel-car somewhere in the world, the Volkswagen AMORAK
pickup is a new style for Rheinmetall with a 40mm gun on the flat back. The AMORAK M will be offered as a scout, MP or liaison vehicle (unprotected). There is a call-of-papers in Switzerland for 3,500 vehicles of that kind (transport of personnel and material, command vehicle with a cabin on the flat back), and 1,700 vehicles for the Netherlands. The AMORAK has a high clearance height, an increased chassis, under-ride protection and the electronic system for military radios and lights. Rheinmetall is planning to built up a whole vehicle family on the AMORAK platform. Brand new was also the HX-2 6x6 with its 11t front axis. It is protected by the AMPA-ADS active defence system against RPGs, has run-flat tyres, tire pressure system and can take a payload of 10t.
Rheinmetall Defence's AMAROK (Photo: Mönch / DPM)
The new MARDER APC
will be offered to Denmark as a replacement for the aging M113 APCs. The interior is totally new and it got a mine protection and uncoupled seats. The vehicle height was increased by 16cm to have more room inside. As an option, there could be weapons stations mounted. There is also a MARDER demonstrator with a lightweight 105mm Oto Melara turret. If a customer would be interested, there could be a whole family of MARDER, e.g. as a protected medical vehicle, command, Medical Evacuation ICU, logistic or RECCE.
displayed already in use seats, as well as some new developments. The BOXER is using SeatTec’s seats for the driver and co-driver. The seats all have military specifications and are decupled. The height adjustment with more than 900mm allows the driver to drive under and over the hatch.
offers the ALDEBARAN
lights with germ-killing effects. The titanium dioxide coating of the ALDEBARAN is photocatalitically active. The products are realised with Schall
and not only interesting for medical sites but could reduce dangers in all containers and tents.
WEW Westerwälder Eisenwerk
exhibited the new CAMEL
tank container for the US Army. It is a follow up order for the bigger HIPPO tank container already used by the Army on missions abroad. The first order contains 300 systems with a possible follow-up order with up to 1,000. The first six were already delivered for testing. The CAMEL has to fit on existing US trailers, which was a challenge, because the container had to have low height to fit on the trailers. The CAMEL is an easy and quickly demountable rack with fork lift pockets and a capacity of 3,028 litres. There is also a version planned for Europe on a DINGO with 2,000 litres.
, for the first time, offered “standard” motors, with a whole modular system to follow. This way, like with COTS-products, the delivery of parts should be much faster and the costs should be significantly reduced. At the both Wittenstein also displayed the mechatronic drive system (aiming gears and turret) for the ammunition flow and selection, as well as the weapons systems control of the German PUMA mechanised infantry vehicle.
Seen at the Show
Oto Melara self propelled wheeled howitzer CENTAURO (Photo: Mönch / DPM)
Dynamit Nobel Defence (DND), best known for its shoulder-launched, anti-armour/anti-structure weapons, promotes the concept of its MaRCoWS MATADOR Remotely Controlled Weapon Station for use by fast and highly manoeuvrable patrol vessels. The stabilised weapon station can be linked to the vessel’s fire control system. It consists of two RGW 90 shoulder weapons able to combat pirate attacks or attacks by terrorists utilising small boats loaded with high explosives. The effectiveness of the RGW 90 platform-mounted shoulder weapon in defeating different types of small attacking surface threats at considerable distances was already proven in trials with small targets. (Photo: Mönch / STN)
Newco Safety Technologies joined forces with Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and Diehl Defence to develop and successfully test 40mm RP-IR ammunition and MU smoke with the Wegmann 40mm Multi-Purpose Launcher (MPL-40). With this concept, the MPL-40 realises spontaneous self-protection/camouflage against conventional attacks and supports de-escalation by means of non-lethal force. The 40mm RP-IR ammunition offers an effective range between 20 and 40 metres. The visual effect is longer than 20 seconds. The less toxic tactical 40mm MU smoke offers a standard burning time of 60 seconds achieving a coverage of more than 100m width and 20m height. The MPL-40 consists of variable launcher modules attached to a lightweight remotely controlled weapon station like KMW’s FLW 100. (Photo: Mönch / STN)
Navistar Defense's Special Operations Tactical Vehicle has a purpose built chassis, is transportable in a CH46, and has a mmodular design. <rot>SAIC<P> are on the case with C4ISR. The turret is designed, so it can be folded back into the vehcile, making it an even better fit for SpecOps. (Photo: Mönch / DPM)
Rafael's MINI SPIKE (Photo: Mönch / DPM)
FN Herstal's deFNder Medium Remote Weapon Station; from 5.56x45mm NATO to .50 cal. (Photo: Mönch / DPM)
Oto Melara’s CEO, Dr. Carlo Alberto Lardella (left), and the CEO of Diehl Defence, Claus Günther (right), signing the cooperation agreement on 13 June 2012. See blog for more details. (Photo: Mönch / STN)
The Danish Acquisition and Logistics Organisation announced at Eurosatory it has awarded AeroVironment a firm fixed-price order of $9.6 million to supply the Danish Armed Forces with the company’s PUMA AE small UAS. Lt.Gen Per Pogholm Olsen, Chief of the DDALQ & the Danish NAD (left) with Roy Minson Senior VP AV Inc. and GM UAS. See blog for more details. (Photo: Mönch / DPM)
The Danish Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organization (DALO) has signed an Enterprise License Agreement with Systematic at Eurosatory to extend the licencing of SitaWare Command and Control (C2) software to an unlimited number of users. Lt.gen. Per Pugholm Olsen, DALO signs ELA with Michael Holm, Systematic President & CEO. (Photo: Systematic)
Eurocopter EC645 T2 (Photo: Eurosatory)
General Dynamics European Land Systems at the show (Photo: Eurosatory)
(All Delegation-Photos: Eurosatory)
This is the combined effort of the MT editorial team, consisting of Dennis-P. Merklinghaus, André Forkert, and Stefan Nitschke; and the MT correspondents, Malcolm Philips, Peter Donaldson, Adam Baddeley, and Thomas Withington.