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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

17 September 2015

DSEI 2015: Seen & Heard on Day Two

Earlier in 2015, RUAG has revealed its intention to satisfy symmetric and asymmetric threats to armoured vehicles as the future operating environment shifts to a more hybrid type of warfare. RUAG Defence is having much success on the international market with its ballistic protection technology. The Swiss have been active in the protection market since the 1980s building it as a side business out of their knowledge of ammunition manufacture. The key to their success is being able to pull together skills and experience from diverse fields like; material technology, environmental conditions, testing, prototyping, simulation and production. According to RUAG Defence’s CEO, Dr. Markus A. Zoller, the current operational threat continues to evolve with opponents becoming more professional in the execution of tactics, techniques and procedures as well as having access to more powerful weapon systems. According to Zoller, protection of armoured vehicles must be considered holistically and he used the concept of the Protection Onion to illustrate this. The outer shell within RUAG’s sphere of solutions, comprises unmanned technology in a bid to take the man out of physical danger; followed by intelligence for ISTAR systems and protection against cyber-attacks; active protection against rockets and mortars; and finally the core, comprising passive protection. “Protection has to be considered holistically across the four shells and RUAG can address it as an upgrader and as a provider of protection systems,” Zoller proclaimed. Also earlier this year, RUAG announced that in a joint procurement effort, Austria (lead) and Belgium have awarded RUAG Defence a contract to upgrade their fleet of PANDUR I with ballistic protection kits. All five variants of the PANDUR I will be upgraded with mine-, IED- and ballistic protection. The realisation of the project will start this spring and will be finished by the end of 2020, which could come up to 130 kits. The solutions comprise further developments of RUAG’s existing portfolio of passive protection systems, which include the RoofPRO, SidePRO, MinePRO family of systems, designed to protect medium-sized armoured vehicles from RPGs, IEDs, and small arms; as well as hanged seats and a double bottom. SidePRO-KE/IED is a highly engineered, fully integrated, modular polyvalent composite protection system that utilises a variety of advanced lightweight materials for direct application on armoured vehicles. SidePRO-KE/IED meets current threat level protection requirements. MinePRO is a lightweight, blast and EFP resistant, easy to mount armour plate based on state-of-the art technology to ensure the safety of the crew. Further, all other subsystems of the vehicle such as stowage, seating for crew, driver and commander shall be evaluated, improved, reinforced or replaced. RUAG currently is testing and qualifying protection against 40m threats, while internationally bidding on ramping up on vehicle defence via polyvalent protection solutions.
 In August, RUAG announced selling eight SidePRO-KE kits to the Irish Navy, protecting machine gun mounted stations. Two ships will be equipped with four kits each, protecting machine gun marksmen. A current project involving upgrading the protection on the PANDUR has only been made possible due to RUAG Defence’s ability to develop protection technology and also integrate it onto and into vehicles. This requires a large amount of vehicle knowledge and engineering knowhow to understand how best to protect the vehicle and ensure it will still perform as needed. RUAG Defence achieve this by using a strict and thorough development plan including; reengineering of the vehicle, protection solution integration, qualification of each protection element, improvements and then finally qualifying the vehicle as a whole.

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The UK MOD has taken delivery of a new deployable, Queen's Award winning, CT Scanner from Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group. This latest version is on display on the Philips stand N8-178 in the Medical Zone. Fitted in the expandable Marshall shelter is the latest Philips Healthcare Ingenuity Elite 128-slice CT Scanner, which provides ultra-high resolution imagery in less than a minute enabling diagnosis or essential surgery to take place quickly. "This contract is a great testament to the engineering skills of both Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group and Philips Healthcare. We are very proud to be able to provide medical solutions such as these to the UK's defence forces and their medical teams so that they can see diagnostic imagery and provide high quality care as close as possible to conflict zones," said Steve Fitz-Gerald, Chief Executive of Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group.

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A long range, mobile surveillance system, Hawkeye VS, developed by Chess Dynamics is to play a major role in protecting the borders of a North African country following the award of a multi-million pound contract. Chess Dynamics will initially provide 14 fully integrated systems, which will be integrated onto all-terrain Toyota Land Cruisers.  These will undergo extensive testing before deployment on border surveillance and intelligence gathering duties.  Further batches will be delivered over the coming months following the initial training and deployment. The recently developed extended range Hawkeye VS combines electro-optical sensors, including a thermal imaging and high resolution colour TV cameras, with a laser range finder and a Blighter Revolution 360 radar all mounted on a pneumatic mast.  The mast can raise the sensors 3m above the vehicle. “We have developed the Hawkeye VS to provide defence and security forces with a highly mobile system which can quickly provide surveillance once it arrives in the operational area, plugging the gap on porous, ill-defined borders and giving a strong deterrent to illegal cross border activity,” said Graham Beall, Managing Director of Chess Dynamics. “We see a tremendous potential for Hawkeye VS across not only Africa but in many parts of the world where borders are ill-defined or mobile surveillance systems are required.” The system starts operating when the FMCW (Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave) Doppler fastscan radar detects a target, which could be as small as a single walking person 7km away, over a full 360 degree sector using the unique rotary positioner. Information from the radar is then passed by built-in tracker software to the cameras.

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A major Gulf State has down selected the Hawkeye CS, or Mamba, Panoramic Sight from Chess Dynamics for its armoured fighting vehicle refurbishment programme which will include a new turret.  Mamba was selected following extensive testing in hostile desert environments. The Mamba Sight provides the vehicle commander with an optical sensor that it is on a par, and in many cases exceeds, the gunner’s which makes fighting the vehicle both comfortable and efficient. It is able to detect targets out to 9 km and provide the operator with time to make informed decisions. Its simplicity of operation and quality of image reduces crew fatigue making it an effective add-on for the vehicle’s effectiveness. The compact Mamba sight, which is suitable for a wide variety of armoured vehicles, provides the commander with high quality dynamic and optical performance. Mamba’s design features, size, weight, performance, affordability and adaptability mean that it can be located anywhere there is space on the turret.  In its current unarmoured configuration, there is no turret intrusion, freeing up additional space for stowage, remote viewers and essential battle management equipment and making the turret ergonomically more efficient to operate. “The potential order for Mamba could exceed 130 systems with further potential orders in the region as other defence and security forces seek to update their vehicles,” said Graham Beall, Managing Director of Chess Dynamics. “During the lessons learnt process following recent conflicts, the British Army has become very aware of the need for a remote or “indirect” sights as an essential capability for its AFV fleet.  Mamba’s design features size, weight, performance, affordability and adaptability mean that it can be located almost anywhere on the turret, making it a serious option for upgrading the capability of AFVs.”

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Patria showcases its newest products at 6/N6-160. At DSEI, Patria exhibits for the first time the latest member of Patria AMV product family, Patria AMVXP IFV variant. Also Patria Nemo training simulator is featured, and Millog presents its HUSKY night vision devices, like new VVLITE image intensifiers with 40°, 50° and 60° FOV,  night sights, vehicles’ thermal imager systems and Millog LISA target acquisition system. With deliveries to seven countries, Patria AMV is the market leader among 8x8 armoured wheeled vehicles. AMV products are under continuous development and are fitted with the latest technology. Patria AMV’s structural solutions enable high payload capacity, high level of protection and integration of heavy weapon systems. Patria AMV has received excellent feedback from customers for its performance in combat and crisis management operations in Afghanistan and Chad. The latest addition to this product family, Patria AMVXP IFV, provides further strength to the company’s product range. This vehicle’s highly intensive testing phase verified that its features met the expectations. Patria AMVXP IFV provides the best solutions to match the customer needs of tomorrow. Patria Nemo training simulator provides a realistic, virtual training environment for all kinds of fire missions that can be performed with Patria Nemo mortar system. The simulator combines virtual training with actual Nemo hardware and software that is installed in a cabin simulating the Nemo commander's or gunner's position in the vehicle. The equipment consists of the hardware and software used in the Nemo system, such as software applications for controlling the turret and firing, control grip, operating panels and displays. At DSEI, the GCS and IOS will be on display. The IOS, used for student monitoring and exercise management, also has a new feature called event based student tracking. With this feature, overall training procedures can be further divided into individual events to be performed by students, for example the loading or triggering of the weapon. The status and completion level can then be monitored on the IOS student tracking display and feedback be given either live or during a post-training analysis. Millog has launched three new VVLITE Image Intensifiers with 40°, 50 ° and 60° field of view, designed for a wide range of night operations. All models increase soldiers´ situational awareness of environment and allow for rapid and safer movement during military operations. In addition, versions of all three models are also available without their own power source – these use a centralized power source. The audience gets a chance to test them in a night environment room, specially built for experiencing the features of the devices. The Millog LISA hand-held target acquisition and observation system is a versatile monocular thermal imager with capability for range measurement and target acquisition. LISA’s main features are an uncooled thermal imager, direct-view day channel, eye safe LRF, digital magnetic compass, GPS, wireless connection, C4I connectivity, image capture with target information and CCD camera. Being lightweight, accurate, and user-friendly, LISA is designed for use by forward observation squads, infantry, and special units.

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At N8 - 320, this fair Česká zbrojovka focuses on the presentation of its military programme and introduces its portfolio of bulletproof vests. Visitors will have the opportunity to see specifically CZ 75 SP-01 TACTICAL, CZ P-07, CZ P-09, CZ 75 P-01 OMEGA, CZ P-07 FX SIMUNITION GUN, CZ 97 BD, CZ 858 TACTICAL 4P, CZ SCORPION EVO3 A1, CZ SCORPION EVO3 S1, CZ 805 BREN A1, CZ 805 BREN A2 and CZ 805 G1. Worth mentioning is certainly also the CZ 4M VIP ballistic vest, which in May of this year was awarded in Brno with a prize of the Golden IDET.

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Saab has demonstrated and proven an improvedcapability for its Giraffe AMB radar to detect low, slow and small targets. This 'Enhanced Low, Slow and Small' (ELSS) function allows the Giraffe AMB to undertake dedicated counter-Unmanned Air Systems (UAS) operations, while conducting its full suite of regular air surveillance functions. The new ELSS function was demonstrated in April during a UK-government sponsored trial to test and evaluate radar performance against demanding air targets in a complex environment. Known as 'Bristow 15' and conducted over the ranges at West Freugh, in Scotland, the trial is thought to be the only one of its kind held outside the USA. Over six days more than 100 UAS sorties were flown against the radar, in multiple launches of up to six vehicles at a time. The Giraffe AMB showed unparalleled performance against low, slow and small airborne targets. Despite hundreds of birds and a demanding background of sea and ground clutter, the Giraffe AMB consistently detected, classified and tracked low, slow and small UAS vehicles flying increasingly complex tactical profiles. At the same time, the Giraffe AMB provided full, conventional air surveillance in its regular modes. "Saab now offers ELSS as part of the Giraffe capability range. This gives a unique performance range from small slow UAVs, to rockets and mortars, to more traditional air targets, but all at the same time," says Anders Linder, head of business unit Surface Radar Solutions, Saab.

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The capability for the individual soldier to get the right sensors to the right place at the right time in theatre is now a reality thanks to ISTART, the 'throw and go' man-portable UAV designed, developed and built by UK unmanned systems specialists Blue Bear Systems Research (BBSR). The system is featured at DSEI 2015 on the Ultra Electronics stand number S2-380 and the L-3 stand number S7-310. With a wingspan of just 75mm, length 66mm and a maximum takeoff weight of 1.5kg, ISTART delivers 40 minutes endurance, covering a 5km radius at speeds of up to 40kph.  ISTART supports a range of sensors, including optical and infrared cameras, while payload installation is a rapid, tool-less operation.

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The latest variant of the DOK-ING MV 4 rugged UGV is at the centre of the display on stand number N2-264 during DSEI taking place at the Excel Centre, London from 15 to 18 September 2015. This latest air mobile version is focused on operating in one of the most exacting military environments - Combat Engineering. This MV 4 can be fitted with a range of tools and appliances to allow combat engineers to dig, lift, clear obstacles, roll, de-mine, clear IEDs, mark routes through obstacles and bulldoze some 1,500m away from the control point. This keeps the operator out of harm’s way. At around 5t weight the unit can be moved by helicopter and is fully qualified by the US for helicopter, tactical air transport and parachute deployment. Working with Lutra Associates, who have brought their considerable knowledge of CBRN to the company, DOK-ING will have experts in CBRN on hand to discuss their development work on a CBRN/Hazmat UGV capable of decontamination, reconnaissance sample collection and survey. “Both the Combat Engineering and CBRN environments are hazardous and UGVs have a real potential to significantly reduce the risk to people carrying out these tasks,” said Tim Otter, Chief Executive of Lutra Associates. “The DOK-ING MV4 has been purpose designed to operate in these types of environments and with the addition of specialist tools provides a great solution for combat engineering and CBRN across many tasks.”

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Revision Military, a world leader in protective soldier solutions, has won the head sub-systems portion of the contract awarded to Source Vagabond Systems Ltd., to provide UK Troops with new kit as part of the Virtus programme. The Revision custom-designed head protection solution, known as the Batlskin Cobra Plus, offers an ultra-lightweight helmet that exceeds the UK's stringent ballistic and impact requirements and can be coupled with the patented Modular Protective Attachment
System (MPAS) for full face protection.  In addition, the Revision Sawfly Spectacle will be provided for use when full-face coverage is not required. The first deliveries of Cobra Plus head protection systems are planned for quick shipment with 9,000 full systems scheduled for Autumn, 2015 enabling fielding to first-recipient troops in early 2016.

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Comrod, an international supplier of rugged communications equipment, has received a contract from SAAB for the development and production of antenna systems for the A19 class submarines. The contract encompasses development and production of HF- VHF and UHF integrated antenna systems for the Gotland class submarine for the Swedish Navy.

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ODU is presenting its complete ODU AMC advanced connector solutions as well as its modular rectangular connector ODU-MAC together with its portfolio at DSEI 2015 at booth S6-416. ODU connectors are ideally suited for mission critical military applications.

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Finmeccanica – Selex ES receives advanced targeting lasers order for F-35. The contract will see 165 further lasers delivered to Lockheed Martin for the F-35 LIGHTNING II’s Electro-Optical Targeting System programme.

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