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

26 February 2015

Exelis' CorvusEye 1500 Enabling Persistent Wide Area Surveillance

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

Controp Debuts Advanced 3D Video Motion Detection System

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

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

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

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

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

Tawazun Holdings extended its interest in EDIC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IDEX 2015: Insitu demonstrates INTEGRATOR

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

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

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

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

IDEX 2015: Rheinmetall exhibits soldier modernisation solution

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Northrop Grumman Confirms Discussions Ongoing in the UAE

Northrop Grumman is focussing on evolving threats in the Middle East as it continues discussions with the UAE Air Force regarding procurement of the E2-D Advanced Hawkeye airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft.

Speaking to Military Technology at the International Defence Exhibition & Conference (IDEX) in Abu Dhabi this week, company officials confirmed that discussions were ongoing with the air force in the UAE. However, details regarding numbers and procurement dates remain undisclosed.
Jerry Spruill, sector director for international capture leadership at Northrop Grumman, said: “We recognise the threats in the region and that operational conditions, the littoral land-sea interface and cruise missile threats, can all be addressed by the E2-D. It will be well suited for the region and threats.”

Meanwhile, the US Navy is working up plans ahead of the first operational deployment of its first E2-D fleet later this year. According to Scott Wiener, NAVAIR, E-2 International Program Development Lead, five E2-D aircraft will be deployed to an undisclosed area of operation on board the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier.

With squadron designation VAW-125, the Hawkeyes will deploy from Norfolk, Virginia with a six-month pre-deployment work up period testing tactics, techniques and procedures and interoperability with other air frames on board. Traditionally, the US Navy has deployed with just four E2-C aircraft with Wiener explaining how the additional aircraft would increase the value of persistent airborne radar coverage and persistent surveillance as part of the carrier group.

Referring to the difference between ‘C’ and ‘D’ models, he added how the upgraded radar allowed the navy to identify even smaller targets at lower altitudes in the “toughest of conditions”.
“In the littoral environment, the C-radar was not the optimal radar for the job. It was good for blue water operations but the D-radar has the same capability over both and can identify fast moving, low flying targets,” he said while describing how the C-radar comprised a mechanical system while the D-radar was both mechanical and electronic.

The US Navy is slated to procure a total of 75 E2-D aircraft as part of a multi-year contract, which Northrop Grumman described as a “vote of confidence” from Congress. Additionally, Japan selected to procure four E2-D platforms in November as part of an urgent operational requirement following escalation of tensions in Asia Pacific and particularly the South China Sea.

The E2-D comprises the AN/APY-9 radar, communications suite, mission computer, integrated SATCOM, flight management system, improved T56-A-427A engine and glass cockpit. Executives also revealed that an initial operational capability to conduct in-flight refuelling would be expected by 2020.

The APY-9 radar can identify stealth fighters as well as smaller aircraft with low-observable features and according to the US Navy, the E-2D could guide fleet weapons, such as AIM-120 AMRAAM and SM-6 missiles, onto targets beyond a launch platform's detection range or capabilities.

BAE Systems Illustrates Growing Cooperation in the Middle East

BAE Systems used this year’s International Defence Exhibition & Conference (IDEX) to illustrate growing cooperation in the Middle East.

Company executives explained to Military Technology how its M777 Howitzer artillery system was on display with Emirates Defense Technology’s (EDT’s) Enigma infantry fighting personnel carrier. BAE Systems said it was working up plans with EDT to supply the towable Howitzer with armed forces in the Middle East.

EDT’s Enigma 8x8 vehicle was unveiled at the event this week with company officials explaining how the UAE was its prime focus although it was considering requirements from other armies in the region. It is expected that UAE armed forces will begin testing the prototype later this year
With a gross vehicle weight of 28 tons, CAT 710 HP engine and 25.4HP per ton, the Enigma is perfectly positioned to tow BAE Systems’ M777 weapon system.

Elsewhere, BAE Systems informed Military Technology it was working up plans with the US Government to supply Jordan with its Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) munition via the Foreign Military Sales programme.

It is understood that the Jordanian Air Force is considering arming its CASA 235 and certain other rotary wing platforms with the weapon system although company sources said it was in discussion with several other countries in the Middle East.

APKWS is a laser guided missile compatible with legacy Hydra 70 unguided rocket launchers with the munition measuring 70mm. Utilising a semi-active laser (SAL) for targeting, the 2.75-inch APKWS was the focus of an agreement between the US Navy and Jordanian Air Force in April 2014, with deliveries expected to begin in 2016.

Finally, BAE Systems highlighted its airborne countermeasure solutions with company officials describing how such capabilities would prove significant to the UAE’s Air Force which operates AH-64 Apache attack helicopters and UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters.

One official explained to Military Technology: “The UAE is looking for an IR countermeasure solution.”

BAE Systems’ solution comprises the AN/ALQ-212 Advanced Threat IR Countermeasure (ATICM) and AN/AAR-57 Common Missile Warning System (CMWS) which are capable of detecting a missile, rejecting false alarms and cueing onboard IR jamming systems.

“When the jam head finds the missile with its IR tracking system, it emits a high-energy infrared beam to defeat the missile’s infrared seeker,” a company spokesman said.

BAE Systems informed Military Technology that it was expecting clearance to export the solution to the international market within the next two months.

Denel Promoting Projects in the Middle East

South African company Denel was promoting the first project in its joint venture with UAE-based Tawazun Holdings at the International Defence Exhibition & Conference (IDEX) in Abu Dhabi this week.

The joint venture, called Tawazun Dynamics, unveiled its Al Tariq family of strap-on bomb kits for the Mk80 family of bombs which is destined to delivered to the UAE Armed Forces.
Meanwhile, Denel also showcased its fifth generation A-Darter air-to-air missile, co-developed with the Brazilian armed forces. Designed to meet the challenges of future air combat in a hostile electronic countermeasure environment, this particular munition has completed in-flight guided tests and is awaiting integration onto Saab’s Gripen jet fighter currently in use with the South African Air Force. Production is expected to begin later this year.

Riaz Saloojee, the Group Chief Executive of Denel, said the munition had been designed to combat future challenges in a hostile electronic countermeasure environment: “Testing and integration of the A-DARTER on the JAS 39 GRIPEN used by the South African Air Force has already been done and it will, in future, also be integrated onto the GRIPEN NG,” he announced.

The wingless missile was designed for close combat situations and features  lock-on after launch and memory tracking capabilities as well as advanced digital processing capabilities to ensure maximum image detection, false target rejection, electronic counter-countermeasures, guidance and control.
However, the missile can also be fired from a variety of other platforms including ground vehicles, short batteries and vessels. It is also capable of penetrating 1,350mm armour and has demonstrated an effect against explosive reactive armour.

Elsewhere, Denel also exhibited its Ingwe Portable Launch System which fires a beam-rider HEAT and Multi-Purpose Penetrator missile which has the capability to penetrate 1,000mm armour. The PLS can be fired from light tactical vehicles as well as a ground-based tripod system and is best suited at destroying tactual vehicles, bunkers, buildings and fortified positions at ranges between 200m and 5,000m.

“This adds to the versatility of the Ingwe which already has proven capabilities when launched from helicopter and fire-on-the-move land platforms. It is currently in service with the South African National Defence Force and integrated on a range of land vehicles and helicopters with other customers,” Saloojee said.

Denel was also exhibiting an armed variant of its Seeker 400 UAV and is targeting a number of undisclosed countries in the Middle East, having already supplied the UAE with the Seeker 2 and 200 variants. The 400 model has a faster cruising speed of 150kph and greater payload of 100kg.
It has the ability to carry two payloads including synthetic aperture radar and EOIR sensors with a maximum endurance of 16 hours at altitudes up to 18,000ft. Company sources added that the Seeker 400 had recently completed “vital” tests in the Alkantpan Range in South Africa, although further details remain undisclosed.

Finally, the company revealed plans to extend its interest in the Middle East to the maritime domain, having recently established its Integrated Systems and Maritime Division. 

Paramount Group Signals Important Milestones

South African company Paramount Group has secured a hat-trick of deals at this year’s International Defence Exhibition & Conference (IDEX) in Abu Dhabi this week as it seeks to extend cooperation in the Middle East.
On 23 February, the company signed a contract with Jordan’s King Abdullah II Design and Development Bureau (KADDB) for 50 6x6 Mbombe protected patrol vehicles with KADDB CEO Major General Omar Al Kaldi and Paramount Group chairman Ivor Ichikowitz agreeing the contract which will see manufacturing of the vehicles in Jordan.
“The production of Mbombe in Jordan signals an important milestone in the continuing growth of the defence industrial capability in the Middle East. The Mbombe will become the platform for the future 6x6 requirements of the Jordanian Armed Forces,” Al Kaldi explained.
Meanwhile, Ichikowitz added: “Jordan has a strategic position and role in the Middle East in building stability and security across the region.”
The agreement follows testing of the Mbombe vehicle in harsh desert conditions in Jordan and the UAE where temperatures reach 50C. The vehicle was also subjected to -50C in Kazakhstan during winter trials.
“The nature of threats that armed forces in the Middle East are facing has intensified. Armed forces demand world-leading technologies and capabilities to combat these threats.”
The Mbombe vehicle comprises flat-hull mine protection technology and provides protection against 14.5mm heavy machine gun rounds as well as similar levels of protection against 155mm artillery bursts. Its Level 4 mine protection also allows protection against 10kg mines detonating under the hull or wheels. According to Paramount Group, it can also withstand a 50kg TNT blast.
Production of Mbombe in Jordan is schedule to begin immediately.
Additionally, the company signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Ukrainian company Motor Sich JSC to cooperate in production and modernisation of helicopters and aviation engineering products. 
Present at the ceremony was Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko who saw the companies commit to future transfers of technologies regarding rotary wing systems.
Paramount Group designed the Super Hind helicopter while Motor Sich JSC concentrates on helicopter maintenance and repair as well as engine manufacturing.
Finally, Paramount Group revealed plans to build a new factory and runway for its Advanced High Performance Reconnaissance Light Aircraft (AHRLAC) as it prepares to target the Middle East market. 
The aircraft completed its first flight in July and has since completed a total of 65 hours of test flying. Evaluation has now extended onto handling, airframe systems, centre of gravity, performance ranges and rough field capabilities, a company spokesman informed Military Technology.
“We have seen particular interest from across the Middle East region. We have always understood the strong relevance of AHRLAC as an innovative, multi-role and cost-effective solution to the environments and threats that air forces are facing in the region.”

The company has identified a location in South Africa for the manufacturing site, details of which remain undisclosed. 

Invisio - Optimised Hearing Protection and Ear Piece Technology in Small Form Factors

Invisio is playing the waiting game in the Middle East as it expects its in-ear communications systems to begin replacing legacy over-ear solutions as armed forces start to realise there are options when operating in hot conditions.

Speaking to Military Technology at the International Defence Exhibition & Conference (IDEX) in Abu Dhabi on 25 February, senior vice president for global sales and marketing, Carsten Aagesen, admitted the company had yet to find the same foothold as it has done to date with NATO nations and coalition partners.

However, he added: “We strongly believe in being at these types of exhibition and are working closely with the major military radio manufacturers to integrate our solutions for optimised hearing protection and ear piece technology in small form factors.”

Invisio is pushing its V60 advanced tactical communication and hearing protection system into the Middle East market, with this particular technology comprising a 20-m submersible, quad-com, plug and go system.

The unit, which can be attached to any legacy and SDR radio on the market, comprises 4 PTTs, head-thru controller and three command buttons. An in-ear headset with microphone makes it possible for the unit to maintain full radio functionality like full-duplex communication, radio sidetone, priority voice, VOX and keying the radios onboard PTT buttons.

“In-ear solutions are starting to become the default for military communications,” Aagesen continued. “The Middle East has pretty basic requirements with any headset doing for the moment. But they have the same exact needs to get a tactical headset as any other nation such as the frontrunners in the field in the UK, US, Australia and France.

“The importance of hearing protection is exemplified with the amount of money being spent on soldiers coming back from orations with diminished hearing,” he added while describing how the US was spending some USD1 billion per year on hearing solutions for impaired soldiers.
Soldiers operating on the battlefield can easily become temporarily deafened by gunfire, in particular rounds fired in close proximity from larger calibre machine guns including 7.62mm and .50-cal weapon systems. Muzzle blasts can lead to immediate deafening as well as Tinnitus or ringing in the ear.

Traditional systems have comprised anything from in-ear foam buds through to over-ear protection and communications systems such as Peltor and MSA products, currently in service with armed forces around the world.

“In the blink of an eye, a soldier can lose his or her capacity to be an efficient warfighter and a lot of countries have seen that. They want to take care of their troops as well as save money and this attitude is prevalent in the Middle East,” he concluded.

25 February 2015

Rockwell Collins focussing on delivering Middle East defence customers with higher levels of interoperability

Rockwell Collins is focussing on delivering Middle East defence customers with higher levels of interoperability in order to conduct joint operations, a senior executive has proclaimed.

Speaking to Military Technology at the International Defence Exhibition & Conference (IDEX) in Abu Dhabi on 22 February, Claude Alber, VP and managing director, Europe, Middle East & Africa at the company, described the joint operational environment as the greatest capability gap in the market.

“We are listening to the market and working on these requirements in the region,” he explained. “The Middle East has some really advanced customers who are looking for advanced technology to really make the most of their effective and efficient forces.”

Specifically, Alber described the company’s ongoing strategy to increase its foothold in the country, with offices already having been established in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha and most recently Riyadh. Furthermore, the company expressed its intention to extend its number of partnerships with the private sector in the area.

Rockwell Collins is already associated with AEC for in-country production and support of its airborne solutions, including cockpits.

With regards to specific programmes, Rockwell Collins has completed deliveries of its FireStorm integrated targeting system to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Armed Forces. The company is also concentrating on Link 16 data link technology for a number of undisclosed forces, Alber continued.

“We have a growing presence in the region with investment and partnerships in the region, especially with many countries operating Rotary Wing assets and Fixed Wing platforms with our cockpit and radio technology. The Middle East is an important market and part of EMEA but i would describe it as the growth engine.”

Alber also revealed that the company would use September’s DSEi exhibition in London to launch a new variant of its FireStorm system. This latest variant, he said, would provide a solution demonstrating weight and volume savings up to 40% in comparison to legacy technology.

The latest FireStorm system will include the MV35 Helmet Mounted Display; VDR antenna; data hub with power management system; radio and antenna; video downlink receiver; laser range finder; and tablet computer which replaces the ruggedised laptop.

The system is designed to provide the position of friendly forces and other situation awareness data as well as designate enemy positions for networking to Joint Fires platforms for kinetic execution.

At IDEX in 2013, Rockwell Collins agreed a Dh146.9 million contract with the UAE armed forces for an undisclosed number of FireStorm systems. Alber confirmed that all systems had now been delivered to the armed forces, with the company now ensuring sustainment in support for the capability.

Thales promoting its latest radar series at IDEX 2015

Thales is promoting its latest radar series at this year’s International Defence Exhibition & Conference (IDEX) with particular emphasis on the Middle East market, company officials have revealed.

Speaking to Military Technology at the show in Abu Dhabi, UAE on 24 February, a Thales spokesperson described how the company was focusing on potential requirements in the region, especially concerning maritime situation awareness.

Unveiled at the Euronaval exhibition in Paris last year, Thales’s Searchmaster airborne multi-role surveillance radar was unveiled to the Middle East market with particular emphasis being made to five mission sets including anti-surface warfare; anti-submarine warfare; maritime surveillance; ground surveillance and mapping; and air tactical support operations.

More specifically, in a ground surveillance and mapping mode, the Searchmaster’s Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and Ground Moving Target Indicator (GMTI) capabilities would provide mission critical situation awareness for special operations forces (SOF) tasks- a concept of operation which has proven invaluable to such specialist units performing missions in Africa, South Central Asia and the Middle East over recent years.

Furthermore, the radar is being marketed as a search and rescue capability, as well as protection against fast attack craft- a major threat in the region especially in the littoral environment.

The system-agnostic radar, which was derived from the radar technology of the Rafael fighter jet,  comprises an Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) antenna and weighs 77kg. Measuring just a metre in length, the radar has a maximum range of approximately 200nm and is capable of monitoring up to 1,000 tracks at any single point in time.

“The Searchmaster can be integrated on board any type of average maritime vessel as well as medium to high sized rotary wing platforms, UAVs and aerostats. It can be housed under the belly of an aircraft or in the nose,” he added.

However, due to disclosure issues, the spokesperson could only confirm that Thales was working on replying to several enquiries for “various” platforms in the Middle East.

Meanwhile, the French Navy is preparing to take delivery of 18 Searchmaster radars for its maritime patrol aircraft with the first expected to fly towards the end of 2016. The Searchmaster radar will be made available to the international market in the same time period, it was added.

Thales is also actively marketing its Airborne Mission System for Maritime and Ground Surveillance (AMASCOS) in the Middle East. The product can be integrated into the Searchmaster radar.

“Demand for maritime surveillance and maritime patrol aircraft is growing as worldwide submarine fleets expand and as piracy and trafficking activities increase,” the spokesperson continued.

“ In parallel, illegal immigration and terrorism in unsecured areas are on the rise. Additionally, national sovereignty and security are posing the need for tighter control of desert and boarder regions, using outstanding airborne detection systems.

The solution is centred around a tactical command system which is capable of integrating sensor suites and communication nodes, including radar, IFF, AIS, EOIR, ELINT, SATCOM, data links, sonobuoys and even weapons, amongst others.

General Dynamics OTS witnessing uplift in demand for arms

The ongoing security situation in Northern Iraq and Syria has created an “urgent demand environment” in the Middle East regarding munitions, industry sources suggested today.

Speaking to Military Technology at the International Defence Exhibition & Conference (IDEX) in Abu Dhabi on 24 February, sources described high demand in the region following Islamic State’s (IS) advance from Syria into Kurdish-controlled Iraq.

One company executive explained how particular emphasis was being paid to artillery and mortar munitions as well as “aerial bombs” with many Middle Eastern air forces seeking munitions compatible with US-manufactured jets including the F-15 and F-16 aircraft.

A coalition of Middle Eastern and NATO countries have been conducting air raids against IS insurgents since 10 August with partner nations include Jordan, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, the UK and US.

A spokesperson for General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems (GDOTS) explained how the company had also witnessed a similar uplift in demand for small arms training ammunition in France following the terrorist attack on the office of Charlie Hedbo magazine in Paris on 7 January.

“We are working on stuff as part of a wider reaction to Islamic State,” he explained while referring to ongoing US government efforts to supply Jordan’s armed forces with bombs under the Foreign Military Financing (FMF) initiative.

“There is an urgent demand environment but we are still seeing the bureaucracy to get things done,” he added.

Meanwhile, GDOTS also stressed the importance of ongoing internal research & development (IRAD) efforts to continue manufacturing of precision-guided systems, especially 81mm and 120mm mortar systems. The company is working up plans to roll out a ‘strap-on’ GPS or laser-guided system  to allow for more accurate support fires from such mortar platforms.

The spokesman said the product had already been demonstrated although it remains in developmental stages.

“Armed forces want more capability and precision and demand is pretty huge in this area,” he said.

Finally, GDOTS is pushing its fleet of Internally Transportable Vehicles (ITVs) in the Middle East market with the UAE expected to conduct a series of trials within the next six months. The UAE Armed Forces are understood to be seeking a platform capable of rolling out the back of a CH-47 helicopter.

Additionally, industry sources have suggested the UAE Special Operations Command is also considering procurement of the CV-22 Osprey. A spokesman for manufacturer Bell Boeing, however, was unable to confirm specific interest in the platform, saying only that the joint venture had received enquiries and helped the US government to reply to these.

GDOTS’s Flyer 72 ITV has already been selected by the US Special Operations Command for its Ground Mobility Vehicle 1.1 programme. The first 9 vehicles are due to be delivered to two facilities in the US to begin Production Qualification Testing ahead of proposed Low Rate Initial Production which is slated to begin in September. This will also signal the start of the Initial Operational Training and Evaluation (IOT&E) phase with USSOCOM.

IDEX 2015: Eurofighter bullish about future contracts

Speaking to media on Monday, Alberto Gutierrez, CEO of the Eurofighter consortium expressed confidence about future sales. "Eurofighter is one of the most compefitive aircraft in the world", Gutierrez explained. He continued: "despite the fact that the international competition is getting bigger, we will win some contracts". He went on to say that Eurofighter is a proven system with  more than 420 aircraft having been delivered so far. Operated by seven customers, these aircraft have amassed more than 274,000 flying hours. In addition to the NETMA countries (Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom), the multirole fighter is used by Austria and Saudi Arabia while Oman will get its first Eurofighters in 2017. Testpilot Anthony "Foxy" Gregory of BAE Systems explained how Sunday's signing of the Phase Three Capability Enhancement (P3E) contract by representatives of the Eurofighter consortium and the four NETMA countries will turn Eurofighter into a full swingrole combat aircraft. With the MBDA Brimstone 2 low yield weapon now being integrated, Eurofighter's ability to strike targets with precision will be significantly enhanced while limiting the risk of collateral damage at the same time. Fitted with a small warhead, Brimstone 2 is guided by means of semi-active laser while terminal guidance is done by millimeter wave radar. This will enable Eurofighter to engage fast moving targets with success. Other upgrades that are part of the P3E package include enhancements to the lethality and engagement envelopes of Storm Shadow, Paveway IV and Meteor while an improved version of ASRAAM will be fielded. Exemplary of Eurofighter's swingrole capability, once P3E has been implemented, the aircraft will have a load out that could include six Brimstone missiles, six Paveway guided bombs, two Storm Shadow long range stand off weapons, four Meteor BVR air-to-air missiles as well as two IRIS-T or ASRAAM short range air-to-air missiles, a clear sign that the capability roadmap is delvering, according to Gutierrez. The enhancement package is scheduled for delivery in 2017.

The EUR 200 milion P3E deal will also lead to improvements with regard to MRO and simulation and training aspects of the Eurofighter aircraft. Gutierrez explained that a number of life cycle advantages have been developed that are aimed at reducing life cylcle costs. Based on the experience with the aircraft's availability and maintainability that was built up over years, it has been decided to start conducting phased maintenance at 500 hours instead of 400 hours and this figure is planned to go up to 600 in the near future. "This makes the aircraft more affordable", Gutierrez said, hereby increasing the competitiveness of Eurofighter. Asked about which countries the Eurofighter consortium is targeting when it comes to future sales, Gutierrez indicated that he was looking at  Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Bahrain. With regard to the UAE, he said that "despite there being no negotations at the moment, Eurofighter is ready to offer a proposal". "Foxy" Gregory meanwhile emphasised the fact that "Eurofighter is the backbone of a number of major European air forces. This leads to it getting priority in funding". This is indeed an important prerequisite for future upgrades which would include a number of enhancements beyond P3E including the integration of the Captor E-Scan AESA multimode radar and anti FIAC capability delivered by Brimstone. Phase Four Capability Enhancement is meanwhile in its definition phase. Dubbed P1E and P2E, previous enhancement programmes entailed the introduction of a laser designator pod, either Litening III or Damocles, and the development of deep attack and BVR capabilities respectively. The latter upgrade enables the stand-off targeting of buried, high value targets through the addition of Storm Shadow while also encompassing additional cockpit interface developments and Meteor integration.
Pieter Bastiaans

IDEX 2015: Dynamit Nobel Defence showcases new RGW 90 variants, improvements

Renowned manufacturer of shoulder launched munitions (SLM), Dynamit Nobel Defence (DND) is introducing a series of variants of its well proven RGW 90 weapon including an area denial munition. Developed as a result of post Cold War requirements, DND's range of 90mm recoilless grenade weapons is designed to deliver a variety of precision effects against different types of targets while limiting the risk of collateral damage. Complementing the larger, 110mm Panzerfaust 3, RGW 90 is meant as a light weapon that does not limit the mobility of the foot soldier unlike some larger munitions that often need to be operated by designated personnel within the infantry squad. Weighing 8.7 kilograms, RGW 90 has a length of 1 meter when being transported. Envisaged as a substitute of large caliber weapons, RGW 90 is described by DND as an independent fire support system. With today's operations increasingly taking place in urban terrain, RGW 90 complements traditional fire support means such as artillery and mortars that tend to be inaccurate due to them being area weapons. Precision guided rounds for such weapons are costly while supporting infantry troops with main battle tanks or infantry fighting vehicles is hazardous as opponents often possess an abundance of RPGs.

While not being the largest manufacturer of SLMs, DND considers itself the technology leader in these munitions. The company's activities range from improving weapon performance to refining the overall weapon system concept through additional optics, training and simulation. Meanwhile, DND has also shown to be capable of integrating its munitions into remote weapon stations and naval platforms. While the initial RGW 90 is a multi purpose weapon that can be used in either HEAT or HESH mode due to its dual mode fuze, the RGW 90 AS is an anti structure munition that is aimed at wall breaching or creating blast effects. The new RGW 90 area denial weapon has three modes (airburst, impact, delay) while smoke and illumination variants are also being introduced, the latter available for both the IR and the visible spectrum. Meanwhile, there is also a practice variant. While RGW 90 normally uses a one use daysight that is disposed off together with the tube and the firing mechanism, a re-usable sight with integrated fire control system can also be attached. Called Dynahawk, this device weighs 2.2 kilograms and has a laser range finder, ballistics computer and internal display with electronic reticle. A MNV-50 clip-on night vision device using tubes of the second or third generation is also available. Dynahawk allows the shooter to engage a target with a high first hit probability at ranges up to 1, 200 meters whereas a RGW 90 with a one use daysight has an effective range up to 500 meters. Complementing the Dynahawk night vision combo , the TherCam 25/75 thermal imager can also be fitted

DND has already achieved considerable export success with RGW 90 including orders from a number of GCC countries. However, DND continues to improve its RGW 90 range and is now looking to reduce the weapon's weight by lowering the weight of its liner and by using some composite components and a lighter launch tube. Still under development, the new tube has shown that it can reduce weight by 500 grams.

Meanwhile, a dual weapon station acommodating a 12.7mm Rheinmetall RMG 50 heavy machinegun and the RGW 90 weapon is being produced while at least one customer is said to be interested in a possible remote controlled extended weapon station with RGW 90. Trials have also been conducted with RGW 90 weapon stations on naval platforms. This was done with support of the German navy.
Pieter Bastiaans

IDEX 2015: Dynamit Nobel Defence details ERA solution

Dynamit Nobel Defence (DND) is showcasing its ERA solution that is on order for the German army's new Puma AIFV during IDEX 2015. DND's head of business development Herbert Weisshaupt explained that while DND has been working on ERA solutions for many years, development did not go smoothly. For some time, it had to be put on hold as army officials did not see ERA's advantages fearing instead that personnel might get hit by fragments if an ERA box would go off. However, DND has demonstrated this fear not to be justified using special materials and insensitive explosives that require a hit by a hollow charged weapon to go off. Recent trials have shown that its ERA protective system is capable of coping with hits of small and medium caliber rounds up to 30mm including APFSDT rounds without going off. In 2014, tests were also conducted during which tiles were hit by EFP IEDs and molotov cocktails as part of the system's qualification. In neither case did this result in a detonation.  At the Meppen test range in Germany, DND's ERA tiles underwent further testing when they were shot at with 155mm rounds by a PzH2000 howitzer. One hundred and fifty kilograms of explosives were also detonated in close proximity of the ERA tiles. In both cases, the tiles remained unscathed. Also part of the trials were air transportability tests. Weisshaupt told MT that during a deployment the ERA sets and vehicles would be transported in separate aircraft with the boxes being mounted on the vehicles in theatre.

The ERA project started as a result of a requirement in the early 2000s for an ERA package that would improve the level of protection of the Fennek wheeled vehicle. While Weisshaupt doubted the relevance of ERA for Fennek as its driver sits in a rather exposed position, DND decided to develop a solution nonetheless. In the end, ERA was not introduced on Fennek but the efforts of DND paid off as its evolved ERA technology is now on order for Puma. Germany has ordered 350 Puma vehicles, 342 AIFVs and eight driver training vehicles that are made by the PSM consortium consisting of Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall. Weisshaupt indicated that 200 ERA packages were on order.
He explained that the system was fully compliant with STANAG 4596 providing full 360 degree protection against hollow charges, not against tandem shaped charges however. Weisshaupt boasted that Puma is the only vehicle in service with the German army that has this level of protection, hereby even outperforming the Leopard 2A6 main battle tank. This is not only due to the ERA protection but also due to the vehicle's mine and roof protection which are supplied by another company. While DND's ERA package weighs 1 tons including 500 kilograms of explosives, Weisshaupt explained that if traditional passive armour had been used this would have resulted in a tenfold increase of the weight of the protection package in order to achieve the same level of protection against a standard RPG-7. DND's ERA package is part of Puma's C (for Combat) protection suite that also comprises add on passive flank armour to protect against medium caliber rounds. The basic A suite protects Puma's sides against 14.5mm rounds while regardless of which suite is installed, the frontal area of the vehicle is protected against medium caliber rounds and hand held anti-tank weapons.

Consisting of boxes that weigh 40 kilograms, DND's ERA solution can be mounted in three to four hours. It is a highly modular system than can easily be adapted for other armoured vehicles. The system has already been tested on the Boxer multirole armoured vehicle while it would also be suited for enhancing Leopard 2's survivability when operating in urban terrain. Weisshaupt also indicated that his company was aiming at operators of M113 and Fuchs vehicles which like Boxer have large surfaces that would need to be covered. In addition, the possible application of the ERA package on the CV90 AIFV is also being looked into.
Pieter Bastiaans

IDEX 2015: World Premier of the Theissen Training Systems' Hostage Target System

Theissen Training Systems showed for the first time ever the Hostage Traget System. It was developed in conjunction with the Kuwait National Guard, and is representing the next advanced level in shooter preparation.

The target system consists of a combination of two independent infantry target mechanisms that are arranged to simulate hostage true-to-life scenarios.  The front target simulates the hostage while the automatically vertical and adjustable back target represents the hostage-taker.  The new target system has a dual purpose; serving as a hostage for rescue while simultaneously providing true target identification and shooter accuracy training to neutralize the threat. The target lifter mechanism, which lifts and lowers the hostage taker silhouette, is mounted on an automatic horizontal adjustable slider and is designed to change the distance to the hostage silhouette. This core-feature enables the end user to train his soldiers from a beginner level, with both silhouettes far away from each other, to a professional level, where the hostage taker is nearly invisible (hidden behind the hostage silhouette). Both target mechanisms are equipped with contact hit sensors to provide immediate feedback of the shooting skills by lowering either one, or both, of the silhouettes after a hit. Furthermore, the contact hit sensors distinguish which silhouette was hit and gives immediate feedback if the shooter hit the hostage and /or the hostage taker silhouette, thus providing skill development in the conduct of “Shoot/Don’t Shoot” training.

For further improvement of training sessions by producing meaningful shooting results, the professional sniper target can be equipped with a TTS Location of Miss and Hit (LOMAH) system. A sensor bar at the target end of the range detects the passage of supersonic projectiles through a professional sniper target and provides “X/Y” coordinate feedback to a display screen at the shooter’s firing point and/or a range control computer. This information displays a graphic interpretation of the Location of the Miss and Hit.

The Hostage Target System is available in a portable, battery powered (12 VDC, others on request, option: solar panel), rechargeable, and radio controlled version, equipped with a frame that accommodates all main components needed to be operated. No site preparation is necessary or required to emplace the system provided that the mechanism is protected from direct fire and ricochets. Hardwired and landline controlled configuration are also available.

It offers two modes: POP-UP (TARGET 1) & SHEARING (TARGET 2), time to expose and retreat is 0.8 sec. each, the hit counter has a frequency of up to 1,200 ROUNDS /min. and support single and burst firing modes. It is IP67 certified.
Andre Forkert

IDEX 2014: Airbus Group Displays Wide Portfolio of Products and Solutions

Airbus Group displays a wide portfolio of products and solutions from Airbus Helicopters and Airbus Defence & Space (DS) including its capabilities in security radars, situational awareness, and security intelligence applications. Models of the A400M, the world’s most modern military transport aircraft, and electro-optical satellites are also on display.

This year Airbus Group’s participation at IDEX also marks an important milestone for the company’s operations in the Middle East as it embarks on a new organisational structure led by Habib Fekih who recently expanded his portfolio to take on the role of President for Airbus Group Africa and Middle East. “The Middle East plays an important role in international business and is a key market for Airbus Group. We have enjoyed a strong and positive presence in the Middle East since we first opened our offices more than four decades ago. Over the years we have initiated a number of strategic partnerships in the region that have contributed to the development of the industry by providing the best of our expertise, services and products,” said Habib Fekih, President, Africa and Middle East, Airbus Group. “In the UAE, our primary goal is to support the Government’s 2030 vision to diversify its economic resources and reduce dependence on oil by 2030. The development of the defence industry is part of that wider vision. In order to support this vision we have streamlined our operations by bringing all our divisions under one roof to exploit synergies and strengthen our services.”

The Airbus Group has a long standing partnerships and a strong presence In the Middle East with representative offices in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman, and Egypt. The Group unites the three activities of commercial aircrafts, defence, and space, as well as helicopters.

IDEX 2015: Northrop Grumman Showcases Large Range of Systems

Northrop Grumman showcases a range of systems including airborne early warning and control (AEW&C), C4ISR, radars, defence electronics, cyber security, and an upgraded helicopter cockpit at booth 02-A10. The company also features leading maritime capabilities, including mine-countermeasure solutions ALMDS and AQS-24, at NAVDEX in booth B-040.

Northrop Grumman is committed to being a trusted, long-term partner with Gulf Cooperation Council countries,” said Doug Raaberg, Chief Executive, Northrop Grumman United Arab Emirates. “IDEX and NAVDEX 2015 are opportunities to renew those ties, shine a spotlight on our leading capabilities and work closely with our customers to enhance the security and development of the region.”

A featured attraction of Northrop Grumman's IDEX exhibit is the E-2D Advanced HAWKEYE AEW&C tactical workstation, which enables visitors to simulate operating an E-2D and learn about its data-gathering features.

During IDEX 2015, Northrop Grumman features its E-2D Advanced HAWKEYE airborne early warning and control tactical workstation, which enables visitors to simulate operating an E-2D and learn about its data-gathering features. Northrop Grumman's global defence capabilities are on display during the show at the company's exhibit in the US pavilion at booth 02-A10 and stand CS-2.
The exhibit also spotlights Northrop Grumman's radar technologies, including LONGBOW fire control radars for the AH-64 APACHE attack helicopter and ground-based radars such as the AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar and the AN/TPS-78 and TPS-703 air surveillance and air traffic control radars.

Among the advanced defence electronics systems on display are the AN/AAQ-28(V) LITENING pod, a combat-proven, self-contained, multisensor targeting and surveillance system.

Northrop Grumman offers a full range of open, interoperable and cyber-hardened command and control and solutions. These solutions include the Citadel Enterprise Battle Command System, a cyber-secure, rapidly deployable and mobile command-and-control system that delivers a single integrated air picture to enable better, timelier decision making. Citadel can easily incorporate current and future sensors and weapon systems for the greatest flexibility to contend with the evolving threat and budget environments.

In addition, Northrop Grumman showcases its upgraded helicopter cockpit. Derived from the US Army's UH-60V BLACK HAWK programme, the system allows customers to have an affordable, highly digital, integrated suite of avionics equipment. The system's integrated architecture can be applied to many platforms through a single software package.

Derived from the US Army's UH-60V BLACK HAWK programme, Northrop Grumman's upgraded helicopter cockpit virtually replicates the newer UH-60M pilot-vehicle interface, providing a common training environment, while extending the life and mission capabilities of the UH-60 platform far into the future. The upgraded helicopter cockpit and other advanced C4ISR capabilities are on display during IDEX 2015 at Northrop Grumman's exhibit in the US pavilion at booth 02-A10 and stand CS-2.

Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in unmanned systems, cyber, C4ISR, and logistics and modernization to government and commercial customers worldwide. 

IDEX 2015: Oshkosh Defense Showcases Unmanned Ground Vehicle Technology

Oshkosh Defense, an Oshkosh company, presents its TERRAMAX Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) technology at the Future Defence Summit Unmanned Systems Conference luncheon on 23 February during IDEX 2015.

In today’s high-threat environment, crew protection and safety are critical, especially as militaries worldwide look to maximize their current troops and equipment,” said US Army Major General (Retired) John Urias, executive vice president of Oshkosh Corporation and president of Oshkosh Defense. “Our extensively tested TERRAMAX technology provides armed forces the option to complete missions in dangerous situations with fewer troops, protecting countless lives.”

The Oshkosh TERRAMAX UGV technology has proven capable of being seamlessly integrated into convoy operations during live-force military evaluations and has been tested in virtually every manner of tactical environment. Unlike remote-controlled or tele-operated systems, TERRAMAX UGVs leverage the latest robotics technology that enables them to perceive and navigate complex, off-road environments entirely unmanned, with minimal operator supervision. TERRAMAX UGVs autonomously complete predetermined missions in the lead, or any position within a convoy while cooperating with other convoy vehicles and maintaining prescribed separation distances. TERRAMAX UGVs can be commanded on the fly to follow the same path as a lead vehicle, and because they do not rely on actively tracking the lead vehicle with its sensors, following distances beyond line of sight are possible. This flexibility is critical for troop safety, providing safe standoff from IEDs.  

Oshkosh has produced and sustained more than 150,000 tactical wheeled vehicles for the United States and International militaries. Oshkosh serves armed forces around the globe by offering a full portfolio of heavy, medium, mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP), airport rescue fire-fighting (ARFF), and light vehicles. As the leading military vehicle manufacturer and ground operations experts, Oshkosh delivers an autonomous system with a great level of integration that can boost the performance and protection levels of logistics convoys. TERRAMAX UGV technology is delivered as a scalable kit that can be tightly integrated onto any tactical vehicle without compromising the vehicle’s original payload and performance capabilities. TERRAMAX UGVs are built to operate for extended periods of time, day or night, through dust and adverse weather without the fatigue or loss of awareness that can commonly afflict human operators.

TERRAMAX is designed to support rapid deployment allowing troops to be trained on TERRAMAX-equipped vehicles in only a few days. The user-friendly TERRAMAX operator control unit (OCU) serves as a significant force multiplier that empowers a single operator to supervise multiple unmanned ground vehicles from a stand-off distance. TERRAMAX UGV technology enables commanders to remove drivers from the vehicle entirely and minimize the number of troops exposed to potential threats, such as IEDs.

Oshkosh has been supporting militaries in the Middle East for nearly 30 years and has a well-established presence with program offices in the United Arab Emirates and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Countries throughout the region, including the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and Oman, rely on Oshkosh vehicles for tactical and logistical operations. Oshkosh retains partnerships with industries in select markets and provides the full spectrum of vehicle life-cycle sustainment capabilities through its Integrated Product Support services.

Oshkosh showcases its Terramax technology and its capabilities at IDEX booth #02-B11 along with the MRAP All-Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV) Extended Wheel Base Medical (EXM) and Light Combat Tactical All-Terrain Vehicle (L-ATV). 

24 February 2015

IDEX 2015: ZF - Proven Technology with Reinforced Components

Trend-Setting Driveline Technology for Light Tracked Vehicles - LSG 1000 HD

New components in the mechanics, hydraulics, and electronics make the LSG 1000 HD a state-of-the-art transmission for the integration into powerpacks. Ideal for light, armored tracked vehicles.

LSG 1000 HD (Photo: ZF)

Maximum Power Output and Safety

With the ZF-LSG 1000 HD Powershift Steering Transmission, light, front-driven tracked vehicles up to 25t move effectively at the highest level of power and safety.Numerous auxiliary power units and accessories are available upon request: from a hydrostatic fan drive system and oil cooler through to final drive and additional components. The modern transmission electronics are CAN-capable and communicate based on the SAE J1939 standard. The transmission can be shifted under load and features six forward and two reverse gears which can be shifted fully automatically. The large transmission-ratio range allows high speeds on the one hand and provides the vehicle with excellent climbing capabilities on the other.  An integrated lock-up torque converter improves the setting-off and acceleration behavior by hydrodynamically increasing the engine torque. The hydrostatic cross-drive steering transmission provides continuously variable, sensitive steering via a timing gear and allows both forwards and backwards steering in the same direction as well as pivot turning of the vehicle. The safety concept of the LSG 1000 HD powershift transmission ensures that the steering system shuts down automatically when the manual transmission is in the neutral position.

(Photo: FFG)

LSG 1000 HD – Field-Tested Technology - More Powerful and More Intelligent

The further development of the successful LSG 1000 powershift steering transmission is the answer to the military requirements of the future, also in the area of light and medium-duty tracked vehicles.

  • Reinforced mechanical shift unit
  • New CAN-capable transmission electronics
  • New mechanical engine interface
  • Reinforced torque converter with torsional vibration 
  • Damper
  • Improved oil filter concept
  • New PTO system
  • Reinforced hydraulic steering unit
  • Various ratio ranges

IDEX 2015: Comprehensive Training Comes into the Crosshairs at Fr. Lürssen

At the IDEX/NAVDEX 2015 exhibition, Fr. Lürssen Werft promotes its full portfolio of surface platforms (ranging from fast patrol and interceptor craft and boats to large fleet support ships), integrated logistics support (including system documentation, spare part management and supply, and repair, refits and upgrades), and consultancy, with the latter focusing on infrastructure, logistic support, material packages, and damage control.

Fr. Lürssen’s Peene-Werft in Wolgast in the State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. (Photo: Lürssen Group)

MILITARY TECHNOLOGY was told in Abu Dhabi that comprehensive training of naval crews became a centrepiece of the shipyards’s naval expertise. It is absolutely essential in taking full advantage of a naval ship’s capabilities, Fr. Lürssen notes in one of its latest presentations. The shipbuilder, which has several manufacturing locations across northern Germany, takes advantage of well-experienced instructors that provide lessons in basic engineering and on-board training in skills and knowledge of naval ships and their complex systems, subsystems, and components. All this expertise is offered by Lürssen Logistics, which provides comprehensive training courses to international clients since about three decades. Naval customers benefit from the full spectrum of training courses that take place in classrooms at the Lürssen Training Centre (LTC) in Lemwerder near Bremen – or aboard naval ships for practical exercises in a variety of fields, including language training; operational and maintenance training; know-how transfer; ship safety training; and training management.

This expertise goes in line with the elementary need to familiarise crews of the shipyard’s clients with the different systems and subsystems on-board naval platforms. Fr. Lürssen’s training concept enables them to deploy their assets for the spectrum of tasks in the maritime security environment.

IDEX 2015: Mercedes-Benz Presenting Excellence

At IDEX 2015, Mercedes-Benz is presenting six vehicles and other exhibits from its product range on the joint German stand, no. 09-A21. It comprises vehicles with permissible gross weight ratings from 3.5 t up to a gross vehicle combination weight of 250 t for customers from the security and defence sectors and public authorities and organisations with security-related remits.

Among the highlights will be the new versions of the Mercedes-Benz Zetros and Mercedes-Benz Actros. The range of exhibits will be rounded off by the agile G-Class and Sprinter. Also on show will be special chassis as modular systems for modernising existing vehicles and constructing new vehicles.

The exhibits at a glance

  • New: Zetros 3643 AS 6x6 with new 430 hp engine variant
  • Combination of Zetros 1833A 4x4 with tank body from Esterer
  • Further development: Actros 4661 AS 8x8 family
  • Sprinter: light-duty 4x4 crew transporter with variable usage concept
  • G-Class 6x6 LRPV: protected three-axle patrol vehicle
  • G-Class 6x6 with crew cab and platform
  • Mercedes-Benz special chassis FGA 14.5

The Mercedes-Benz Integrated Logistics Support service concept (ILS)
The exhibited vehicles and products represent examples from Mercedes-Benz diverse product range, for armed forces and relevant public authorities and organisations, offering solutions for all payload classes and mobility requirements. Based on proven vehicles from large-scale production, the vehicles adapted to military tasks stand equally for the traditional Mercedes-Benz virtues such as reliability, robustness, economic efficiency and safety, underscoring Mercedes-Benz expertise and traditions as the world's largest and oldest truck manufacturer and a producer of G-Class all-terrain vehicles.

Military operations call for robust, reliable and user-friendly vehicles which offer appropriate mobility to meet the given logistical needs and which are suitable for a broad range of different tasks. Mercedes-Benz has a complete range spanning the spectrum from all-wheel-drive vehicles through all-terrain vehicles, transporters and semi-militarised trucks belonging to the Atego, Axor and Actros series, the  all-terrain Unimog and Zetros vehicles to the Actros heavy-haulage vehicle.

Mercedes-Benz supports its customers throughout the vehicles' life cycles. The entire spectrum of Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) standards can also be covered on the basis of the implemented service systems. The support ranges from basic back-up in accordance with the Mercedes-Benz standards to full ILS support in accordance with military standard 1388 2B. This applies to all Mercedes-Benz vehicles. Specially trained ILS managers attend to customers' needs.

Based on the same concept, the uniform vehicle operation philosophy for all model series is designed to guarantee the highest possible degree of standardisation, thereby delivering maximum operating safety with a minimum of training needed.

IDEX 2015: A-DARTER Heading Up Strong Denel Exhibit

Denel's A-DARTER air-to-air missile passed critical in-flight guided tests in recent weeks and production of this fifth-generation missile system is expected to start before the end of 2015. A-DARTER - a collaborative product between the South African and Brazilian defence industries - is on display at IDEX 2015.

Riaz Saloojee, Denel Group Chief Executive, is confident the A-DARTER will be a global leader in its class when it comes into service within the next 18 months. The A-DARTER is designed to meet the challenges of future air combat against next-generation fighters in a hostile electronic counter-measure (ECM) environment. The A-DARTER is the flagship project of Denel Dynamics, the division in the group responsible for advanced systems technology in the missile and UAV environments.

Components for the missile are manufactured in both South Africa and Brazil and Denel Dynamics is the Original Equipment Manufacturer. Brazil has invested 300 million Reals (R1.3 billion) in the project, half of which has gone to Brazilian companies such as Mectron, Avibras, and Optoelectronics, which have been working with Denel Dynamics on the project since 2006. One of Brazil's main reasons for becoming involved in the project is technology transfer and Brazilian engineers have been working closely with those in South Africa.

Testing and integration of the A-DARTER on the JAS 39 GRIPEN used by the South African Air Force have already been done and it will, in future, also be integrated onto the GRIPEN NG, which will be delivered to the Brazilian Air Force in 2018.

The A-DARTER is aimed to be fitted to both GRIPEN and HAWK aircraft of the South African Air Force. There is also talk of integrating the infrared guided weapon onto Brazil's AMX aircraft. Brazil will initially buy a hundred missiles for its GRIPENs, as part of an initial production run of around 250 missiles.

Apart from domestic use by the Brazilian and South African air forces, the A-DARTER will also be offered for export, with these sales being shared, according to Brazilian Air Force Colonel Julius Caesar Cardoso Tavares, the A-DARTER project manager in Brazil.

The wingless missile design promotes a low-risk integration process on both the latest and older generation aircraft platforms. Denel Dynamics can be contracted for prime missile integration on the client's platform of choice, making the A-DARTER a cost-effective solution.

The missile's agility will enable it to handle close combat situations with ease and it also features lock-on after launch and memory tracking capabilities. Among its features are advanced digital processing capabilities to ensure improved performance in terms of image detection, false target rejection, electronic counter-counter-measures, guidance and control.

IDEX 2015: Rolls-Royce Sets up MTU Middle East

Rolls-Royce has set up MTU Middle East as a new regional sales and service subsidiary with head office in Dubai. MTU Middle East is to support distributors and business partners of MTU, MTU Onsite Energy and Bergen Engines in 21 countries in the Middle East and North Africa. The goal is to achieve an even more tightly knit sales and service network. In this region, high-speed and medium-speed large diesel and gas engines, drive systems and on-site power generation systems are mainly deployed in electrical power generation, the oil and gas industry, and to drive trains and agricultural machinery. MTU, MTU Onsite Energy and Bergen Engines are part of Rolls-Royce Power Systems within the Land & Sea division of Rolls-Royce.

"With our new sales and service centre in Dubai, we are seeking to leverage the huge potential that markets in the Middle East and North Africa carry, and to drive forward our business there in an even more targeted way," said Dr Michael Haidinger, Chief Sales Officer at Rolls-Royce Power Systems. To support its partners, the subsidiary has its own MTU service technicians at disposal locally for carrying out repairs on all products and across all applications, quickly and on demand. Its warehouse with spare parts store also facilitates fast reaction times and high availability.

For more information please see MILITARY TECHNOLOGY #2/2015, available at the show and on booth #C1 10-11. 

IDEX 2015: Qioptiq – Right on Target!

Where the soldier is concerned, Qioptiq has long recognised that new product development is crucial in maintaining the capability of a decisive fighting force. For the Special Operations element of that force ensuring mission success through innovative technology applications is vital especially as operations shift from Afghanistan and previously Iraq to new territory and an adaptive evolving enemy.

DRAGON LONG RANGE is part of Qioptiq’s DRAGON family of uncooled Thermal Products from Qioptiq that utilize the latest in uncooled thermal camera, electronics and optical technologies to deliver world leading performance and reliability. (Photos: Qioptiq)

To stay ahead constant innovation, research and technology is important, allowing engineers to consider the challenges of tomorrow and respond through an innovative approach. With a number of potentially revolutionary capabilities emerging as key enabling technologies the roadmap for Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Engagement is becoming increasingly interesting - with significant enhancements in sighting system capability through technology evolution and deeper integration.

It is widely recognised that modern small arms weapon systems are incredibly accurate and reliable, and that the challenge is being able to DRI the target 24 hours a day, through all weathers and battlefield conditions, with users under physical and cognitive pressure. Sighting Systems need to be easy to use, effective through all weathers and provide the ability to detect targets at the maximum range possible in order to prepare the User for the next course of action. The challenge for Qioptiq is to provide all of this capability to the User in a package (or suite) that is easy to use and easily configurable for role/mission requirements, whilst remaining affordable and having the potential to endure a service life of 10-15 years.

When considering soldier and vehicle systems, one is likely to find high performance optics from Qioptiq enabling thermal weapon sights (TWS), observation & targeting sights, NVGs, remote weapon stations (RWS), driver's vision enhancement (DVE), situational awareness (SA), laser designators, eyepieces, helmet mounted displays (HMD), fire control, and laser range finders (LRF). In tactical missile systems one finds advanced domes from Qioptiq. Missile warning and targeting systems are enabled by Qioptiq High performance optical systems for IR and ultraviolet missile warners (MWS), IR countermeasures (IRCM), IRST, targeting pods -along with precision long-range zoom modules for border-surveillance, UAV and maritime applications in surveillance systems.
A flexible approach during design is matched with the capability across the visible to IR wavebands, providing integrated optical solutions with any sensor technology currently available. With a combination of dynamic engineering, manufacturing expertise, motivation and reputation, Qioptiq has the total capability to provide some of the most innovative and focused optical solutions to today's technological challenges. This strategic approach has made Qioptiq the preferred choice for a wide variety of prime contractors and military establishments around the world.

From boots on the ground to eyes in the sky Qioptiq capabilities are enabling mission critical systems and platforms in some of the harshest environments on the planet. 

IDEX 2015: Land, Sea, Air or Unmanned… Rubb Has Got All Vehicles Covered

Rubb returns to IDEX at Stand 06-A38, ADS UK Pavilion, to highlight a new UAV hangar from its respected military building range. Rubb Buildings has found there is a significant demand for a smaller sized hangar with a wide door opening to allow Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in and out of the building. The company has now introduced a new UAV storage and maintenance facility to its EFASS range of fabric structures.

The facility, designed with a lower internal volume, is easier and more cost effective to power (electrics, HVAC). It is designed to suit military loadings (100kg/m2 snow loading and 41.6m/s effective wind speed).

The 23m span x 12m long aluminium framed UAV POD is the seventh hangar to be introduced to Rubb’s Expeditionary Forces Aircraft Shelter System (EFASS) range.

Managing Director Ian Hindmoor said: “We pride ourselves on our R&D and the new UAV POD meets the requirements listed in feedback from our clients and end users. We are looking forward to showcasing this latest product from the EFASS range at IDEX 2015. We are also keen to highlight some of our recent military and aviation projects.”

The company has had a busy year in the military and aviation sector. The UK MoD ordered seven 20.4m span EFASS structures (aluminium framed, fabric covered aircraft shelters) featuring Trident doors at each gable end. Each hangar packs into one 20ft ISO container for transport and includes Zone 1 electrics and insulated fabric cladding.

Rubb was tasked with ensuring that hangars from the range are packed for airfreight according to strict specifications from the Joint Air Delivery Test and Evaluation Unit (JADTEU) at RAF Brize Norton. These packing arrangements have been carried out for the 20.4m EFASS (Trident/Trident), the 18m EFASS Sunshade and the 25m span EFASS (Heli-Door, closed gable).

Rubb also provided a storage and maintenance hangar for all terrain armoured vehicles at a British Forces base in Bielefeld, Germany. The 20.4m span x 40m long fabric military building from Rubb’s EFASS range features 9.8m wide x 5m high roller shutter doors in each gable end for easy access to and from the facility. At the MoD’s request, Rubb also included a roof mounted crane with a Safe Working Load of 1,500kg in the hangar’s design to support ongoing maintenance, repair and overhaul procedures.

Meanwhile the Lithuanian Air Force ordered three new 20.4m span x 12m long EFASS structures with Trident doors at each gable end. The Lithuanian Armed Forces also asked the company to refurbish four existing Rubb hangars that were constructed at the Lithuanian AF Air Base at Šiauliai 10 years ago.

Rubb’s refurbishment service has also been in demand in the UK, with eight military buildings brought back to new standards in 2014, including a 20.4m span x 20m long EFASS vehicle storage facility. It was also future proofed to support an overhead gantry crane. This project was an Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR) that was needed within two weeks, but delivered in just 10 days.

Rubb Buildings’s work in the UAE includes three 23.4m x 36m steel and aluminium hybrid EFASS helicopter maintenance hangars for Horizon Flight Academy at Al Ain International Airport.

Rubb’s Rapid Erect Structures feature aluminium framework that has been designed to maximize strength, minimize weight and still be robust enough to withstand the most challenging environments. The high quality 6082 T6 structural aluminium is annodized black and steel components are hot dipped galvanized to protect from corrosion. The tough PVC covering tensioned membrane forms the protective barrier between the environment and the vehicles and equipment inside. This hangar is clad with insulated fabric panels and can accommodate at least two amphibious vehicles for maintenance and storage. It will also be used to store and protect spare parts, tools and equipment.