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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

27 May 2016

Harris Unveils FALCON III RF-335M-STC SOF Radio

In September 2015, Harris won a $390 million contract to deliver new handheld radio for US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). Delivery should start in September 2017 and go throughout 2020, it is an IDIQ-contract (indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity).

At SOFIC 2016 in Tampa, FL, Harris was showing the new radio for the first time. It will be the Next Generation Handheld for the USSOCOM future. The plan is to replace every handheld with this new product. It was developed in cooperation with TrellisWare.

Attached to this radio can be a third L3 expansion module for ISR Full Motion Video – so a Forward Air Controller/JTAC holds three radios in one very capable and small handheld (15.24x5.08x7.62 cm; 1.22kg). Trellisware is responsible for the TSM-X MANET Network. It is capable of 200+ nodes (functionally unlimited), and every radio also acts as receiver and relay, so communications is also possible in tunnels, caves, ships, etc. The whole system is self-healing and auto-configuring.

The Harris FALCON III RF-335M-STC is a multi-channel handheld radio with Mobile Ad-hoc Networking (MANET) and crossbanding capabilities. Overlapping UHF and SATCOM band availability in both channels offers flexibility for any tactical use. Radio 1 offers VHF (30-88 MHz, 118-512 MHz and UHF 225-512 MHz) as well as MUOS SATCOM, while radio 2 offers UHF (225-450 MHz) with a power output of 5 W and 10 W for SATCOM and L-Band 1300-2600 MHz. Data can be sent with 16 Mbps and Harris’ multi-channel Denali™ security architecture is used. The architecture allows up to 16 independent talk groups, the user can choose who he wants to listen to. Also for the first time ever a SAASM GPS was integrated in a handheld radio, enabled by new smaller GPS receivers. The full-duplex MUOS waveform should be available the first half of 2019.

The display of this handheld is twice as tall as previous Harris handhelds, enabling the status of both channels to be viewed at a glance. And the radio is submersible up to a depth of 20m, even with the L3 ISR module on. Thanks to a 19-pin-ADF, even a USB connection is available along with both audio channels. As a part of the contract a 50W vehicle adapter will be delivered.

26 May 2016

SOFIC 2016: Impressions from the HRO (Hostage Rescue Operation) Demo

Yesterday, the International SOFIC demonstration was held right in front of the Tampa Convention Center – as well as on the surrounding streets, a bridge, the hospital at the opposite side and the water way. According to the organisers SOF soldiers from 24 countries took part in that demo. As vehicles two Sikorsky UH-60 BLACKHAWKs, a Boeing AH-6 LITTLE BIRD and several different boats (two U.S. Navy riverine command boats, several RHIBs) were presented. At the final HALO jumps were conducted from a Lockheed Martin C-130 HERCULES.

SOFIC 2016: Fast Attack Vehicle STORM SRTV

HDT Global is showing the Fast Attack Vehicle STORM SRTV with a five seat configuration. The HDT Storm SRTV (Search & Rescue Tactical Vehicle) was developed in conjunction with Special Operations Forces. Highly mobile and lightweight, this tactical vehicle facilitates mission success in austere environments. The Storm SRTV ensures mission range, provides multi-role configurations, and can be transported internally by M/HC-130P/N/J, C-130/C-130J, KC-130J and C-17 fixed- wing aircraft as well as the CH-47 and CH-53 helicopters. To further enhance mission capability, the vehicle can drive on and drive off these aircraft without shoring and can be deployed through low velocity aerial delivery or JPADS methods.

The USAF Para Rescue Forces have ordered a first lot of this vehicle. It is available in a diesel and gas version.
At the SOFIC demo it is equipped with a BULLRAY amphibious VTOL UAS from Rapid Composites. This UAS can start and land in water (waterproof IP67 design), is made of composite material and need no transport as a protection. The payload should be 7 kg and after 15 seconds it is ready to fly, flight time is up to 45 minutes. Three Picatinny rails offer different implements, it is able to carry the FN Herstal FNH-303 less than lethal launcher system.

STORM features include:
·         High performance mid-engine design with high horsepower (430 hp for the gas engine, diesel has a little bit less hp, but more torque) to provide performance, maneuverability and versatility
·         Long travel suspension and optimized approach and departure angles
·         Carries up to three litters, in rollover protection system (ROP), without modifications, maintaining 360° weapon field of fire
·         Cutting brakes allow U-turns on steep hills within the length and width of the vehicle and allows high speed J-turns
·         A 20' (6.1 m) turning diameter curb-to-curb
·         Performs at 10,000' (3,048 m) above mean sea level with higher horsepower levels than competitive vehicles offer at sea level
·         Traverses terrain considered impassable to conventional vehicles, including vertical rock terrain
·         Rollover safety for all occupants without limiting mission operational performance
·         Extreme maneuverability in rugged environments
·         Rapid evasive maneuverability in confined spaces
·         Range of up to 563 km
·         Towing capacity of 3,855.5 kg

SOFIC 2016: IAI presents loitering munition

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is premiering two new loitering ammunition systems and expanding their family. The biggest one of that family is the HAROP. ROTEM L is the smallest one and a multi-rotor loitering munition fro ground forces. This quadcopter can fly autonomous, with still a man in the loop, up to two seconds before impact the mission can still be aborted. The operator can work based on the EO/IR real time HD video. IAI says the typical range is 1,500 m, the maximum range 10,000 m with a 1 kg warhead. Actually the warhead is two handgrenades, to keep the system simple. The warhead compartment can easily switched with a second battery pack, to expand the flight time from 30 minutes to over 45 minutes for pure ISR missions. ROTEM L is a suicide vehicle, that can return and be reused as long as you don’t want to use the warhead.

GREEN DRAGON is the next bitter system with an endurance of 1.5 hours flight time, a range of 40-50 km and a weight of 15 kg (warhead 3 kg). IAI says the CEP is under 1 m. GREEN DRAGON comes out of a launcher like a missile that unfolds into an UAS. Twelve of these missiles can be fitted on a 4x4 HUMVEE.

Both are controlled with a hardened tablet.

SOFIC 2016: Protection against drones

Drones have been identified as a threat that may become as ubiquitous as IEDs in a recent report from the Center for New American Security. The report called “Uncertain Ground: Emerging Challenges in Land Warfare,” written by former Army Ranger Paul Scharre, says the drone proliferation could create a new, low-level realm where domination of the skies will be a must.

At Battelle’s booth (#2128) an anti-Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) device called DroneDefende is on display, it just zaps drones out of the sky.

The DroneDefender and other Battelle technologies that can be seen at SOFIC:
DroneDefender is a man-portable, accurate and easy-to-use system to provide critical security protection against small UAS devices. The Battelle DroneDefender uses radio control frequency disruption to safely stop drones in the air before they can pose a threat to military or civilian safety. It is an inexpensive, lightweight point-and-shoot system with a demonstrated range of 400 meters. Click here to see a simulation of it in action. The technology is restricted to use by federal authorities under a strict permitting process, but sales are taking off with nearly 100 units sold to the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Non-Standard Commercial Vehicle (NSCV) is a customized armored specialized vehicle Battelle has been supplying to SOCOM for several years. On display will be the Land Cruiser 79 Series demonstrator vehicle which has been updated with new features that improve protection, performance and durability.
HeatCoat is an in-flight aircraft ice protection system based on resistive heating coating. It uses a high-conductivity, carbon nanotube heating coating that conforms to the existing skink of the aircraft and uses intelligent sensors and controls to reduce ice accumulation. Its small size, weight and power envelope are unmatched in the industry and mean more mission payload, range and persistence. It has demonstrated a Technology Readiness Level 6.

HorizonVue M360 Video System uses one of Battelle’s 360-degree cameras and an interactive viewing software system that provides never-before available situational awareness allowing undersea operators to continuously monitor complex operating environments.  The HorizonVue M360 single camera system, which is depth-rated to 4,500 meters, allows operators to capture the same view that would normally require six to nine regular cameras. It also gives the user a virtual pan and tilt capability involving no moving parts, with real-time multicasting and post-event playback capabilities.

SeeTrack software technology from SeeByte, a Battelle company, provides clients in the maritime sector with the most advanced software solutions to enhance the capabilities of their underwater sensors, vehicles and systems. It’s the leading technology used by Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) and Clearance Divers around the world to achieve success in managing off-board assets during dangerous and demanding missions.

25 May 2016

SOFIC 2016: Catoma Premiers BURROW SOF Tent

The BURROW family of SOF tents from manufacturer CATOMA is growing. For the first time CATOMA is showing its newest member BADGER, an ultralight solo tent that weighs less than three pounds (1.33 kg) and sets up in seconds (self pop-up mechanism). It is essentially a double-wall, single-wall hybrid, incorporating the best of both worlds. It offers the ventilation of a double wall with the light weight of a single wall. The overall dimensions are the same as the trusted and proven IBNS bed net that MMI and CATOMA are known for throughout the military community and still offers the ability to be used on a cot or in the field. Made of military spec 1.9 oz. 70D Ripstop Nylon, this is a tough, lightweight single man shelter. Since they pack so small they are perfect for "bug out" or disaster bags.

The tent comes in Coyote Brown or Multicam as colours and two versions (GSA Compliant & Berry Compliant), the material is flame Retardant (CPAI-84) and Permethrin Insect Protection is embedded. The pole material is of fibreglass in body with an aluminium ridge pole. The sides and the front can be opened to observe and deploy weapon effects.

You need a little more space for your gear, take the WOLVERINE with a weight of 2.0 kg. The entry side door opens wide to allow easy entry, and the storage side doors offers a wider vestibule for storing a full size backpack with additional room leftover. This tent is the standard tent of the US Marine Corps.

SOFIC 2016: Tactical Ladder Premier

ATLAS DEVICES is showing their all new Atlas Tactical Ladder (ATL), a high strength aluminum collapsible bridging, ladder, litter system ideal for jump, maritime, and urban lean-to and hook and climb tactical access mission requirements. Two ATL can be joined to reach heights of 15-18ft. The system has a weight of under 4.5 kg.

Built on a core Atlas Devices ladder technology backbone, the ATL system is a true multi-mission system. It combines the packable, height-conformable strength and tailor-ability of a ladder and bridge with the speed, efficiency, and security of a vertical/horizontal hoist-able patient litter. The integrated handle designs enable effective patient manipulation and longer duration carries.

The carrying system (MOLLE SYSTEM INTEGRATED GEAR (MSIG) PACK) of the ladder can also be used to fix the wounded soldier when used as a stretcher.

SOFIC 2016: Photographic Recap of Day 2

SOFIC 2016: Premier of Polaris Turbo Diesel MRZR

For the first time ever, Polaris Defense, is showing the MRZR turbo diesel in a four seater version (MRZR-D4). MRZRs have redefined ultralight, off-road mobility for military vehicles and are mission critical for expeditionary forces in the U.S. and more than 20 allied countries to meet mission demands and threats while forward deployed.

To be as expeditionary as the warfighters that use them, MRZR vehicles are V-22 helicopter transportable and can be configured a number of ways, including two-, four- and six-person. The turbo-charged diesel engine in the new MRZR-D has been engineered to meet the performance and physical specs of the original MRZR vehicles. While many key features – like the dimensions, payload, towing, ground clearance, accessories, handling and other features – remain the same, Polaris incorporated feedback from the field in the new product, including updated occupant seating space, ergonomics and sightlines. Part of these improvements is the Roll Over Protection System (ROPS), it is very quickly faultable, to make intern transportable easier. The MRZR-D also provides increased auxiliary power and greater range, making it even more effective. Polaris said, that the range is extended by +80% compared to the gas engine. With that the whole sideline is new, here is no brace in front of the front seats distracting the front view. The engine also functions as an auxiliary power system (110A) for additional sensors integrated in the vehicle.

The new turbo diesel powertrain is significant in reducing the logistics burden for select U.S. services and many foreign militaries that have strict requirements for diesel fuel,” Jed Leonard, senior manager, Polaris Defense, said. “And as importantly for our military customers, we’ve engineered this diesel powertrain to meet the same mission requirements and extreme off-road performance that Polaris and the MRZR are trusted for in peacetime, security operations, and conventional military missions.”

Throughout the last three years, we’ve had an open dialogue with Polaris about how we were using the MRZRs, and enhancements that would help us complete our missions more effectively. This has been very beneficial to us in the program office and the warfighters as Polaris has incorporated our requests. In the case of the MRZR-D, we suggested changes to improve sightlines and ergonomics which were incorporated,” Brendon Reedy, LTATV acquisition program manager, PEO-SW/FOSOV, USSOCOM, explained. “It’s nice to see commercial companies such as Polaris continue to invest in the Defense industry and we’re happy those investments have resulted in a turbo-diesel MRZR.”

Production continues for the original gas powertrain MRZR 2 and MRZR 4 under the LTATV program for USSOCOM and other international contracts. Orders for the 4-seat turbo-charged MRZR-D are being accepted now, with production and deliveries will be starting in autumn. Also in fall there will be a MRZR-D2 version being released.

Polaris Defense vehicles deliver a coveted combination of deployability, versatility and off-road mobility, forged from more than 60 years of off-road vehicle experience that is simply unmatched. From the rugged Sportsman MV 850 to the modular and nimble MRZR, to the trophy truck inspired and ultimate off-road payload capable DAGOR, the enhanced tactical mobility provided by Polaris vehicles gives an advantage back to dismounted troops, allowing formations to move faster, carry more and significantly reduce combat fatigue. And because the vehicles are in service throughout the world, there is a high degree of interoperability and commonality among US and allied forces. An established network of more than 1,400 Polaris dealers and distributors provide military vehicle training, service and support worldwide.

You need more payload, take the DAGOR. It is capable to carry different weapon stations on top, up to .50 systems. On display is a Dillon MiniGun.