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- MILITARY TECHNOLOGY
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17 October 2016
11 October 2016
The Queen is NOT Dead – Long Live the Queen
Companies like Rheinmetall have poured significant efforts into developing these upgrade offers and are reaping the benefits in the form of contract awards on several continents. Although all three of the elements of the ‘magic triangle’ hierarchy of needs – protection, mobility and firepower – have been taken into consideration, the last of these remains foremost in the minds of many operators. The imperative for increased lethality in the face of ever increasing threats has exercised the best technical and engineering minds at Rheinmetall. And the result has been a series of developments that hold great promise for the continued longevity of the MBT as a powerful, vital and flexible sovereign of the future battlespace.
Programme Manager for all 120mm armament and ammunition programmes at Rheinmetall, Dirk Gerthenrich, told an audience in Berlin on 7 October that crises such as Ukraine and Syria have fuelled a willingness among the company’s customers to re-evaluate the effective4ness of their MBT fleets and to supplement rather than replace MBTs with medium weight weapon systems with similar firepower. “There is also increasing concern about the effectiveness of large calibre ammunition against modern protection such as that on the T-14 Armata introduced in 2015 – and that is prompting consideration of an improved KE round such as the DM73,” he said.
He believes there is strong evidence to support the fact that only two calibres will survive beyond the next few years as far as MBT main armament is concerned: 120mm smoothbore for ‘Western’ designs and 125mm smoothbore as the Russian and former Warsaw Pact nations standard. Despite this, there is still interest in the L51 130mm future main armament Rheinmetall unveiled last year – the advantages of an increased chamber volume and chamber pressures up to 880MPs offer an improvement in performance that is just too good to turn down.
Customers, however, need to become more savvy in order to derive optimal benefit from investment in improving anti-armour performance, according to Gerthenrich. “There are some customers who still demand performance evaluation based on the ability to penetrate RHA (Rolled Homogenous Armour), despite the fact there is not a current generation MBT out there that still depends on an RHA protection solution. Such tests are expensive and time consuming – and are now of very questionable value,” he said.
Rheinmetall’s current 120mm smoothbore range consists of three models: the L/44, the L/47LR (Low Recoil) and the L/55 – which he characterises as “the normal one, the smooth one and the quicker one” respectively. The first and the last of have under feasibility studies examining the development of an ‘A1’ version of each, featuring higher gas pressures capable of getting maximum utility from new performance-enhanced kinetic energy rounds. Further development will have to be customer financed, the company has decided, but Gerthenrich revealed that “the pilot customer for the L55A1 is going to be the German Army.”
In addition to KE munitions, he points to a trend towards ‘multi-purpose’ secondary ammunitions (HE MP) as being a ‘one size fits all’ solution to the increasing range of targets faced by MBTs in the broader range of operational scenarios now common to most armed forces: deployed troops, missile positions, light/medium armoured vehicles, infrastructure, field fortifications – even helicopters.
Rheinmetall’s proposed solutions address the continuing viability of the MBT’s future as a vital component of a wide range of responses to operational requirements. Rumours of the Queen’s death, it would seem, have been grossly exaggerated!
05 October 2016
AUSA 2016: Bluewater Defense and Vorbeck Exhibit Advanced Wearable Antennas
Bluewater Defense and Vorbeck Materials on booth #7617 announced the introduction of next generation, high performance wearable antennas for military, tactical and commercial use in apparel and equipment featuring multiple communication bands including LTE capabilities.
Bluewater and Vorbeck partnered to offer robust, high-gain, low-cost, and discrete conformal printed graphene antennas embedded in military apparel and backpacks with omni-directional coverage through the deployment of an array of antennas, supporting wide frequency range from 800-3000Mhz.
“We expect that our military and defense leaders will appreciate a high performance wearable antenna with little or no silhouette, therefore better protecting the warfighter,” Vorbeck’s CEO, John Lettow, told MT. “Two additional benefits of this technology are that it delivers real-time, “on-the-go” communication capabilities because there is no need to deploy an external antenna, and they also interface with traditional electronics, making them very easy to field.”
Vorbeck has pioneered the use of graphene in printed, flexible electronic components and systems for a wide variety of industries and applications. Using high volume printing technologies and its suite of commercial Vor-ink formulations, Vorbeck designs and fabricates multilayer electronic products, including antennas, sensors, switches, and wiring.
From military and defence applications to security packaging, RFID, and consumer wearable electronics, Vorbeck’s patented flexible electronic and antenna technologies can be embedded anywhere including; jackets, clothing, backpacks, briefcases, and other assorted wearables, and labeling--to improve communication in a digital world.
“Our strength is our ability to ‘connect the past with the future’,” Eric Spackey, CEO, Bluewater Defense, continued. “With Vorbeck’s next generation cellular antenna technology, we are moving information from the fabric of what we wear to the Cloud.”
Bluewater and Vorbeck are featuring a variety of apparel, backpacks, action packs, straps and other related products at their booth.
AUSA 2016: US Army Gunners Receive New Hand Stations for Improved Firepower
Elbit Systems of America announced today that it received a $7.3 million contract to supply the Bradley Fighting Vehicle Gunner’s Hand Station to the US Army. The Defense Logistics Agency sole-source contract will be performed during a two-year period with work being completed in Fort Worth, Texas.
“As the trusted supplier of combat vehicles electronic and electro-optics systems for over two decades, we understand the importance of a reliable solution for improving soldiers’ firepower,” Amela Wilson, vice president of Sensors & Fire Control Solutions at Elbit Systems of America, informed MT. “We have delivered the Gunner’s and Commander’s Hand Station units in the past and are pleased to continue providing U.S. Army Bradley gunners with this capability. We also recognize the need for advanced vehicles and are committed to supporting the Army’s combat ground vehicle modernization campaigns.”
The Gunner’s Hand Station provides Bradley vehicle gunners the ability to acquire their target and fire accurately. Working in collaboration with the Commander’s Hand Station, the Gunner’s Hand Station is used to drive the rate of movement of the Bradley turret and to initiate control signals to the turret fire control systems in the Bradley M2A3/M3A3 vehicle.
In addition to the Gunner’s Hand Station, Elbit Systems of America also provides the Commander’s Hand Station and the Turret Processing Unit for the Bradley Fighting Vehicle.
AUSA 2016: Curtiss-Wright Shows Rugged PSU3-THOR Power Supply
Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions division at booth #319 introduced the company's first 3Uembedded power supply that also delivers system I/O expansion without increasing slot count.
The rugged PSU3-THOR power supply combines dual XMC mezzanine slot expansion and a 6-port PCI Express (PCIe) Gen2 switch all in a single 3U VPX slot unit. It enables system designers to provide 285 or 485 watts of power to support today’s demanding deployed applications while simultaneously reducing their 3U VPX system’s size, weight, power and cost (SWaP-C) envelope. The PSU3-THOR’s built-in 24-lane 6-port PCIe switch provides the backplane interface for its dual XMC sites while eliminating the need for a separate XMC carrier or switch card. The power supply’s PCIe switch also provides up to four extra x4 PCIe ports, significantly expanding overall system I/O. The PSU3-THOR power supply is ideal for use in today’s latest generation of high performance small form factor 3U based embedded systems. It also provides a compelling solution for expanding the capabilities of legacy 3U systems through technology refresh.
“Many of our customers face the daunting challenge of reducing the size of their embedded subsystems while deploying more power and I/O hungry processing performance,” said Lynn Bamford, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Defense Solutions division. “Over the last 5 years, we have seen average system size requirements decrease by up to 40%, while the power required for the latest technology has increased over 50%. That’s what makes our new PSU-THOR power supply a breakthrough for system integrators. It’s the industry’s first 3U form factor power supply to deliver XMC card expansion and a 6-port PCIe Gen2 switch all in a single compact unit.”
AUSA 2016: Airborne Systems’ Releases Hi-5 Parachute
Airborne Systems North America presents the Hi-5 as the latest addition to their line of High Performance Ram Air Parachutes. The Hi-5 demonstrates exceptional ram air glide performance while allowing glide modulation to descend quickly and land accurately.
The Hi-5 has a remarkable 5.5:1 glide ratio and can transition to a 1:1 glide ratio with a simple control input using the Glide Modulation System. Unlike other methods of angle control, such as front riser trim tabs, Airborne Systems Glide Modulation System does not increase the total speed of the canopy, providing a safe transition at any altitude. This eliminates the need for multiple spirals or S-turns at low altitude, and allows for extremely accurate landings using safe straight-in approaches. The jumper is in total control of where they are and when they arrive on target. In addition to the leap forward in glide ratio technology, the Hi-5 is also easy to maintain and handle for a jumper, and very intuitive to pack for a rigger. The Hi-5 bridges the gap between the Intruder/RA-1 (shown below at AUSA 2016) and our Hi-Glide parachutes, providing a wing with a high glide, accurate landings, and the ability to descend into tight areas safely.
AUSA 2016: Lockheed Martin Receives Contract for APACHE Sensor Upgrades
The US Army awarded Lockheed Martin a $49.3 million contract to upgrade the Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor (M-TADS/PNVS) on the AH-64E APACHE helicopter.
Under this contract, Lockheed Martin will produce an additional 42 Modernized Day Sensor Assembly (M-DSA) upgrade kits and spares for the US Army as part of Lot 1 production. Production will take place at Lockheed Martin’s facilities in Orlando and Ocala, Florida, through March 2019.
“M-DSA gives APACHE aircrews the ability to more rapidly identify targets and coordinate with troops on the ground, which improves mission success,” said Tom Eldredge, director of M-TADS/PNVS production programs at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “M-DSA’s modular design reduces operation and support costs, and will be supported by our award-winning Performance-Based Logistics sustainment programme.”
With M-DSA upgrades, pilots can identify targets at farther distances through an additional field of view and extended range picture-in-picture capability. They also now have the ability to view high-resolution, near-infrared and color imagery on cockpit displays. M-DSA also provides a new laser pointer marker that improves coordination with ground troops, and an updated multi-mode laser with eye-safe lasing capability that supports flight in urban environments and home-station training.
M-TADS/PNVS provides APACHE helicopter pilots with long-range, precision engagement and pilotage capabilities for mission success and flight safety during day and night and in adverse weather conditions. Lockheed Martin has delivered more than 1,350 M-TADS/PNVS systems to the US Army and 15 countries.
TechNet Europe 2016 – Seen and Heard
Over 200 delegates: 20 nations represented; 34 speakers – and an articulate and eloquent debate, with some measure of agreement that government and industry need to partner more closely, but no really crystal clear roadmap as to how to achieve that – yet.
Rear-Adm. Maarten Tossings, Principal Director of Organisation and Chief Information Officer, Netherlands Ministry of Defence:
“There are questions in every aspect of the cyber defence domain – questions we have yet to resolve. For example, I was meeting recently with some major banks and they were quite surprised to learn that defending [their IT systems] is not currently a task for the military.”
“Tactical ISR – that is Big Data in practice!”
Terry Halvorsen, Chief Information Officer, US DoD:
“The cyber issue is everywhere – it is pervasive and accelerating – and that is a problem for government: our systems and processes are not keeping pace.”
“Outsourcing [of generic or specific IT functionality] is not the optimal solution: but partnership perhaps is. I believe our ability to bring in the true partnership we need between government and industry is our secret for success.”
“The leadership needs to pull back responsibility for transparency from the lawyers – because at the moment it is not working.”
Dr. Jamie Shea, NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges
“Cyber is the ultimate democratisation of conflict.”
“Organised crime is now offering cyber security services to jihadists.”
Murray Davidson, Director of Strategy, NCI Agency
“Whenever there is a problem, it is a people problem.”
“I worry about the future – about what I will be asked to fix. That is the biggest part of my real job.”
“We have forgotten about symmetric warfare. We need to be planning for a borader range of contignencies.”
Col. Hans van Dalen, Commander, Netherlands Joint ISTAR Command
“We face a new kind of warfare – chaoplexic warfare in which chaos provides the metrics rather than energy or effects.”
Lt.-Gen. Riho Terras, Commander, Estonian Defence Forces
“The current situation [in Europe] is beginning to look more and more like that just before the First World War: it is a total mess everywhere.”
“Russia has just appointed a new Parliament: ‘elected’ is too strong a word for the process in which only 16% [of the electorate] voted.”
“Our defence budget represents what we can do: the US spends the equivalent of our defence budget every five hours.”
Peter Rost, Head of Business Development & Marketing, Rohde & Schwarz Cybersecurity GmbH
“The ‘Airbag’ model of cyber defence: “If it happens, make it hurt less!”
“Society wise, we are still in the Wild West era,” in response to “is it not more likely a hostile cyber attack will be made against civil rather than military infrastructure?”
Dr. Phil Jones, Head of Countries and Operations Cybersecurity (Europe), Airbus Defence & Space
“We need to be investing in active disruption,” in response to “should be focus investment in defensive or offensive cyber capability?”
Maj.-Gen. Koen Gijsbers (ret.), General Manager, NCI Agency
“There is an arc of insecurity and instability along NATO’s periphery and beyond, especially to the east and south.”
“Interoperability is not all about technology: it is maybe 10% technology and the rest relies on our understanding and ability to work together.”
“Agility is the most important factor. Cyber needs to move faster from the technology to the operational domain: nothing is static.”
“Innovation money no longer lies with government: it is with industry. The IT industry in Silicon Valley alone has more than $100 billion a year [to fund innovation].”
TechNet Europe 2016 “Make no mistake: Russia is preparing for war”
Addressing the delegates assembled at TechNet Europe 2016 on board the SS ROTTERDAM this morning, Lt.-Gen. Riho Terras, Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces, warned the audience that, “Russia is the principal challenge. This is not a weather front approaching from the east that may blow over. It is fundamental climate change. Make no mistake, Russia is preparing for war.”
It is rare for so senior an officer to be so brutally frank in public. It should also be noted that the General stressed his views were his own and not a statement of national policy. Nonetheless it is an infrequent experience to hear so starkly articulated an impression of the current state of European geopolitics. And it it makes a somewhat deeper impression for that.
Couching his remarks under the headline ‘A View from the Alliance’s eastern flank,’ General Terras commented that events in Ukraine in particular have helped to change NATO’s and the EU’s views – but that there is still some mileage to be made up for. “Nobody believed that events in Georgia or Ukraine would develop as they did – but they did. Was it a wake-up call? Yes – but the wake-up call was snoozed. Russia is using our weaknesses against us very cleverly and we need to deal with that – not by confronting them but by finding solutions,” he said.
Estonia’s proximity to Russia and its history make the General’s views perhaps inevitable. But that does not make them any less valid. Russian forces in the western military districts have trebled in size and structures have reverted to the Cold War formations of divisions and regiments, rather than a more flexible brigade structure as has been the case recently. Russian nuclear forces have gone to a high state of alert several times in 2016 already – not counting those occasions on which they have been participating in exercises. Russian concepts of operations currently focus on the use of tactical nuclear strike as a method of de-escalation, since, “they are convinced NATO will not respond in like manner,” the General said.
He recognises that the maintenance of a dialogue with Russia is essential, but points out that, “a dialogue needs two ends, and at the moment they are not talking [openly] to us…..We need to invest in our early warning in order to get inside the Russian decision cycle – and there we have the challenge that they have only one head in the cycle – NATO has 28, soon to be 29.”
Bringing his address to a close in dealing with cyber warfare, General Terras’ remarks ran somewhat counter to the tenor of other speakers at the conference. “Cyber is not unique or special – it is just another aspect of the multi-dimensional warfare spectrum that we now face,” he said. Without belittling its importance, he believes cyber defence is an integral part of a wider strategy needed to counter the principal direct threat his nation faces. “The Russians understand heavy metal above all else,” he stated, referring to the deterrent effect of well-founded and well prepared conventional forces centred on heavy armour capability.
Well-articulated and passionately delivered, General Terras’ point of view deserves a much wider hearing than the small, albeit highly focused and high powered audience in Rotterdam. They bring harsh illumination to bear on an issue that many have discussed – and ignored as being too difficult of resolution. Perhaps it is time for that snooze button to be disengaged!
04 October 2016
AUSA 2016: Qioptiq Showcasing KESTREL I2 Rugged Night Vision Binocular
At AUSA 2016, Qioptiq, an Excelitas Technologies company, is showcasing its KESTREL Image Intensified Rugged Night Vision Binocular, which is currently gaining large interest from specialised users.
The KESTREL binocular configuration enables enhanced depth perception and is particularly suitable for vehicle driving, parachute jumps and Special Forces operations, even at very low light levels. KESTREL provides state of the art and rugged mechanical design offering stability of the goggle bodies for improved comfort during long periods o use. KESTREL offers great optical performance in a similar size and weight to other binoculars. KESTREL is available in two versions offering different weight / performance options:
KESTREL LW (Light Weight) with F/1.2 lens: Reduced weight for increased mobility
KESTREL HP (High Performance) with F/0.95 lens: Fast aperture collects 60% more light than conventional binoculars for increased sensitivity at low light levels, according to the company.
KESTREL provides a wide range of adjustments, allowing the user to set the NVG to his requirements. Additionally a ruggedised helmet mount has been developed to be compatible with a range of Helmet Mounting Shrouds.
Features of the KESTREL include: Field of view: 40°; Objective lens: F/1.2 (LW), F/0.95 (HP); Focus Range: 25cm to infinity; Dioptre Range: -5 to +3 dioptres.
KESTREL is a self-contained system operating on a single AA battery or with a rear battery-pack for longer operations and is compliant with military standard requirements.
AUSA 2016: AeroVironment Introduces Multi-Pack Launcher for Switchblade and Blackwing
Today at AUSA 2016, AeroVironment introduced a Multi-Pack Launcher (MPL) for it’s SWITCHBLADE Lethal Miniature Aerial Missile System and it’s BLACKWING tube-launched unmanned aircraft.
The MPL can be employed in Forward Operating Bases and controlled from remote locations, such as bunkers and buildings, to protect system operators from incoming fire. For land forces, the MPL can also be integrated into tactical ground vehicles to provide force protection and ISR on-the-go. The MPL comes in a standard 6-pack configuration weighing 160lbs. fully loaded.
AeroVironment’s design is scalable from 2 to 20 SWITCHBLADE/BLACKWING rounds and enables rapid reload of less than 30 seconds per round. The MPL can be powered via shore and tactical vehicle power, and is also equipped with solar panels and an internal battery pack to ensure uninterrupted operation. Future naval versions of MPL will enable surface ships to launch multiple BLACKWING UAVs rapidly to provide multi-UAV ISR and Cross-Domain Communications, Command and Control.
“Our new Multi-Pack Launcher is compact, modular and rugged to provide fixed and mobile force protection and ISR for our warfighters in frontline operating environments,” Kirk Flittie, AeroVironment vice president and general manager of its Unmanned Aircraft Systems business segment, told MT. “We designed MPL from the ground-up to address warfighters’ needs, based on our extensive operating and training experience in the field, for easy installation, integration and operation. The MPL’s ability to launch either our SWITCHBLADE rounds or our BLACKWING UAVs provides additional flexibility to our customers to address a growing number of mission requirements in the future.”
AUSA 2016: AM General Introduces HAWKEYE Lightweight 105mm Howitzer
At AUSA 2016, AM General is displaying its new HAWKEYE lightweight 105mm recoiless howitzer on the chassis of a HMMWV 1152.
The HAWKEYE howitzer system, by the Mandis Group, incorporates advances in protection, payload, suspensions and life-cycle sustainment – at an affordable price to meet the expeditionary requirements of intwrnational customers. It exemplifies the steady evolution of the HMMWV based on customer feedback, battlefield experiences, and innovation, according to the company.
The HAWKEYE 105mm is lightweight at less than 2,400 lbs. (1,100 kg), fires 360 degrees, and has a direct fire scope that is digital camera in conjunction with the digital fire control.
TechNet Europe 2016 Dutch MoD Overhauling IT
Speaking to the opening session of TechNet Europe 2016 on board the SS ROTTERDAM this morning, Rear-Adm. Maarten Tossings, the Principal Director of Organisation and Chief Information Officer of the Netherlands Ministry of Defence, stressed the pervasive nature of the IT conundrum for his command.
“Since 2014 we have been overhauling our processes and seeking a better way of achieving our objectives,” he said. “If you visit Dutch forces serving in Mali today, the first thing you will see on getting off the plane is people using SAP [enterprise software] to manage logistics – and everybody here knows how important logistics are to any complex operation. It should never be forgotten that sometimes we have to operate in quite a Spartan environment.”
Reconstituting the IT capabilities of an entire armed force is a challenging prospect, to say the least. Tossings and his command distinguish between ‘white IT’ – the infrastructure required to conduct and manage all the business of a government department – and ‘green IT’ – the capabilities required to conduct information warfare and counter hostile cyber intent. The former can, to a degree, be outsourced. The latter requires levels of security and specialisation that make it imperative uniformed personnel guide and implement the change process.
Nevertheless, Tossings’ vision is to bring about a single infrastructure that will gracefully and efficiently address both sets of requirements. The overarching theme of the Dutch approach, in his words, is “to harness innovation and government-industry partnering to the maximum possible degree,” – a sentiment echoed by every other speaker in the keynote session opening the conference.
Organised by AFCEA Europe and attracting over 200 delegates from across Europe and North America, TechNet Europe 2016 is examining the issue of “Changing the Game in Security – Key Role for C4ISR.” The conference runs 3-5 October.
TechNet Europe 2016: “We Need More Than We Have”
In a keynote speech to the opening session of TechNet Europe 2016 on board the SS ROTTERDAM this morning Terry Halvorsen, Chief Information Officer for the US DoD, told delegates he was not entirely satisfied with the preparedness of the defence community vis-à-vis its readiness to deal with the challenge of the cyber security world.. “We’re not making enough people with the right skills worldwide – we definitely need more than we have right now,” he said, speaking to the issue of ensuring the right people are in place with the right tools, attitudes and capabilities t to respond to the rapidly changing threat environment.
Addressing the conference’s principal theme: “Changing the Game in Security: New Role for C4ISR,” he focused on the issue of human resources as a critical one to be overcome before implementation issues can be resolved. “I worry a whole lot more about the people than I do about the technology: we do not have a unique set of problems here,” he said.
He sees the necessity of change as paramount – in process, in capability development and in resource management. “This is going to be another extremely disruptive period in IT: the pervasive nature of the cyber threat is evolving and accelerating rapidly and our systems and processes are not keeping pace. We don’t know what will happen in the future – but we pretend we do and the result is that today we are still fielding legacy systems.”
If a $50,000 cyber-attack tool can take down and nullify a multi-billion dollar supposedly secure communications systems, “who is on the wrong side of the cyber-economic curve,” he asked.
He did not paint a picture of utter doom and gloom, however – he stressed that a better, more productive relationship with industry is not only a prerequisite for better performance, but is an issue in the making: it is beginning to happen. The imperative for change in this respect – for a new way of doing business – was a theme echoed by other representatives of national and institutional organisations in the keynote speech session.. A receptive audience of over 200 delegates from nations across Europe and North America is readying itself for more insight – and potentially for more encouragement.
AUSA 2016: Jenoptik Expands Laser Rangefinder Product Family
Jenoptik presents the DLEM 20 at booth #1161. The lightweight weighs less than 33 grams and measures distances up to 5km with an accuracy of half a meter. DLEM 20 is the latest, smallest and lightest product of the previously four-strong DLEM family with its broad range of military applications.
The eye-safe DLEM 20 Class 1 laser is barely higher than a one-euro coin. It is distinguished in operation by low energy consumption and has very high accuracy, even at extreme temperatures of -40 to +80 degrees – even with highly reflective targets.
The low beam divergence produces a very small measuring point which greatly improves the accuracy for small targets at large distances. Added to this is a high selectivity when detecting several, overlapping targets. The DLEM 20 measures fixed targets and moving targets at up to 25 Hz. With its compact, robust design and good measuring characteristics, the DLEM 20 is the smallest and lightest unit in its family. These product characteristics enable it to be easily fitted in hand-held surveillance and firing control systems as well as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).
AUSA 2016: Esterline Exhibits Human-Machine Interface Solutions
Four of the key Esterline brands - Korry, Mason, Codis, and Racal Acoustics - are exhibited at the show, providing a range of HMI solutions.
Esterline showcases the Codis GVD-126 display, its new GVA-compliant video display. This latest addition to its lineup of Generic Vehicular Architecture (GVA) displays is a 10.4in rugged touchscreen that provides real-time imaging of network video streams as well as composite-analog and DVI inputs. It combines high-performance imaging in a compact footprint to deliver an ergonomic solution for space-constrained vehicle applications.
Among the broad selection of Codis rugged displays at the show will also be products selected for the UK AJAX programme, including:
- TX-335S turret crew station displays, which present gunners and commanders with logistics, mission-system and gun-control information.
- TX-321S triple-head driver's displays to render a near-seamless 120-degree image of the route with selectable front or rear view in day or night vision.
On display from the Korry brand are the Commander Data Entry Tool (CDET) keyboard, featuring area-lit LED dome-switch technology for exceptionally long life, lighting uniformity, color and brightness. Korry products were the first illuminated high-quality cockpit controls in the aerospace industry.
Showcased Mason products include HMI controls engineered for rugged performance, including both rotary-aircraft cockpit controls as well as HaWC hand-held controllers for unmanned systems and ground missions. Mason HaWC controllers have been engineered for air, land and sea environments for both military and civilian applications.
In addition, Esterline displays its Racal Acoustics ELITE in-ear hearing protection system for state-of-the-art hearing protection, advanced local situational awareness and secure communications. Also on show will be Racal Acoustics high-performance Raptor medium-noise headsets, offering premium hearing protection, communication intelligibility and situation awareness. Raptor headsets are already deployed in over 300,000 Humvee vehicles.
AUSA 2016: Northrop Grumman Highlights Full Range of Solutions
- Integrated ASE and Situational Awareness
- Family of Tactical Radars
- UH-60V BLACK HAWK Cockpit Digitisation Upgrade solution
- Cyber Resiliency IRAD
- Fusion Genesis
- Fires Capabilities
- Family of AESA Radars
- Ballistic Missile Detection / JTAGS / DAS Hostile Fire
- Precision Targeting
- Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System (IBCS)
- Manoeuvre Capabilities
- HELLHOUND Light Reconnaissance Vehicle
- HMMWV Modernisation Solution
- Mission Command Solutions
- Ground Communications
- Worldwide Navigation Systems
- Freedom Tactical Radios (MANPACK jammer, vehicular and airborne radios)
- Smart Node Pod
- Global Combat Support System–Army
- Biometric Ecosystem (BioSled, BioBroker, BioVector)
- Secure Communications System
AUSA 2016: Rockwell Collins Ensures Mission Readiness
“We continue to offer the US Army solutions that ensure mission readiness, while also introducing new products and capabilities—such as next generation vision systems—that are available today,” Mike Jones, Vice President and General Manager, Navigation and Electronic Warfare Solutions for Rockwell Collins, told MT at AUSA.
Rockwell Collins is also introducing and demonstrating its new combat helmet-mounted Integrated Digital Vision System (IDVS) for soldiers at their booth.
The IDVS is an advanced display system that combines real-time mission data with multispectral vision sensors into one view for greater situational awareness and is a hands-free, helmet-mounted display system that fuses incoming data from various sources, such as a command centre, other soldiers, or drones, with multispectral vision. The system does this while automatically transitioning from dark to light environments in real time, allowing users to have a complete view of everything that is happening around them.
Other capabilities displayed at the Rockwell Collins include:
- TruNet communications networked solutions: Tailorable to mission requirements, TruNet gives complete control of ground-air networked communications across the entire battlespace.
- Assured PNT solutions: Reliable and trusted legacy and next-generation PNT solutions meeting the demands of a dynamically changing threat environment.
- Wearable FIRESTORM integrated targeting system: Enabling JTACs and JFOs to seamlessly integrate with airborne assets, FIRESTORM is a flexible, wearable solution for ground targeting, air support and call-for-fire missions.
AUSA 2016: Orbital ATK Armament Systems Division – Advanced Ammunition Development
|Mark44 S-LF Gun (Photo: Orbital ATK)|
Currently, Armament Systems produces a full suite of 20mm, 25mm, Light Weight 30mm, and 30mm ammunition for medium calibre cannons. The division also produces a full range of training and tactical, 120mm ammunition for the ABRAMS tank and 105mm training ammunition for the STRYKER Mobile Gun System.
Armament Systems recently has developed the 30mm, MK310 PABM-T (Programmable Air Burst Munition with Tracer) and is in service with international customers. The MK310 is designed for use with the company’s MK44 BUSHMASTER Chain Gun. The MK310 uses a turns and times counting fuzing that provides the extremely reliable burst point accuracy. The round uses an inductive fuze setter that is easily integrated into new MK44 cannons and platforms or as an upgrade to existing systems.
The division is currently developing a suite of 40mm ammunition to support a system approach (gun and ammunition specifically paired for optimal performance) the company’s MK44 BUSHMASTER Chain Gun in its 40mm configuration – also known as the MK44 STRETCH. The ammunition suite consists of TP-T (Target Practice with Tracer), HEI-T (High Explosive Incendiary with Tracer), and APFSDS-T (Armor Piercing Fin Stabilized Discarding Sabot with Tracer).
Orbital ATK Armament Systems recently developed the 120mm KET (Kinetic Energy Tungsten) tank cartridge and has approval for international sales. The proprietary designed, tungsten-based penetrator provides allied militaries with an overmatch capability to defeat threat armour with a cartridge that is fully compliant with NATO standardization requirement for 120mm guns. Most allied nations require a tungsten-based penetrating rod for armour penetrating cartridges. “Current competitor tungsten offerings are much less capable than Orbital ATK’s KET in their ability to defeat modern protective armour,” the company said at AUSA 2016.
The division is the developer of one of the US Army’s most advanced 120mm armour penetrating cartridges (M829A4) for the ABRAMS tank. The cartridge has the ability to defeat all known armour types and has recently delivered the first lot to the U.S. Army and received a Milestone C Decision which paves the way for full rate production.
Likewise, Armament Systems is investing in the development of the US Army’s Advanced Multi-Purpose (AMP) 120mm cartridge which provides anti-tank, anti-helicopter, obstacle reduction, bunker penetration, wall breaching and dismount engagement capabilities – all in one round. This multi-purpose capability will replace four unique cartridge types providing tank crews greater mission flexibility while also replacing an aging tank ammunition inventory.
AUSA 2016: New Cubic GATR Tropposcatter Antenna Introduced
Cubic's subsidiary GATR Technologies (GATR), which operates within the Cubic Mission Solutions (CMS) business division, introduces its inflatable 4m GATR Tropo antenna for the first time to the satellite communications (SATCOM) industry at AUSA. The extremely portable, 4m GATR Tropo can be packed into five cases weighing less than 620lbs total and is 50-80% less in volume and weight than the current rigid troposcatter antennas. Troposcatter antennas transmit and receive microwave signals at beyond-line-of-sight distances, as far as 200mi without SATCOM, by bouncing radio signals off layers of the Earth's atmosphere (troposphere).
“The debut of the four-meter GATR Tropo at AUSA is an exciting time for us as we’re introducing the most portable troposcatter antenna in the SATCOM industry,” said Paul Gierow, president of Cubic | GATR. “These antennas will better enable other types of communications for diverse missions.”
The new inflatable GATR Tropo antenna, which is available in 2.4- and four-meters, can lower operating costs for its customers as it drastically reduces shipping expenses and power requirements compared to portable, rigid tropo terminals. GATR Tropo antennas are also very reliable in extreme environments as they are able to receive tropo signals over diverse terrains when the antennas are elevated to 12 feet. The antennas can be set up and link-ready in less than 60 minutes, without the need of special tools. In addition, the modular design and dual-use parabolic antenna is mission capable for both troposcatter and standard SATCOM operations. The GATR Tropo antennas are available in C-band frequency.
“GATR’s inflatable Tropo antennas will impact satellite communications for not only the US Army, but also other military forces who use troposcatter communications to transmit voice and data without the use of satellites,” said Mike Twyman, president of Cubic Mission Solutions. “The addition of GATR Tropo antennas into CMS’ communication solutions will strengthen our offerings by providing lightweight, man-portable and ruggedized command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems to our customers worldwide.”
In addition to the 4m GATR Tropo, Cubic GATR is also showing their full range of inflatable satellite communications terminals in booth #8429 during AUSA.
03 October 2016
AUSA 2016: Saab Details US Market Developments
At AUSA 2016, Saab is showcasing its capabilities and solutions to the US Army and international customers.
Introducing its next generation of signature management solutions, the company is building upon its advanced camouflage systems to bring true stealth capabilities to the US Army’s ground troops and armored vehicles. Saab is conducting significant research and development to build true stealth capabilities into its products that will conceal military assets and help mounted and dismounted warfighters stay safe and hidden in any environment. These capabilities include new ways of detecting incoming laser threats as well as friend-or-foe identification for vehicles.
“Saab already leads the industry in signature management capabilities and production,” Brian Keller, head of Saab Defense and Security USA’s signature management unit, Barracuda, told MT. “Now, we are heavily invested making our already-world-class products even more advanced through added capabilities to meet the U.S. Army’s future needs.”
Saab furthermore has launched its land-based Giraffe 1X radar in the United States market. The new, compact radar system, which offers advanced capabilities against small targets and the capacity to address multiple threat types, will address the emerging requirements of the maneuver force. Saab also plans to transfer Giraffe 1X intellectual property to Saab Defense and Security USA, its US-based subsidiary, with the intention of meeting U.S. market needs efficiently, effectively and securely.
“We have already shown a unique ability to deliver our products into sensitive programmes, such as the AN/SPS-77 on the US Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship Program,” Erik Smith, head of Saab Defense and Security USA, said at AUSA. “But this move goes one step further. Transferring the intellectual property to a U.S. company and creating a U.S based development track for this system, will tremendously benefit the U.S. warfighter and taxpayer respectively by accelerating capability to the field and reducing costs and risk.”
The decision to transfer the technology was made to address US security and information assurance requirements, facilitate U.S. sourcing of components, and, in the long term, create more US jobs. Saab has invested significant private research and development funding into Giraffe 1X, which offers short-range air defence, sense-and-warn capabilities, and counter-UAS (unmanned aerial systems) and counter-RAM (rocket, artillery and mortar) functions. According to Smith, the Giraffe 1X addresses a growing need among U.S. ground troops.
“Opposition capabilities are increasing, which means US ground troops need a reliable, accurate system that can detect, track and classify multiple threat types,” explained Smith. “Giraffe 1X meets that requirement.”
The Giraffe 1X is mountable on vehicles, vessels and fixed installations, such as a building or a mast. Its compact, mobile design leverages commercial components in an open-architecture solution built on Saab’s Giraffe family of radars. This product group includes the Giraffe AMB, which has been used in Iraq to protect US personnel against RAM threats since 2008.
Saab has also been awarded a contract by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to perform research for the latter’s Massive Overmatch Assault Round (MOAR) study. The research, to be conducted by Saab’s business area Dynamics, will focus on the development of a precision-engagement capability for shoulder-fired weapons. Saab will analyse possible concepts and propose solutions, or highlight areas where future investigations are needed.
“This research is crucial to improving the power of small military units,” Görgen Johansson, head of Saab business area Dynamics, informed MT. “Today’s short-range weapons lack active guidance, while long-range weapons are extremely expensive, physically burdensome, and often require teams of operators that smaller units do not have. Saab is investigating a possible solution: a precision-guided munition for shoulder-fired weapons that provides a long-range, high-precision, multi-target capability.”
Saab will conduct studies on its own Carl-Gustaf and AT4 shoulder-fired weapons, both of which are current US Army Programs of Record in service with the US Army.
“Analysing already-established platforms allows the research to remain focused on the munition itself,” said Johansson. “Rather than developing a completely new solution, we are seeking to apply improved capabilities to existing systems – and that would translate to lower costs and faster availability.”
Since the 2014 launch of Saab’s Carl-Gustaf M4 version, the company has already been investing its own R&D money into new “smart” munitions to leverage the new system’s advanced capabilities.
The MOAR study is part of DARPA’s Office-Wide Broad Agency Announcement entitled “Innovative Systems for Military Missions.”
AUSA 2016: News from the Floor
|Abaco Systems is showcasing its latest developments in mission-ready embedded computing, including its latest Intel Xeon and NVIDIA GPU-based hardware platforms (Photo: Abaco Systems)|
Abaco Systems’ recently-released, VICTORY-compliant RES3000 Ethernet switches, which, according to the company, set new standards in terms of high port density combined with minimal size and weight and low cost, are featured. Additionally, Abaco Systems is showing the high bandwidth video processing and distribution made possible by its rugged COTS hardware, including its IPN252 6U VPX multiprocessor.
Showcasing new applications for the company’s EdgeVis real-time video streaming technology and its ThruVis passive people-screening camera solution on booth #441, Digital Barriers, having recently acquired Virginia-based Brimtek, works extensively with US military and flagship law enforcement agencies.
Digital Barriers is for the first time demonstrating a new technology capable of using stand-off cameras to identify people against watch-lists – for example scanning a crowd for a suspected terrorist – and can also harvest faces for future analysis. The technology can also be utilised remotely on smart-devices so that security personnel are able to identify potential suspects against watch-lists whilst on the ground. This machine-learning derived technology will be exhibited alongside existing EdgeVis and ThruVis technologies.
Using 60% less bandwidth than standard technologies, EdgeVis Live has the capacity to receive and analyse video from moving vehicles, as well as difficult-to-protect remote areas. Originally developed for military surveillance, EdgeVis Live now works with the defence, law enforcement, transport, energy, and public-safety markets in more than 30 countries worldwide. At AUSA, Digital Barriers is demonstrating how EdgeVis can stream real-time video from aircraft to control centres.
With a 100% success rate in identifying anyone wearing a bomb vest or carrying a concealed weapon, ThruVis is a highly sensitive camera that can be operated remotely to screen crowds at stadiums and major events, and people using public transport, without the need to disturb them as they go about their business.
Roboteam is unveiling new semi-autonomous UGV technology at booth #1446. The new technology will enable defence agencies to conduct dangerous, coordinated exploratory missions without putting soldiers in harms way.
The new technology is housed in Roboteam’s MTGR platform, and utilises a mesh communication system to allow multiple units that is controlled by a single-user. The new technology also features an "explore" capability allowing the semi-autonomous convoy to conduct 360° day and night mapping in all terrains.
At AUSA, General Micro Systems (GMS), on booth #7549, is exhibiting several rugged embedded computing systems, including its newest SB2002-MD fully isolated, multi-domain Red/Black server with Intel Xeon D, smart panel PCs and displays, servers, and networking/routing/switch equipment. GMS is also announcing the addition of Cisco ESR router to the S2U server rugged server.
TRU and Bell Helicopter, both Textron companies, have teamed up to provide a training solution for the new V-280 VALOR rotorcraft, the future of vertical lift, as TRU puts it. TRU is also a part of Team Valor, which is comprised of aerospace companies who are bringing engineering resources, industrial capabilities and critical thinking to meet the US Army’s needs for the Joint Multi-Role Demonstrator (JMR-TD) and inform the requirements for the Future Vertical Lift (FVL) programme.
TRU’s V-280 technology demonstrator is on show, alongside updates on King AIR 250/350 (C-12) FUSION total training solutions, and TRU’s recent/current defence programmes for the C-17, F-22, and F-35.
Cobham showcases the company’s ability to enable global land power projection on booth #2717, including:
- Advanced electronic solutions for radar, Electronic Warfare (EW), and Communications Navigation and Instrumentation (CNI) applications;
- Advanced radio frequency (RF) electronics – for Electronic Warfare applications, including SOLSTx, an affordable, reliable, and scalable Solid State Transmitter solution for radar applications;
- Antennas: Cobham provides customers with a comprehensive range of products including ground combat vehicle intercoms, handheld counter-IED detection systems, Interference Cancelation Environment (ICE) and Multiple Input/Multiple Output (MIMO) enabled antennas, and advanced electronically scanned arrays for manned and unmanned aerial systems;
- Aircrew Restraints: Current safety products for helicopter occupants are resulting in catastrophic loss of life which can be prevented by Cobham’s Mobile Aircrew Restraint System (MARS), which distributes the force of a crash differently to increase crewmember survivability;
- Precision Positioners: Highly reliable, high payload to weight ratio, low maintenance and cost effective, this positioner enables the user to provide E/O sensor suites on mobile platforms with simple 28VDC power and serial I/O or Ethernet interfaces. The resultant saving in space in the crew cab and under armour application make this an excellent solution for Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Acquisition market;
- Slip Rings for defence and commercial applications: Cobham designs and manufactures a large range of electrical slip rings for various types of military and airborne platforms, ranging from light, compact solutions for helicopter instrumentation and de-icing applications, to complex solutions for main battle tanks, infantry vehicles, radars and weapons systems.
Milrem and QinetiQ North America (NA) are displaying the TITAN Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) at QinetiQ NA’s booth #7851. Unlike existing UGVs, according to Milrem, TITAN is a highly modular platform that can swap out different structures depending on the mission such as rescue, transport, combat, and reconnaissance.
AUSA 2016: LMAMS Awarded, Delivery Within 12 Months
At AUSA 2016, AeroVironment, exhibiting on booth #2339, today announced the US Army Close Combat Weapons Systems Project Office has awarded the company a contract for Block 10C SWITCHBLADE Lethal Miniature Aerial Missile Systems (LMAMS) and support services valued at $22,776,812 through a Joint Urgent Operational Needs Statement. Delivery is anticipated within 12 months.
First deployed by US forces in 2011, the SWITCHBLADE provides soldiers with force protection and precision strike capabilities up to 10km from its launch location, with minimal to no collateral damage and wave-off capability. Block 10C SWITCHBLADE, introduced by AeroVironment in May 2016, incorporates improvements based on feedback from users, including encrypted digital communications.
“SWITCHBLADE is a mature system, in production, that delivers unmatched force protection and precision strike capabilities to American forces,” Kirk Flittie, AeroVironment vice president and general manager of its Unmanned Aircraft Systems business segment, said. “Soldier-portable and lightweight, SWITCHBLADE is a uniquely powerful LMAMS solution for complex combat environments. AeroVironment stands ready, with a proven product, supply chain and production system, to respond rapidly to this and future requirements.”
AUSA 2016: L-3 WESCAM Launches MX-8
At AUSA 2016, L-3 WESCAM has launched its smallest and lightest electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) airborne imaging system, the MX-8.
The MX-8 is designed for small tactical UAVs, light manned Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft, and tactical aerostats requiring highperforming imaging solutions.
The MX-8 is on display and available for demonstration at L-3’s exhibit #1725.
“The MX-8 is a key addition to WESCAM’s MX-Series product line, as it addresses the growing demand for a lightweight, high-fidelity imaging system,” Michael T. Strianese, L-3’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said. “Our emphasis on developing advanced technologies that address smaller form factor requirements is reflected in the versatility and precision of this product. We are working every day to align our research and development initiatives with the continually evolving needs of a broad array of global customers.”
The fully digital MX-8 has an installed weight of 15 pounds, or 6.8 kilograms, with a clearance level of less than 11 inches, and is capable of supporting up to four sensors simultaneously. It contains all the geolocation capabilities of L-3’s larger MX-Series systems and is equipped with an advanced image processing suite that produces real-time image enhancement across all sensors.
AUSA 2016: Elbit Systems Features Advanced Tech
Elbit Systems of America (ESA) on booth #1139 showcases its advanced technologies and discusses the advantages of these innovative solutions for today’s soldiers.
“ESA is committed to providing our nation’s Army innovative systems and technologies designed to increase mission effectiveness and provide the necessary lethality, flexibility and protection required for multi-domain operations,” Raanan Horowitz, president and chief executive officer at Elbit Systems of America, commented. ”By working closely with users and combat developers we are supporting the Army’s goal of accelerating introduction of these capabilities into the force.”
Teaming with customers, agency partners, and industry, ESS produces advanced systems designed to outmatch enemies in an Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) encounter and to ensure the safety of soldiers as they battle in complex environments. Several of these technological solutions, from precision targeting and, networking communications to guided mortar systems, are showcased at this year’s AUSA.
ESA showcases its family of advanced targeting systems, including the Common Laser Range Finder-Integrated Capability (CLRF-IC) and Enhanced Joint Terminal Attack Controller Laser Target Designator (EJTAC LTD). The CLRF-IF and EJTAC LTD are the results of ESA’s focused R&D effort for advancing handheld targeting technologies and tactical laser based systems to improve engagement accuracy and enhance communications between the sensor to shooter.
As one of the US Army’s leading mortar systems providers, ESS highlights its FIRECON mortar system, which is engineered for improved lethality and added force protection for deployed troops. FIRECON, an automated digital application, delivers improvements in indirect fire lethality by employing faster deployment and greater responsiveness. When coupled with Elbit Systems of America’s family of advanced laser and multi-mode seekers, mortar systems can become an even more effective capability, providing deployable range and precision to ground forces.
AUSA 2016: AVENGER Receives New Smart Display
The Esterline Codis SV-126 smart display has been selected by the US Army PEO Missiles and Space, Cruise Missile Defense Systems, working with Boeing, for the turret gunner position on the AN/TWQ-1 AVENGER Air Defence System. The Codis SV-126 display replaces a legacy computing environment that has reached its end of life and allows for greater flexibility in managing technical refresh cycles of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) products.
The SV-126 unit is a 10in rugged XGA (1024x768) LED-backlight display with COM Express architecture and Intel mobile multi-core CPUs that enable easy updates to the latest processors. It delivers the graphics and processing power of a rugged computer for high-performance visualisation in a compact footprint.
The AVENGER Air Defence System, designated AN/TWQ-1, is a self-propelled short-range surface-to-air missile system used by the US.Army. It protects ground units against fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, cruise missiles, and unmanned aerial vehicles.
AUSA 2016: Photonis' Night Vision Portfolio
On stand #2061, Photonis is demonstrating 4G Night Vision with a Virtual Reality simulator, alongside demonstrating the performance advantages of 4G against Gen3 night vision, according to thebcompany. Furthermore Photonis is showcasing its smart day-to- night digital CMOS technology.
"4G NIGHT VISION is all about best performance and capabilities for end-users," Photonis told MT at AUSA. "4G offers a longer range: See further in low light conditions. 4G provides the highest possible detection range, highest recognition and highest identification
capability. Visitors to the PHOTONIS booth can experience these benefits and superior performance of 4G compared to
Gen3 using a Virtual Reality simulation."
Photonis’ INTENS Image Intensifiers offer extended bandwidth for out of band beacon laser and Friend or Foe beacon detection, ultra-fast Auto-gating, and registers no Halo. These night vision functions are crucial when operating in
dynamic urban light conditions. INTENS Image Intensifiers are ideal for use under the darkest of mission conditions including deep mountain valleys and jungle terrain.
Photonis is also presenting Batcam, a digital low-light sensor for vehicle applications. New to the digital Photonis line-up at AUSA is FusionSight, a hand held sight that provides a recordable thermal, optical output, or a combination of both for improved detection, identification and recognition from day through to night.
Also on display is the award winning (CIGAT Prix Export) CMOS Night Observation Device (CNOD). Providing clear images from day through to night, CNOD can also detect most lasers currently deployed on the battlefield, visible and infrared and 1.064 laser energy used for joint terminal attack controller operations, at a fraction of the cost of competitive alternatives, according to Photonis.
AUSA 2016: New Features Significantly Boost S2U “King Cobra” Server
General Micro Systems (GMS) today unveiled powerful new features that significantly boost the S2U “King Cobra” rugged server’s capabilities on the battlefield while lowering price. The enhanced S2U server includes dual Intel Xeon E5-2600v4 family CPUs, 48TB of ultra-fast storage, integrated Cisco industrial-strength Embedded Services Router, 20 ports of managed Gigabit Ethernet switch with POE+, up to 1024GB (1TB) of system DDR4 RAM, and an Auxiliary Power Unit(APU) that powers the system and provides backup power for up to 15 minutes for graceful shut-down or suspend-to disk.
All of this is engineered into a dense, modular, 2U short-rack (17-inch deep) configuration that packs more functionality in a field-ready size than anything else on the market, at a fraction of the cost of competing systems. Unlike typical embedded servers, which must be replaced in their entirety in the field, the S2U is the industry’s only rugged server that is 100 percent subsystem line replacement unit (LRU) capable, allowing any function of the system to be replaced in the field within seconds, for ultimate flexibility and minimal downtime.
“When it comes to servers, bigger is definitely not better. Even Dell, with all of its resources and talent, can’t build anything close to what S2U delivers,” GMS CEO Benjamin Sharfi, told MT. “Michael Dell would love to have a server equipped with all the features General Micro Systems has packed into the King Cobra. And we deliver all of these resources at a significantly lower price point for the commercial and military markets.”
AUSA 2016: Northrop Grumman Touts UH-60V BLACK HAWK Cockpit Digitisation Upgrade Solution
Additional benefits of Northrop Grumman’s scalable, fully integrated mission equipment package include enhanced pilot situational awareness and mission safety, decreased workload and life cycle cost, and a common training environment.
The company’s approach for the design and implementation of the UH-60V integrated mission equipment package is based on its experience with similar upgrades for the US Marine Corps AH-1Z and UH-1Y helicopters and US Navy E-2D Advanced HAWKEYE programmes.
AUSA 2016: Rockwell Collins Ensures Mission Readiness
|Rockwell Collins' IDVS (Photos: Rockwell Collins)|
The IDVS is an advanced display system that combines real-time mission data with multispectral vision sensors into one view for greater situational awareness and is a hands-free, helmet-mounted display system that fuses incoming data from various sources, such as a command centre, other soldiers, or drones, with multispectral vision. The system does this while automatically transitioning from dark to light environments in real time, allowing users to have a complete view of everything that is happening around them.
Touted by the company as the most advanced, fully digital head-worn system available that fuses multispectral night vision sensors with situational awareness information to support day, night and degraded visual environments. The helmet-mounted IDVS provides head-up, hands-free situational awareness, giving soldiers the information they need to make better, faster decisions and reduce workload as they carry out their missions.
IDVS combines low-light image processing with digital and synthetic data to enhance situational awareness in all visual conditions. It equips the soldier to “see through” visually degraded environments such as low light or no light, as well as smoke, dust storms and fog. The optical system enables a seamless transition between high and low visibility levels, eliminating the need to remove the visual display as conditions change. In addition, its wide field of view (40°) and transparent optics allow the user to maintain normal peripheral vision in all situations.
|Rockwell Collins' IDVS|
The IDVS has a higher range of D/R/1 through low-light image processing, visual noise reduction and digital enhancement, enabling export and import of digital data and video, such as compass heading and map displays. It is easily upgradable growth path through programmable, open system architecture. It features: Two low-light VIS/NIR sensors, one long-wave infrared (LWIR} thermal sensor, a flip-up feature, IPD adjustable, WUXGA resolution, mounts to standard night-vision-goggle shroud, Ops-Core/Crye Precision AirFrame; four 18650 batteries (providing up to six hours of operation in full sensor fusion mode) or eight CR123 batteries, and has an expandable input/output and processing for growth capabilities.
AUSA 2016: US Army Awards $409 Million FMTV Contract to Oshkosh Defense
|FMTV (Photo: Oshkosh)|
“Oshkosh is pleased to continue delivering highly reliable Medium and Light Medium Tactical Vehicles to the U.S. Army,” Patrick Williams, Oshkosh Corporation Vice President and General Manager of Army Programs, told MT. “Since 2009, Oshkosh has achieved record quality performance on the FMTV program, while far exceeding vehicle quantities during the initial years of the contract. Together with TACOM, we have successfully integrated more than 1,000 engineering changes (ECPs) that have improved the quality, reliability and manufacturability of the MTVs and LMTVs.”
The current generation FMTV A1P2 is comprised of 17 models ranging from 2.5-10t payloads, enabling the vehicle to perform a wide range of missions, and to support combat missions, relief efforts and logistics and supply operations. The vehicles feature a parts commonality of more than 80%, resulting in streamlined maintenance, training, sustainment and overall cost efficiency for the U.S. Army, Army Reserves, National Guard and US Air Force.
Oshkosh Defense was first awarded the FMTV contract in 2009 and to date, has delivered more than 35,000 FMTV trucks and trailers. During its seven years of FMTV production, the US Department of Defense recognised Oshkosh Defense with the Value Engineering Achievement Award (in the contractor category) for reducing product life-cycle costs while improving performance and reliability. The US Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) Life Cycle Management Command (LCMC) nominated its industry partner for the award based on Oshkosh-proposed improvements that resulted in $10.7 million of cost savings for the US Army.
AUSA 2016: Orbital ATK Exhibits New Products and Capabilities
- XM813 BUSHMASTER 30mm Chain Gun, which will “upgun” the 2nd Cavalry Regiment’s STRYKER fleet, along with an advanced family of 30mm ammunition to support the gun, including programmable airburst ammunition;
- Next generation 120mm tank ammunition to include M829A4, which provides superior armour-penetration;
- Advanced Multi-Purpose round that will combine the capabilities of multiple rounds in one munition;
- The next generation Lethality Enhanced Ordnance for Long Range Precision Fires and M1061 60mm mortar cartridge with Insensitive Munition technology that provides increased effects and, at the same time, greater soldier safety.
The exhibit also features Orbital ATK’s range of special mission aircraft upgrades for weaponisation and protection to include: The AC-208B Armed CARAVAN; the AC-235 Light Gunship, and aircraft survivability products, such as the AAR-47 multi-threat warning system; and the SHOTFINDER acoustic hostile-fire detection technology.
Orbital ATK is also exhibiting its space-based capabilities. As a satellite technology providers, the company offers a broad portfolio of products for military, scientific and commercial customers. Products on display at AUSA include the ORS-1, LEOStar-2, RapidStar 1 and 2, and the Mission Extension Vehicle. Additionally, the KESTREL Eye electro-optical (EO) imagery nanosatellite is displayed (this satellite is designed to be tasked at the tactical unit level providing 1.5m ground resolution to the soldier).
Specialty products showcased include the SWITCHBLADE Tactical Missile System and multiple types of illuminating flares and air-droppable, infrared (IR) countermeasures which include the LUU-2 and 19 (visible and IR) and M257/278 Hydra rocket launched Illuminating flares (visible and IR).
AUSA 2016: IEE Exhibits Line of Ruggedised Displays
One of the highlights is a recently introduced 12.1in Smart-Touch CDU designed for Light-Armored Vehicles (LAV’s). This display features low latency video processing, expandable COTS open architecture, and Gigabit Ethernet networked processing. Designed to support a wide range of current and future vetronics architectures including the US Army VICTORY architecture and NATO Generic Vehicle Architecture (GVA).
In addition, IEE is demonstrating an exceptional 6x6in MFD display. Targeted first for the F-15 Multi-Purpose Display, this product provides a Form, Fit, Function, Interface (F3I) direct replacement for previously fielded Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) technology displays. With dramatically improved reliability, this AMLCD display and LED backlight, provide improved functionality with reduced weight, power, and overall operating costs. Designed for modularity and support for expansion to use open standard interfaces, this display will provide full backward compatibility while providing a platform to integrate the latest in video and processing features; such as: digital video (DVI, SMPTE-292), fiber video (ARINC-818), and networked architectures (GigE-Vision).
“The use of networked open architecture standards and modularity is at the heart of obtaining the objectives of interoperability and optimisation of size, weight, power, and cost (SWaP-C),” Steve Motter, Vice President of Business Development for IEE, told MT at AUSA. “We excel in creating cost-efficient integrated display solutions for our customers. By designing in modularity and open standards, we pave the way for low-cost future technology insertions and capability expansions, while efficiently providing the backward compatibility required to extend the life of existing weapon platforms.”
AUSA 2016: GM & TARDEC Unveil Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle
As compared to traditional gasoline or diesel engine vehicles, there are extreme advantages for fuel cell propulsion vehicles, according to GM, that include:
- Quiet operation
- Exportable power
- Fresh and pure water production
- High wheel torque for off-road handling
- Refuelling in less than five minutes
- Low fuel consumption at idle
AUSA 2016: Gore Exhibits High-Performance Products for Military Applications
|GORE Ethernet Cat6A Cable (Photo: W. L. Gore & Associates)|
Gore is featuring the following GORE Military Fabrics technologies: GORE KATANA Fabric: Durably fast drying, comfortable, mechanically-strong fabrics for hot and humid environments; and Stretch GORE-TEX Fabric: “The only flexible-fit WWB (waterproof / windproof / breathable) military jacket available,” according to the company.
Gore also showcases its full portfolio of GORE Cables and Materials engineered to perform reliably for the life of the aircraft and land vehicle. Products that are highlighted include small, lightweight high data rate cables; durable aircraft sealants; and outstanding shielding materials.
|GORE SKYFLEX Aerospace Materials provide panel sealing and protect the aircraft from abrasion and corrosion. (Photo: W. L. Gore & Associates)|
Throughout the show, Gore conducts live demonstrations using the Cable Installation Simulator they developed to replicate the conditions an assembly experiences, while being routed during installation in an aircraft. Live demos are being done: Tuesday and Wednesday: 1000h and 1300h.
“At Gore, we continue to develop leading-edge technologies that meet the challenges of the military and defence industry now and for the future,” the company told MT at AUSA 2016. “This year, we will exhibit our broad range of new and proven products that are engineered to perform reliably over time. We will also be conducting live demonstrations that replicate installation challenges in an airframe.”
|This fast-wicking, high-air-permeability fabric delivers optimum comfort and dries significantly faster than the typical NyCo (nylon-cotton) blend apparel used in BDU (Battle Dress Uniforms). (Photo: W. L. Gore & Associates)|
|Gore’s ACF features soft hand and drape while maintaining the mechanical strength (tear, break) of NyCo at a reduced weight. (Photo: W. L. Gore & Associates)|
With new stretch technology, GORE-TEX products allow the user to feel more comfortable in warmer or cooler temperatures while moving without having to compromise on protection from changing weather conditions, fit or style, according to the company. “This revolutionary, form-fitting fabric offers enhanced freedom of movement for static or operational scenarios. Our products maximise comfort and protection with fabrics that are durably waterproof, extremely breathable, and contamination resistant,” the company continued. “GORE KATANA Fabric is different from our other military products because it contains a blend of (ePTFE), nylon and cotton fibers specifically designed for military operations in warm, dry and tropical environments. Our soft, flexible fabric offers the best combination of improved breathability, greater water resistance, faster drying time, and superior strength without melting or dripping during flash-fire incidents. Our high-speed data cables are small, lightweight yet durable solutions that deliver outstanding signal integrity and faster data rates over longer distances while supporting new and standard protocols such as Ethernet Cat5e and Cat6a. These versatile cables deliver failure-free performance in the harshest conditions on land and in the air. Proven by more than 20 years of successful applications, our tapes and gaskets are specified by leading military aircraft OEMs and solve many sealing and surface protection challenges. These lightweight, no-cure materials simplify aircraft assembly with seals that can withstand multiple open-close cycles for reduced life-cycle costs."
Throughout the expo, we will conduct live demonstrations at our booth using a simulator that we developed to evaluate the stress of routing during installation on microwave airframe assemblies.”
GORE-FLIGHT Microwave/RF Assemblies are a lightweight, fit-and-forget solution that delivers, according to Gore, the lowest insertion loss before and after installation, guaranteeing reliable performance for the life of your system. Known as the purple cable, GORE PHASELFEX Microwave/RF Test Assemblies provide excellent phase and amplitude stability with flexure, ensuring consistent performance over time in lab and field test environments.