DSEi in Brief

Kelvin Hughes to Supply Navigation Bridge System to The Royal New Zealand Navy

Kelvin Hughes announced that it has been awarded a contract by Hyundai Heavy Industries to supply the Integrated Navigation Bridge System (INBS) for The Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) Maritime Sustainment Capability (MSC) Vessel.

The INBS system meets the requirements of IMO Lloyds Register Class Notation IBS and naval ship code. It includes a dual redundant data distribution system and fully integrated Kelvin Hughes multifunction displays. The radar system takes advantage of the Kelvin Hughes’ advanced solid state SharpEye Doppler radars that bring full situational awareness to the bridge even in the most severe weather conditions.

Sales and marketing director at Kelvin Hughes, Spike Hughes stated, “Kelvin Hughes has been designing integrated navigation bridge systems for over three decades and has a wealth of experience which enables us to meet the demanding requirements of specialist naval bridges for the RNZN and also the Royal Navy’s Royal Fleet Auxiliary Tide Class”.

The MSC tanker is the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) future ice-capable fleet replenishment tanker and will be the largest vessel to be operated by the RNZN. With a scheduled delivery of the ship in 2020 by Hyundai Heavy Industries and the RNZN planning to induct the vessel in 2021, Kelvin Hughes will supply the bridge system for installation in 2018. The MSC vessel was approved by the government of New Zealand in June 2014 allowing the tender to be released in March 2015. The contract was awarded to Hyundai Heavy Industries in July that year for USD 493 million and the vessel will be built at the Ulsan Shipyard in South Korea.

The scope of work includes the design and integration of the Kelvin Hughes supplied navigation equipment and shipyard supplied systems in a suite of bridge consoles manufactured in Korea.




Elbit Systems’ Seagull USV Demonstrated Live Remotely Operated ASW Mission

Seagull, Elbit Systems’ multi mission Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) system, demonstrated live, a remotely operated Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) mission. Via Satellite Communication (SATCOM), the Seagull platform, sailing in the Haifa Bay, Israel, performed the operational ASW mission using control consoles situated some 3,515km away in Elbit Systems booth.

Operating its Dipping Sonar and Elbit Systems proprietary software, Seagull performed real-time detections and classification of objects, demonstrating capability to deter and dissuade hostile subsurface activity. The Seagull team included two operators, a USV operator and sonar operator.

Seagull is a 12-metre long USV that can be operated from a mother-ship or from shore stations. It provides multi-mission capabilities including ASW, Mine Hunting & Mine Sweeping (MCM), Electronic Warfare (EW), maritime security and underwater commercial missions, leveraging modular mission system installation and offering a high level of autonomy. It features inherent C4I capabilities for enhanced situation awareness and mission endurance of more than four days.

 

Lockheed Martin UK Unveiled Training Solutions for AJAX

Lockheed Martin UK on September 14 showcased innovative training solutions for the British Army’s AJAX armoured vehicle programme.

Lockheed Martin recently passed its critical design review (CDR) for the new systems, locking down the design with prime contractor General Dynamics Land Systems–UK.

The solutions will allow crews to become familiar with the controls, weapon systems and operation of the AJAX turret as they progress from a classroom environment through to live vehicle exercises.

Lockheed Martin UK was awarded USD 1 billion contract by General Dynamics Land Systems–UK to design, manufacture and test 245 turrets for AJAX in October 2014. The training element of the contract requires delivery of a suite of systems, courseware material and manuals to provide progressive training to the military operators and maintainers of the turret.

Programme director at Lockheed Martin UK, Lee Fellows said, “Completing the Lockheed Martin CDR for our elements of the training solutions is a significant achievement and another major milestone for us on the AJAX programme. We’ve finalised the design of the systems that will provide a complete gunnery and ISTAR training cycle for the turret crews.

“We have now invested more than Euro 23 million in our site, making us a turret centre of excellence and a unique capability in the UK,” added Lee.

The first training solutions are on track to be delivered into GDUK by Lockheed Martin by the end of this year.

 

Kelvin Hughes Showcased Next Evolution of Drone Detection Technology

A world leader in radar systems Kelvin Hughes demonstrated its next evolution drone detecting and tracking technology, the SMS-D (D stands for drone). The SMS-D is a dedicated drone detection and tracking system now featuring a thermal camera and video tracker that acquires the drone target using the initial radar detection information.

The benefit of SMD-D is once the thermal camera and video tracker has acquired the target it will enable a visual identification and track. Further benefit comes from the combination of the camera mounted on a pan and tilt system that provides a means to precisely calculate the altitude of the UAV. The SMS-D, therefore, is able to operate as a 2D sensor system providing 3D target information whereby the radar provides the range and bearing. This data can be outputted to a third-party counter measure system.

The SMS-D detects out to 2.2 Km when in high power mode, is highly cost effective and can be deployed on a mast, on a vehicle or on a perimeter.

Director of security sensors and systems at Kelvin Hughes, Jonathan Field said, “Combining an electro optic sensor and a powerful video tracking processor with a highly sensitive radar sensor such as SharpEye, which is renowned for its ability to detect small Radar Cross Section (RCS) targets in cluttered environments, brings to the market a Single Mast Solution that is easily deployed and costs a fraction of the military grade detection and counter drone systems currently available.”

 

Elbit Systems and Lockheed Martin to Partner on MEWP for Royal Navy

Elbit Systems UK and Lockheed Martin UK have signed a strategic teaming agreement to partner on the Maritime Electronic Warfare Programme (MEWP) for the Royal Navy.

The MEWP is a significant procurement to upgrade the Royal Navy’s electronic warfare capabilities. Delivered in increments, the upgraded system will be fielded on the Royal Navy’s frigates, destroyers and amphibious assault ships, with the programme expanding to the wider fleet including submarines in due course.

Elbit Systems has over three decades of experience in the design of development of high performance naval systems. Lockheed Martin has a proven track record of developing and integrating complex maritime systems into the United States Navy, the Royal Navy and a wide variety of international naval vessels.

Martin Dausset of Elbit Systems UK Ltd said, “We are delighted to be working with Lockheed Martin to offer an innovative and comprehensive proposal to meet the Royal Navy’s future requirements, using our complementary skills and experience we believe we are a strong team able to propose a highly attractive solution to meet the programme needs “

“By working together, both companies can use their extensive experience in maritime technology and systems integration to provide a highly capable, proven and value for money solution to address the immediate and evolving need for an upgraded maritime electronic warfare capability for the UK’s Royal Navy,” said vice president of Lockheed Martin UK Integrated Systems, Paul Livingston.

The partnership between the two companies will bring together valuable experience and unique capabilities to develop an outstanding solution for this crucial UK programme.

 

Nammo Programmable Ammunition Keeps Soldiers Safe from Drones

One of the challenges faced by modern war fighters is the danger of collateral damage when operating near civilian infrastructure. This makes it difficult to fire regular ammunition at small aerial targets such as drones, because if they miss, the bullet or shell will just continue and eventually hit something else, potentially causing significant unintended damage.

This threat can be virtually eliminated with Nammo’s programmable ammunition, as it will explode where intended, independent of whether it has hit its target or not.

Known as ‘programmable ammunition’, this new technology makes it possible for any larger gun to fire shells that can be programmed to explode with pinpoint accuracy, either before, above or inside a target. Adaptable to several weapon platforms, including 40 mm grenade launchers, 30 mm guns, 120 mm tank ammunition and M-72 rockets, this makes the technology ideal for dealing with a number of different threats, including drones. With the first versions already combat proven and in production, the technology offers three distinct benefits – low collateral damage, flexibility and ease of installation – together delivering a significant and reliable advantage to its users.

In the case of smaller ammunition types, such as 40 mm grenades, these are designed to maximize their effect within a specific range from the point of detonation, with more limited effects beyond that. This means that as long as they are set to detonate sufficiently high above the ground, the fragments created by the detonation will fall harmlessly to the ground.

Another constant challenge for war fighters is the question of space and weight, which limits the amount of weapons and supplies that personnel and vehicles can carry. The benefit of Nammo’s programmable ammunition is that rather than being a dedicated anti-drone system, that has to be carried in addition to other weapons, it is instead an upgrade to an existing weapon system, allowing it to be effective against a wide range of threats.

The Nammo’s programmable ammunition does not require any physical changes to the gun itself, nor its ammunition handling system. That means that instead of expensive modifications and upgrades, the system can be easily added to any existing platform.

 

Sikorsky Presented Winged-S Rescue Award to Bristow S-92 Helicopter Crew

Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, on September 12 presented Bristow Helicopters Limited with the Sikorsky Winged-S Rescue Award in recognition of a recent life-saving mission in the North Atlantic.

Bristow Helicopters currently operates S-92 helicopters on behalf of the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) for the critical mission of search and rescue (SAR), following the award of the 10-year UK SAR contract by the Department for Transport in March 2013. Since April 2015, an estimated 4,500 search and rescue missions have been executed, many utilising the UK SAR S-92 helicopters.

“We have been successfully operating S-92 helicopters for more than 10 years. The high reliability of our S-92 helicopter fleet throughout that time has been absolutely critical to our time-sensitive mission,” said assistant director, UK MCA aviation, Damien Oliver.

“Bristow is proud to operate the S-92 helicopter to fulfil the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s mission to save lives, and our team is honoured to receive this recognition,” said project manager, Bristow UK search and rescue, Neil Ebberson. “Sikorsky’s legacy in lifesaving, coupled with the latest technology of the S-92 helicopter, provides an outstanding solution for the high operational demands of our SAR business.”

Beginning in 1950, the Winged-S Rescue Award Program honours those who perform rescues flying a Sikorsky helicopter. Through this award, Sikorsky acknowledges the humanitarian efforts of pilots and crew members who put themselves in harm’s way to save others, fulfilling Igor Sikorsky’s vision of the helicopter.

 

Rockwell Collins Delivers First Mission Computer for Airbus Helicopters HForce Weapon System

Rockwell Collins has delivered its first FMC-4212 mission computer to Airbus Helicopters for the HForce onboard weapon system programme, which enables the conversion of any commercial helicopter from the Airbus Helicopters platform into an armed, battle-ready unit for military operations.

“The high performance and flexibility of the FMC-4212 makes it possible for Airbus Helicopters to install the HForce system in various models and setups,” said vice president and managing director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa for Rockwell Collins, Claude Alber. “Our open architecture approach to the mission computer allows for an easier installation, lowering risk for customers and allowing for different packaging options for unique configurations.”

The FMC-4212 mission computer features industry-leading multi-core processing power with real-time video processing capabilities that are suitable for dual-use applications such as medical evacuation operations or the integration of any kind of weapon system for military use. The computer also operates within a wide range of operating temperatures that comply with commercial and military environmental requirements.

 

Dragonfire Laser Turret Unveiled

The new laser weapon demonstrator being built for the UK ministry of defence has been unveiled for the first time by the UK Dragonfire consortium.

Led by MBDA, under contract to Dstl, UK Dragonfire is a grouping of the best of British industry brought together to develop this advanced and complex new programme for the UK armed forces.

For the first time, the consortium has revealed the design of the turret – known as a beam director – that will be used to trial this new technology. The beam director, which will be provided by Leonardo, brings together QinetiQ’s powerful laser emitter, as well as world-class electro-optics for target identification and tracking. MBDA is bringing prime weapon system delivery experience and advanced weapon system command and control (C2) and image processing capability to UK Dragonfire, in addition to co-ordinating the overall effort.

Known as the Laser Directed Energy Weapon (LDEW) Capability Demonstrator Programme (CDP), the effort will see UK Dragonfire trial this new sovereign capability in the maritime and land domains in 2019.

Among the uses of LDEW systems are providing very short-range air defence capability, close-in protection for naval vessels, counter-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), and protecting friendly forces from mortar and artillery attack.

UK Dragonfire was awarded a GBP 30 million contract for the LDW CDP in early 2017 after a rigorous competitive evaluation. The team capitalises on the strengths of all the companies involved, including Leonardo, QinetiQ, MBDA, Arke, BAE Systems, Marshall and GKN.

 

Final Configuration of British Army’s Land Ceptor Air Defence System Unveiled

MBDA’s Land Ceptor air defence system made its show debut. The Land Ceptor utilises the next-generation Common Anti-air Modular Missile (CAMM) and will be brought into service by the British Army as a replacement for the Rapier air defence system. Compared to Rapier, Land Ceptor has over triple the range (greater than 25 km) and is able to intercept the most challenging targets in any weather conditions, including cruise missiles and precision guided munitions.

In total six nations have already chosen the CAMM family to provide their future air defence capabilities in both the maritime and land domains. In Royal Navy service the system is known as Sea Ceptor, off the back of successful first-of-class firings from the Type 23 frigate HMS Argyll. By purchasing the same missile to meet the air defence needs of both the British Army and the Royal Navy, development costs are significantly reduced and both services are able to utilise a common stockpile that will significantly reduce procurement and support costs.

The Land Ceptor asset present at DSEi had been undertaking qualification trials for the British Army, features a substantially revised design to initial development prototypes and incorporates numerous new features. The decision to utilise the in-service HX-77 as the base vehicle for Land Ceptor enables the capabilities of the system to be expanded, whilst minimising the overall fleet size.

Land Ceptor is the launch configuration of the Enhanced Modular Air Defence Solutions (EMADS) stable. EMADS brings together best-of-breed systems and technologies from across MBDA’s European base to save time, development costs and provide a flexible system for air defence provision.

 

Safran Wins First Contract for PASEO NS

Safran Electronics & Defence has signed its first sales contract for the latest-generation PASEO NS (Naval System), which will outfit new frigates deployed by an Asian navy. Delivered at the end of 2018, these PASEO NS sights will offer day/ night target designation and surveillance capabilities.

PASEO NS is part of Safran’s new PASEO Marine line of naval products. It is used for both surveillance and fire control of naval guns of all calibres (especially 40, 57, 76 and 100 mm). Gyrostabilised, it also features a video camera, MWIR (Medium Wave Infrared) channel and laser rangefinder. The PASEO NS can detect and automatically track all threats, conventional or asymmetrical, from near the ship out to the horizon. The company’s line of naval products for surface ships also includes the Vigy Observer and Engage, EOMS NG and PASEO XLR.

The latest member of Safran’s large range of sighting systems, PASEO NS incorporates feedback from the version already deployed by land forces. It was specifically adapted to meet the specific conditions and challenges facing surface ships. The company has recorded 2,500 orders for PASEO systems, which are being produced at a rate of 40 units per month at its plant in Dijon, France.

 

Cobham Launched New Integrated Communications Products

Cobham on September 12 announced that they have launched a new Integrated Communications Environment (ICE) product range which provides major improvements to existing communications systems on platforms. The new ICE products include a multi-radio interference cancellation system and new high-performance multi-port V/UHF antenna.

The integration of multiple radios and other communications systems on a single platform or in a congested environment causes Radio Frequency (RF) interference which can dramatically reduce the effective radio range. This increasingly operational problem is being exacerbated by the increase of on-board communications systems which can mean they are competing for data and spectrum allocation.

Vice president and GM of Cobham Antenna Systems, David Bulley said, “Cobham has been at the forefront of RF interference cancellation technologies for over 20 years with proven field performance. As communications systems on platforms have become increasingly complex our expectations of them has also heightened; Cobham’s new ICE products allow users to streamline their communications systems without affecting performance or range which makes a critical difference during operations.”

The ICE 7201 interference cancellation system not only restores radio performance and operational range, it also facilitates enhanced frequency planning for operations, enabling closer separation between channels resulting in a significantly greater number of useable radio channels for a given spectrum allocation. Simultaneously, the GD2049 high performance multi-port V/UHF antenna enables the overall antenna count on land platforms to be reduced through the introduction of two VHF ports with high port-to-port isolation.

The combination of Cobham’s two new market-leading technologies allows for optimised co-site integration of radios whilst also reducing the number of antennas required on a platform. The result is a significantly improved communication effectiveness and a reduction in the cost and ‘real estate’ of the antennas required.

 

Safran Presents State-Of-The-Art Technologies and Innovation

At DSEi Safran Electronics & Defence showcased its broad range of systems and equipment designed to meet strategic surveillance, detection, fire control, navigation and surveillance requirements.

The highlight being PASEO, a line of latest-generation, integrated electro-optical (optronic) systems, available in versions for both land use (PASEO) and on ships (PASEO NS, PASEO XLR). To design this new system, Safran drew on feedback from previous generations deployed in a variety of operating theatres, plus the company’s expertise based on 30 years of experience. Notable improvements include a unique real-time sector and panoramic surveillance function.

Also on display was Safran’s complete line of navigation systems. There are three main systems for land applications (Epsilon, Sigma 20 and Sigma 30), available in a large number of performance classes.

The company’s stand also spotlighted the Ultisense product line from Safran Vectronix, including devices such as laser rangefinders, magnetic compasses and North seekers. Other equipment for solders includes the JIM family of infrared binoculars, especially the latest member, the JIM Compact, as well as the Moskito TI, PLRF rangefinder and Clip on Thermal Imager (COTI).

The display also consisted of EuroflirTM 410, introduced at the 2017 Paris Air Show, the new-generation EuroflirTM 410 is a very-high-performance airborne electro-optical (optronic) system, intended for the most demanding missions facing armed forces in the field. Featuring a highly integrated, modular design, this pod can carry up to ten different sensors, to adapt to the precise requirements of each force.

Safran’s new systems for forward observers and controllers, the ‘Joint Fires Support Systems’, was featured in a dynamic display. To address NATO needs for greater battlefield connectivity, interoperability and communications, Safran called on its electro-optical expertise to develop systems capable of digitally transmitting precise target coordinates. Composed of the Sterna ultra-light North Seeker, optronic binoculars and a laser designator, these systems connect to the radio, the integrated GPS receiver (DAGR: Defense Advanced GPS Receiver) and the Geographic Information System (SIG) deployed by armed forces, to provide fire support.

Safran was also selected by BAE Systems in competitive bidding for Britain’s main battle tank, the Challenger 2 Life Extension Project (CR2 LEP), to supply the chief’s sight during the programme evaluation phase.

 

HENSOLDT Passive Radar Proves Network capability

The passive radar system newly developed by HENSOLDT has proved its capability of being operated in a multi-sensor network – the so-called clustering – in a number of field tests in real scenarios. With the new system architecture for mobile deployment, the setup of a real-time system network comprising several devices separated from each other proved the capability of passive radar to perform in areas with a low concentration of transmitters as well.

HENSOLDT’s passive radar demonstrated its ability to detect a wide range of targets in mission scenarios similar to those of various European armed forces, amongst other locations, in mountainous terrain with areas of major radar shadow. At the same time, the system established the latest air situation picture in a very short time, at ranges of up to 200 kilometres. A new, extremely precise digital receiver gives the system excellent capabilities that are unique in the world. Passive radar processes signal echoes from third-party transmitters, such as radio or TV stations, which are up to 10 billion times weaker than the original signals.

Thanks to the deployment of several interconnected passive radar sites, the absence of commercial transmitters in thinly populated regions can be compensated for since the fusion of data from three or more passive radar systems alone provides exact information on the target. In contrast to conventional active systems, passive radar systems don’t emit any signals. They use the echoes of existing signals from third-party transmitters to illuminate the targets. Working as mere receivers, passive radar systems detect targets by analysing the signals reflected by them in response to third-party emissions.

When deployed in the civilian sector, passive radar can provide air traffic control with an inexpensive supplement to existing sensors. Furthermore, passive radar can be used at small and medium-sized airfields, which previously had no primary radar. The fact that these systems do not emit their own signals allows security to be provided for critical infrastructures or large events in densely populated areas without occupying any transmission frequencies, which are in short supply.