Naval Radar

The sensor solutions provider HENSOLDT will equip the Norwegian Coast Guard vessel «Svalbard» with the latest version of its TRS-3D naval radar and MSSR 2000 I IFF System. This is already the second upgrade contract from the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency as HENSOLDT is already under contract to equip the three new Arctic Coast Guard Vessels in the P6615 Program with the upgraded radar and IFF system.

The Norwegian Coast Guard Vessel «Svalbard» will be equipped with the latest version of our TRS-3D naval radar and MSSR 2000 I IFF System (Copyright: NDMA Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency)

Under both contracts worth more than € 27 m HENSOLDT will deliver four TRS-3D radars including the latest solid-state technology and signal processing software and will deliver them from 2021, in parallel to the building program of the new Arctic Coast Guard vessels. The TRS-3D includes a secondary radar MSSR 2000 I for Identification-Friend-or-Foe (IFF). It operates all current IFF modes, including the latest «Mode S/Mode 5 Level ½» standard answering the most recent NATO requirements.

«Our TRS-3D naval radar is an extremely reliable radar, particularly suited for littoral missions», said HENSOLDT-CEO Thomas Müller. «We are taking the upgrade contract of the Norwegian Coast Guard as proof of the customer’s satisfaction with our product and services».

TRS-3D is a three-dimensional multimode naval radar for air and sea surveillance. It includes the ability to correlate plots and tracks of targets with the MSSR 2000 I identification system for automatic identification of vessels and aircraft which is essential to avoid friendly fire and to establish a comprehensive situation picture. It is used for automatically locating and tracking all types of air and sea targets and safe guidance of on-board helicopters. Thanks to its signal processing technologies, the TRS-3D is particularly suited for the early detection of low flying or slow-moving objects under extreme environmental conditions.

More than 50 units of the radar are in operation with naval forces around the world. Among the ships equipped are frigates and corvettes of the German Navy, the U.S. Coast Guard National Security Cutters and the «Squadron 2000» patrol boats of the Finnish Navy.

Machine learning

BAE Systems has been awarded a Phase 2 contract to develop machine learning capabilities aimed to help the military gain better awareness of space scenarios for the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The goal of DARPA’s Hallmark Tools, Capabilities, and Evaluation Methodology (Hallmark-TCEM) program is to not only develop and evaluate tools and capabilities that increase an operator’s understanding of space events, but also enhance the ability to select effective courses of action for any given situation.

Machine learning capabilities aimed to help the military gain better awareness of space scenarios

Space assets such as satellites are becoming increasingly important and relied upon by the Department of Defense for communications, surveillance, and security. As part of Hallmark-TCEM, BAE Systems’ FAST Labs research and development team will build cognitive-based machine learning algorithms and data models aimed to give space operators the ability to identify abnormal activities and predict possible threats. The team will build on Phase 1 work of the program, and continue to leverage the decade-long development of the company’s Multi-INT Analytics for Pattern Learning and Exploitation (MAPLE) technology with a solution called MAPLE Automates Joint Indications and Warnings for Cognitive Counter-Space (MAJICS).

«Our technology builds data models based on normal activity and then ingests large amounts of real-time, streaming data to compare against the normal model and determine if any abnormal activity is occurring or will occur», said Doctor John Hogan, product line director of the Sensor Processing and Exploitation group at BAE Systems. «By using this technology, we hope to reduce the operator’s workload by providing a solution that will automatically predict space events such as launches or satellite movements based on millions of pieces of data, helping them make rapid decisions to avoid any potential threats».

BAE Systems’ research on the Hallmark-TCEM program adds to the company’s machine learning and artificial intelligence segment of its autonomy technology portfolio. The capabilities developed under the Hallmark-TCEM effort will be integrated into DARPA’s Hallmark Software Testbed (Hallmark-ST) program. Work for the program will be completed at the company’s facilities in Burlington, Massachusetts and Reston, Virginia.

Steel cut

BAE Systems has cut steel for the second Type 26 Global Combat Ship, HMS CARDIFF, marking an important milestone in the programme to deliver the most advanced Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) capability to the Royal Navy.

The hull of the Royal Navy’s second Type 26 Frigate, HMS Cardiff, has now entered construction

In a traditional steel cut ceremony at our shipyard in Govan on the River Clyde, attended by our employees and representatives from the Royal Navy, Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, Minister for Defence Procurement, performed the official duties; setting the plasma cutting machine to work on a plate of steel that will form part of the unit that holds vital fuel stores for the ship.

We have designed and built the Type 26 Global Combat Ship in Glasgow. The Type 26 frigate is an advanced ASW warship designed for the critical protection of the Continuous At Sea Deterrent and Carrier Strike Group. The City Class Type 26 will build on the pedigree of the Royal Navy’s current Type 23 Anti-Submarine Warfare frigates which have served the Nation well. Each Type 26 will be equipped with a range of capabilities including the Sea Ceptor missile defence system, a 5-inch/127-mm medium calibre gun, flexible mission bay, Artisan 997 Medium Range Radar, powerful bow and towed array sonars and a vertical launch silo capable of hosting a variety of weapons.

The ceremony to mark the formal start of manufacture on the second of the Type 26 Global Combat Ships, HMS CARDIFF, comes two years after steel was cut on the first in class, HMS GLASGOW. Momentum on HMS GLASGOW continues with over one half of the ship now in production and she remains on track to enter service in the mid-2020s.

We have now marked the start of construction of seven complex warships for the UK Royal Navy in just five years, with HMS CARDIFF following her sister ship, HMS GLASGOW, and the five River Class Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV). All five OPVs are now in the water with the first, HMS FORTH, already in active operation for the Royal Navy.

Defence Procurement Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP said: «The Royal Navy’s new world beating Type 26 anti-submarine frigates are truly a UK-wide enterprise, supporting thousands of jobs here in Scotland and across the UK. These ships will clearly contribute to UK and allied security, but also make a strong economic contribution to the country. With 64 sub-contracts already placed with UK-based businesses, there will be new export opportunities for them to tender for through the selection of the Type 26 design by Australia and Canada too».

We are working alongside 80 companies across the UK and international supply chain to deliver the programme, helping to sustain 4,000 jobs across the UK and providing a foundation for work on the Clyde into the next decade.

Commenting on today’s significant milestone, Steve Timms, Managing Director, BAE Systems Naval Ships, said: «Today’s steel cut ceremony demonstrates the significant and positive progress we are making on this hugely complex, sophisticated and important programme. The Type 26 ships will be the most advanced anti-submarine warfare frigates the Royal Navy has ever had and, together with the five-ship River Class Offshore Patrol Vessel programme, we are proud of the role we play at BAE Systems, alongside many thousands of dedicated people in our supply chain, to deliver this critical capability for the UK Royal Navy».

The Global Combat Ship supports a close partnership between the UK Royal Navy, Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal Australian Navy, all of whom have selected a variant of the Type 26 design for their anti-submarine frigate programmes, supporting greater operational, training and intelligence ties.

Steel cut ceremony signals important progress on UK Royal Navy programme

Cavour

On July 20, the Aircraft Carrier «Cavour» (C-550) entered the «Edgardo Ferrati» drydock at the Italian Navy Arsenal at Taranto. The entry of the aircraft carrier into one of the largest military masonry dockyards in Europe represents the «turning point» in the conduct of maintenance and modernization work which, after ten years of service, will also allow the ship to adapt to the standards required for the F-35B Lightning II aircraft, which will ultimately replace the current fleet of AV-8B Harrier combat aircraft operated by the Italian Navy’s carrier air group.

The «Cavour» (C-550) Aircraft Carrier Enters the «Edgardo Ferrati» Drydock of the Italian Navy Arsenal of Taranto

On board was the Commander in Chief of the Navy Fleet, Admiral Donato Marzano. Displacing 27,000 tonnes, «Cavour» (C-550) is the largest ship to enter the «Edgardo Ferrati» since World War Two.

The delicate maneuvers, from the ship’s entry into the drydock to her positioning and to the emptying of the drydock, lasted about 17 hours and involved, in addition to the ship’s crew, the military and civilian personnel of the Naval Arsenal of Taranto.

Beginning at 6 a.m., the operation was conducted in two stages: first, during the morning, the carrier entered the basin, while in the afternoon she was positioned by the Arsenale staff before emptying the basin. The combat divers of the Taranto-based S.D.A.I group (Sminazione Difesa Antimezzi Insidiosi, or demining and defense against insidious threats) also contributed to the safety of the ship.

Over the coming months, some of the most important technical modifications will be carried out on board the carrier, including the careening of the hull and the metallic reinforcement of the flight deck, necessary to limit the thermodynamic impact of the new aircraft.

The «Cavour» (C-550) maintenance and adaptation work represents the best potential of the production capacity of the Taranto dockyard, and are experimenting to develop the synergy between the Arsenale naval dockyard, national industry (Fincantieri and Leonardo) and small and medium enterprises, coordinated by the technical offices of the Navy.

At the end of the overhaul work, scheduled for the spring of 2020, the «Cavour» (C-550) will go through a preparatory training period before she sails to the United States in the summer to conduct trials her future F-35B Lightning II aircraft on board.

These activities will represent the first important steps to achieve the Initial Operational Capability (IOC) of the aircraft carrier with her new air group.

The Italian Navy’s flagship, the aircraft carrier «Cavour» (C-550), enters the drydock at Taranto Naval Arsenal, one of the oldest masonry drydocks in Europe, for a 9-month refit to prepare her for her future F-35B Lightning II air wing (Italian Navy video)

Above Mach 4

An Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and Air Force Test Center ground test team set a record for the highest thrust produced by an air-breathing hypersonic engine in Air Force history.

The AEDC Aerodynamic and Propulsion Test Unit at Arnold Air Force Base supports recent testing for the Air Force Research Laboratory Medium Scale Critical Components Scramjet program. The Northrop Grumman-produced engine was successfully operated at conditions above Mach 4 and has set the record for highest thrust produced by an air-breathing hypersonic engine in Air Force history (U.S. Air Force photo)

«AFRL, in conjunction with Arnold Engineering Development Complex (AEDC) and Northrop Grumman, achieved over 13,000 pounds/5,897 kg of thrust from a scramjet engine during testing at Arnold Air Force Base», said Todd Barhorst, AFRL aerospace engineer and lead for the Medium Scale Critical Components program.

The 18-foot-long/5.5-meter-long Northrop Grumman engine endured a half hour of accumulated combustion time during the nine months of testing.

«The series of tests, ran in conjunction with AEDC and AFRL, on this fighter-engine sized scramjet was truly remarkable», said Pat Nolan, vice president, missile products, Northrop Grumman. «The scramjet successfully ran across a range of hypersonic Mach numbers for unprecedented run times, demonstrating that our technology is leading the way in delivering large scale hypersonic platforms to our warfighters».

«The plan for a larger and faster hypersonic air breathing engine was established 10 years ago during the X-51 test program, as the Air Force recognized the need to push the boundaries of hypersonic research», Barhorst said. «A new engine with 10-times the flow of the X-51 would allow for a new class of scramjet vehicles».

An evaluation of the nation’s test facilities concluded that none could test an engine at this large of a scale in a thermally-relevant environment. To address the issue, AEDC’s Aerodynamic and Propulsion Test Unit facility underwent a two-year upgrade to enable large-scale scramjet combustor tests over the required range of test conditions. The AEDC team also successfully leveraged technology developed by CFD Research Corporation under the Small Business Innovative Research program. This technology proved crucial in achieving most of the required test conditions.

«Our collective team has worked hard over the past few years to get to where we are today», said Sean Smith, lead for the AEDC Hypersonic Systems Combined Test Force ground test team. «We’ve encountered numerous challenges along the way that we’ve been able to overcome thanks to the dedication and creativity of the team. We’ve learned quite a bit, and I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished. These groundbreaking tests will lead the way for future hypersonic vehicles for a range of missions».

«After years of hard work, performing analysis and getting hardware ready, it was a great sense of fulfillment completing the first successful test of the world’s largest hydrocarbon fueled scramjet», added Barhorst.

Ready to deploy

The Marine Corps’ Joint Light Tactical Vehicle is officially ready to deploy and support missions of the naval expeditionary force-in-readiness worldwide.

The Corps’ JLTV achieves Initial Operational Capability

Marine Corps Combat Development Command, Combat Development and Integration declared the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) program – part of the Light Tactical Vehicle portfolio at Program Executive Officer (PEO) Land Systems – reached Initial Operational Capability, or IOC, on August 2, nearly a year ahead of schedule.

«Congratulations to the combined JLTV Team for acting with a sense of urgency and reaching IOC early», said Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition James Geurts. «Changing the speed in which we deliver, combined with coming in under cost and meeting all performance requirements, is a fine example of increasing Marine Corps capabilities at the speed of relevance which enables our Marines to compete and win on the modern battlefield».

The JLTV, a program led by the Army, will fully replace the Corps’ aging High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle fleet. The JLTV family of vehicles comes in different variants with multiple mission package configurations, all providing protected, sustained, networked mobility that balances payload, performance and protection across the full range of military operations.

«I’m proud of what our team, in collaboration with the Army, has accomplished. Their commitment to supporting the warfighter delivered an exceptional vehicle, ahead of schedule, that Marines will use to dominate on the battlefield now and well into the future».

Several elements need to be met before a program can declare IOC of a system, which encompasses more than delivery of the system itself. The program office also had to ensure all the operators were fully trained and maintenance tools and spare parts packages were ready.

«IOC is more than just saying that the schoolhouses and an infantry battalion all have their trucks», said Eugene Morin, product manager for JLTV at PEO Land Systems. «All of the tools and parts required to support the system need to be in place, the units must have had received sufficient training and each unit commander needs to declare that he is combat-ready».

For the JLTV, this means the program office had to fully field battle-ready vehicles to the Marine Corps schoolhouses – School of Infantry East at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina; School of Infantry West at Camp Pendleton, California; The Basic School at Quantico, Virginia; and the Motor Transport Maintenance Instruction Course at Camp Johnson, North Carolina – and to an infantry battalion at II Marine Expeditionary Force. The program office started delivering vehicles to the schoolhouses earlier this year and started delivering vehicles to the infantry battalion last month.

On August 2, Lieutenant Colonel Neil Berry, the commanding officer for 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, notified Morin and his team of the unit’s combat readiness with the JLTV. On August 5, The Director, Ground Combat Element Division at Combat Development and Integration (CD&I) notified Program Manager (PM) LTV of its IOC achievement. The JLTV is scheduled to start fielding to I Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF I) and III MEF before the end of September.

According to LTV Program Manager Andrew Rodgers, during the post-acquisition Milestone C rebaseline of the JLTV schedule in January 2016, IOC was projected to occur by June 2020.

Rodgers says that detailed program scheduling, planning and, most importantly, teamwork with stakeholders across the enterprise enabled the program office to deliver the vehicles and reach IOC ahead of schedule.

«It was definitely a team effort, and we built up a really great team», said Rodgers. «In terms of leadership, our product managers’ – both Gene Morin and his predecessor, Dave Bias – detailed focus and ability to track cost, schedule and performance was key. Neal Justis, our deputy program manager, has significant prior military experience working for the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, so having him on board knowing how to work the Pentagon network was a huge force multiplier».

Rodgers is quick to note that, although the team has reached IOC, this is really only the beginning of the JLTV’s future legacy.

«We are really at the starting line right now. Our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will see JLTVs in the Department of Defense», said Rodgers. «We’ll easily still have these assets somewhere in the DOD in the year 2100. Welcome to the start of many generations of JLTVs».

High-energy laser

Rheinmetall and MBDA Deutschland have agreed to collaborate in the high-energy laser effectors domain. The two companies intend to construct, integrate and test a laser demonstrator for the German Navy’s corvette K130.

Rheinmetall and MBDA to develop high-energy laser effector system for the German Navy

Capable of engaging targets at the speed of light with extreme precision and minimal collateral damage, lasers constitute a whole new dimension in defence technology. Now, for the first time ever, this capability is to be investigated under quasi-operational conditions using a demonstrator installed onboard a German corvette. The details and division of responsibilities between the two companies will be determined as soon as the performance specification is made available by the Federal Office for Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-service Support, Germany’s military procurement agency.

Looking ahead to the joint project, Peter Heilmeier, Head of Sales and Business Development at MBDA Deutschland GmbH, notes that «cooperation between Rheinmetall and MBDA will be particularly beneficial for the Bundeswehr. Both companies will be leveraging their respective special strengths to make this German Navy project a resounding success».

Werner Krämer, Managing Director of Rheinmetall Waffe Munition GmbH, sums up the venture as follows: «We’re going to be cooperating very closely to put the military potential of laser technology to work for the Bundeswehr, boosting its operational readiness and combat effectiveness. Compared to other countries, too, our two companies possess extraordinary capabilities. Lasers offer new tactical possibilities on land, at sea and in the air. In partnership with the German Navy, we want to press ahead with this new technology».

Re-scalable Aperture

Northrop Grumman Corporation has received a contract award from the U.S. Army to develop the next generation tactical radar antenna. The Re-scalable Aperture for Precision Targeting Radar (RAPTR) will be composed of small radar building blocks to allow the antenna to be scaled to fit a wide range of mission and platform requirements.

Northrop Grumman’s Re-scalable Aperture for Precision Targeting Radar (RAPTR), composed of small radar building blocks, will provide advanced surveillance and precision targeting capabilities for a wide range of missions and platforms

RAPTR will improve upon the precision and range of the previous, combat-proven Northrop Grumman tactical radar family to provide a greater level of situational understanding to warfighters. The system will operate in multiple radar modes, including Synthetic Aperture Radar and Ground Moving Target Indicator, to provide a comprehensive operating picture.

«RAPTR’s building block architecture allows us to scale the antenna up or down to suit a wide range of platforms and missions, so it is well suited to the demands of today’s multi-domain battlespace», said Brent Toland, vice president, land and avionics C4ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Computer, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance), Northrop Grumman.

The system will take advantage of common building blocks, allowing for rapid, cost effective production for a variety of applications.

AFV concept

According to Yaakov Lappin, Jane’s Defence Weekly correspondent, the Israel Ministry of Defense (MoD) unveiled on 4 August a new Armoured Fighting Vehicle (AFV) concept, dubbed Carmel, that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI), autonomous capabilities, and enhanced situational awareness to achieve new levels of battlefield effectiveness.

IAI’s prototype for the Carmel programme was unveiled alongside ones from Rafael and Elbit on 4 August (Source: Yaakov Lappin)

The goal of the programme is to reduce the number of onboard personnel in AFVs like the Merkava tank from four to two and enable them to operate under closed hatches, with the vehicle driving itself, detecting threats in real time, and providing recommendations to the crew on critical decisions.

The vehicles will also be able to control unmanned air and ground vehicles, as well as operate as part of a network that builds a shared picture of the battlefield and co-operate to efficiently engage targets.

The programme will not immediately produce new vehicles, according to the MoD, but will develop capabilities that will gradually be installed on the Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF’s) Merkava Mk-4, the next-generation Barak tank, the Namer tracked Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC), and the Eitan wheeled APC. The MoD will also begin developing an AFV that incorporates the new capabilities at an unspecified time in the future.

Brigadier General Yaniv Rotem, head of research and development at the MoD’s Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D), told journalists that the programme began around three years ago after the MoD decided to revolutionise the ground forces’ manoeuvring capabilities.

Israel’s three largest defence companies – Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), Elbit Systems, and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems – were asked to develop their own Carmel prototypes using M113 APCs. These were unveiled on 4 August following a month of trials by a DDR&D team in northern Israel.

The challenge was proving the feasibility of two soldiers conducting closed-hatch operations and integrating technological capabilities that would enhance mission efficiency for the IDF’s manoeuvre forces.

Missile Defense System

The Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) operates collectively and continuously through a multi-domain system that connects traditionally autonomous sensors, satellites and weapon systems. Through a $320 million contract, Lockheed Martin will continue to evolve this multi-domain system, the Command, Control, Battle Management and Communications (C2BMC) system.

C2BMC enables an optimized response to threats of all ranges in all phases of flight

Fielded and operational since 2004, C2BMC gives commanders at strategic, regional and operational levels an integrated picture of potential or current threats across the globe. Through C2BMC, commanders can make coordinated decisions about the most effective way to engage ballistic missile threats at any range, in any phase of flight.

With this contract, Lockheed Martin’s team will integrate the Long-Range Discrimination Radar, as well as sensors that provide advanced tracking capabilities for emerging threats into the BMDS. Using an agile development process, the team will enhance C2BMC’s threat characterization, tracking and advanced threat warning capabilities through integration with both new and enhanced sensor capabilities. The team will also further harden the overall cybersecurity posture of the system.

Lockheed Martin’s C2BMC team includes a partnership of highly responsive industry leaders that includes Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Raytheon, General Dynamics and many small businesses with expertise in key areas. The new contract extends the team’s performance on C2BMC through December 2022.

«The critical mission of missile defense requires a full view of incoming threats, actionable options for commanders and the ability to decisively and effectively respond», said JD Hammond, vice president of C4ISR Systems at Lockheed Martin. «C2BMC continues to showcase the benefits of a layered, cross domain defense that can help protect the U.S. and allies from increasing security concerns around the world».

There are C2BMC systems located at 36 locations worldwide, including U.S. Strategic, Northern, European, Indo-Pacific and Central Commands. The C2BMC system ties together elements of the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), Army, Navy and Air Force systems and sensors to provide a responsive and coherent global capability.