Initial Integration

Northrop Grumman Corporation and the U.S. Marine Corps successfully completed an Initial Integration Event (IIE) in November 2016 for the AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task-Oriented Radar (G/ATOR) system.

«The volley fire capability that G/ATOR demonstrated is critical on the modern battlefield, and all of the data collected during IIE indicates that GWLR can exceed the U.S. Marine Corps’ range capability»,” said Roshan Roeder, vice president, mission solutions, Northrop Grumman
«The volley fire capability that G/ATOR demonstrated is critical on the modern battlefield, and all of the data collected during IIE indicates that GWLR can exceed the U.S. Marine Corps’ range capability»,” said Roshan Roeder, vice president, mission solutions, Northrop Grumman

The three-week IIE demonstrated G/ATOR’s Ground Weapon Locating Radar (GWLR) mode’s ability to detect and track multiple types of Rocket, Artillery and Mortar (RAM) rounds simultaneously. Over 40 different weapon scenarios were evaluated through the live fire event, and more than 700 live shots were fired, including a variety of RAM rounds. GWLR successfully tracked projectiles including volley fire between 3.7 miles/6 km and 31 miles/50 km, demonstrating G/ATOR’s long range capability. Volley fire capability is the ability to detect and track multiple RAM projectiles intentionally fired in very rapid sequence in an attempt to overwhelm radar capabilities.

«GWLR mode detects and tracks time-critical incoming threats, calculates an approximate impact point, and then tracks the threat’s trajectory back in time to estimate a firing position, allowing counterfire forces to engage rapidly», said Roshan Roeder, vice president, mission solutions, Northrop Grumman. «The volley fire capability that G/ATOR demonstrated is critical on the modern battlefield, and all of the data collected during IIE indicates that GWLR can exceed the U.S. Marine Corps’ range capability».

The AN/TPS-80 G/ATOR system is multi-mission, performing four principal missions using the same hardware: short-range air defense, tactical air operations control, counterfire target acquisition (GWLR mode) and future air traffic control. GWLR mode adds software to the G/ATOR system to detect, track and identify RAM projectiles, both 360-degree and sector-only. The GWLR mode addresses multiple types of simultaneous threats. Adding this capability will allow G/ATOR to replace five legacy United States Marine Corps (USMC) radars.

Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in autonomous systems, cyber, Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR), strike, and logistics and modernization to customers worldwide.

Extreme cold tests

Newcomers to the interior of Alaska are often taken aback by the extreme winter cold and its effects on the body and equipment, according to Steve Decker, a training specialist at the Northern Warfare Training Center (NWTC) here.

A student cross country skis on White Rocket skis. The boots are called Vapor Barrier and keep feet warm and dry (Photo Credit: David Vergun)
A student cross country skis on White Rocket skis. The boots are called Vapor Barrier and keep feet warm and dry (Photo Credit: David Vergun)

When it gets 50 or 60 degrees below zero, vehicles – even tracked ones designed for the cold – quit working, Decker said. Those temperatures are not uncommon here, with minus 30 and minus 40 fairly normal for winter. It can get so cold that even engine oil and transmission fluid will freeze, rendering vehicles inoperable.

When vehicles aren’t in use, they’re kept plugged into outlets featured at every parking spot. The electricity powers heating pads and engine block heaters. Oil and transmission pans have silicone heating pads directly attached to them. Block heaters or freeze-plug heaters are heating elements that actually stick into the side of the engine.

Even with these precautions, everything seems to fail on the coldest days, and movement becomes possible only via skis and snowshoes. Getting around that way is taught to Soldiers attending the Cold Weather Leaders Course and other winter courses here, Decker said.

Today’s Soldiers are dependent on vehicles and roads, Decker said. Out here and in many parts of the world, such dependence can limit options when vehicles don’t work and roads are few or nonexistent. At NWTC, Soldiers are taught to rely less on machines and more on themselves, he said.

But it’s not just vehicles that break down in the cold. Anything powered by batteries will also be prone to failure in deep-freeze conditions. That includes GPS devices, which Decker believes Soldiers are also too reliant on.

As part of the Cold Weather Leaders Course, students are tasked with finding specific points throughout the rugged 6-square mile/16-square-kilometer training site using just their maps, protractors and compasses.



When instructors aren’t teaching students the art of surviving and operating in cold weather, they attend cold-weather training schools in other countries and bring back new ideas, Decker said.

The Small Unit Support Vehicle is used at NWTC for negotiating steep, snowy terrain. At extreme low temperatures, all vehicles can fail to operate, making reliance on skis and snowshoes a vital skill (Photo Credit: David Vergun)
The Small Unit Support Vehicle is used at NWTC for negotiating steep, snowy terrain. At extreme low temperatures, all vehicles can fail to operate, making reliance on skis and snowshoes a vital skill (Photo Credit: David Vergun)

For example, instructors have visited Nepal, which has some of the world’s highest mountains. There, they learn the effects of high altitude and how it affects the mind and body, explained Staff Sgt. Jonathan Tanner, an instructor.

In turn, other allies and partner nations learn from the U.S. Army, Tanner said. Not long ago, Soldiers in Nepal were using rope made of a material that was inferior and poorly braided. U.S. Soldiers pointed them to a better-quality rope that’s less prone to failure.

Another example of equipment that varies among U.S. and partner countries is the type of skis. Sgt. Derrick Bruner, an instructor, said the U.S. Army uses NATO skis, sometimes called White Rockets, while Soldiers in Norway use a type of ski called the Jager.

«In my opinion, the White Rocket is a better ski than the Jager», Bruner said. The ski bindings work well with the Vapor Barrier boots, or VB boots, that are issued to Soldiers in arctic areas.

However, the Army is currently using a number of Jager skis because some Soldiers with large feet cannot be fitted with VB boots (the boots aren’t available in very large sizes). In that case, Soldiers are issued Canadian Mutluks, boots that can be worn only with Jager skis, he said.

Specialist Elijah Mainini, a student, is one such Soldier who was issued Mutluks and Jager skis because his feet are too large for VB boots. He wears a size 16 boot.

Mutluks are much more comfortable to wear and walk in, and they provide better traction over icy terrain, Mainini said. The problem is that they lack the necessary rigidity for skiing, particularly when it comes to providing ankle support.

Sgt. Eric Martin, a medic, said VB boots keep feet warm and dry, but they’re so rigid that the tops of them often dig into Soldiers’ calves and shins, causing skin abrasions. Mutluks, on the other hand, are flexible and don’t dig into the skin.

Decker said there are pros and cons to nearly every piece of gear and clothing. The only way to know for sure what works and what doesn’t is through extensive testing. Currently, instructors are test-wearing a number of different styles of gloves and other garments.

On Wednesday, Kate Young, a textile technologist from the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center at Natick, Massachusetts, was at NWTC collecting feedback on a variety of non-standard issue gloves the Soldiers were wearing.

In 2016, she had visited NWTC to collect feedback on the Generation III Extended Cold Weather Clothing System. ECWCS III features seven layers of insulated clothing that Soldiers at NWTC and in arctic regions are issued.

Natick is always looking for new ways to improve Soldiers’ clothing, she said, and there’s no better place for testing them than here in the extreme cold.

A variety of tracked vehicles like this one are used at NWTC for negotiating steep, snowy terrain. At extreme low temperatures, all vehicles can fail to operate, making reliance on skis and snowshoes a vital skill (Photo Credit: David Vergun)
A variety of tracked vehicles like this one are used at NWTC for negotiating steep, snowy terrain. At extreme low temperatures, all vehicles can fail to operate, making reliance on skis and snowshoes a vital skill (Photo Credit: David Vergun)

First ACV to Marine

Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) today unveiled its first Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) 1.1 prototype to the U.S. Marine Corps during a ceremony held at the company’s integration facility in Charleston, South Carolina. This vehicle is the first of 16 to be delivered for testing by the Marine Corps, which is scheduled to begin next month.

SAIC unveils its first ACV 1.1 prototype (Photo: Business Wire)
SAIC unveils its first ACV 1.1 prototype (Photo: Business Wire)

«SAIC is incredibly proud to deliver this modern, high-tech, highly-capable solution to the Marine Corps. Our employees and team members worked tirelessly to successfully deliver this solution to the Marine Corps on time despite delays due to an initial contract award protest», said Tom Watson, SAIC senior vice president and general manager of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Customer Group. «We are confident that this vehicle is equipped with the latest technology which will strengthen the amphibious capabilities of the USMC today and into the future».

SAIC’s ACV 1.1 solution is an enhanced, customized variant of ST Kinetics’ TERREX vehicle fielded by the Singapore Armed Forces. Tailored to meet Marine Corps requirements, SAIC’s ACV is an 8×8 wheeled, armored amphibious vehicle with improved survivability, mobility, lethality, and Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) capability tailored to transport Marine Corps fighting units from ship to shore. SAIC’s ACV engine and transmission offers 600 horsepower/447.4 kW for outstanding mobility while still exceeding fuel economy targets.

On land, the ACV 1.1’s independent suspension system improves ground mobility and ride quality for Marines. In water, its hydraulically driven propulsion systems with full independent thrust control authority and innovative water mode cooling solution supports safe operation at Sea-State 3 for ship-to-shore operational employment and through six-foot plunging surf.

Within the vehicle, state-of-the-art technologies include 360-degree situational awareness, force protection through leading blast protection seats, and a V-Over-VTM hull design to keep Marines alive in combat. All Engineering, Manufacturing, and Development (EMD) vehicle hulls are manufactured and integrated in the United States.

«Our vehicle was designed with future Marines in mind. We are equipping a new generation of Marines with the latest technology that they have grown accustomed to and using it as a way that will improve warfighting capability and could potentially save their lives», said Bernie Ellis, SAIC ACV 1.1 program manager.

SAIC has a proven track record – more than 10 years – of modifying and upgrading armored vehicles for the Department of Defense ensuring warfighters are protected during combat, while securing command and control and repair capabilities. ST Kinetics is one of Asia’s leading land systems and specialty vehicles companies having delivered hundreds of TERREX vehicles to the Singapore Armed Forces as well as the Warthog, a twin chassis, multi-purpose articulated tracked carrier, to the British Armed Forces.

Last February, the Marine Corps awarded SAIC a $121.5 million contract for the EMD phase of the ACV 1.1 program. Additionally, SAIC is currently the prime contractor providing the Marine Corps with initial survivability upgrades to 10 Assault Amphibious Vehicle (AAV) prototypes.

Keel For Destroyer

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division authenticated the keel of the guided missile destroyer USS Frank E. Petersen Jr. (DDG-121) on February 21, 2017. The ship, named in honor of the U.S. Marine Corps’ first African-American general, will be the 33rd Arleigh Burke-class (DDG-51) destroyer Ingalls has built for the U.S. Navy.

Jeremy Lally, a structural welder at Ingalls Shipbuilding, welds the initials of ship sponsor D’Arcy Neller (left) onto the keel plate of the destroyer USS Frank E. Petersen Jr. (DDG-121) (Photo by Lance Davis/HII)
Jeremy Lally, a structural welder at Ingalls Shipbuilding, welds the initials of ship sponsor D’Arcy Neller (left) onto the keel plate of the destroyer USS Frank E. Petersen Jr. (DDG-121) (Photo by Lance Davis/HII)

«DDGs are traditionally named after great men and women in the history of our Navy, and the namesake of DDG-121 is a true trailblazer and an American hero», Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias said at a shipyard ceremony. «Like her namesake, DDG-121 will be strong and capable. She can be no other way, because our men and women in the Navy – and General Petersen’s legacy – deserve nothing less».

D’Arcy Neller, the wife of Marine Corps Commandant General Robert Neller, is the ship’s sponsor. Jeremy Lally, a structural welder at Ingalls Shipbuilding division, welded her initials onto a steel plate, signifying the keel of DDG-121 to be «truly and fairly laid». The plate will remain affixed to the ship throughout the ship’s lifetime.

«I appreciate the opportunity to be here with you today and the effort that goes on in this shipyard», General Neller said. «We’re being contested everywhere in the world right now, especially on the sea. We need ships like this one, and we need them to go fast and in harm’s way, every day. So, I know Ingalls will put great care, talent and skill into building this ship, and I appreciate your effort».

The guided missile destroyer honors Frank Emmanuel Petersen Jr., who was the Marine Corps’ first African-American aviator and general officer. After entering the Naval Aviation Cadet Program in 1950, Petersen would go on to fly more than 350 combat missions throughout the Korean and Vietnam wars.

«This is such an honor for General Petersen and our family, particularly with this month being Black History Month», said Doctor Alicia Petersen, widow of General Petersen. «He wasn’t a man who wanted a lot of praise or recognition; however, if he could see this great ship being built for other young men and young women to see and look up to, he would be very proud».

Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are highly capable, multi-mission ships that can conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection, all in support of the United States’ military strategy. They are capable of simultaneously fighting air, surface and subsurface battles. The ships contain myriad offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime defense needs well into the 21st century.


Ship Characteristics

Length Overall 510 feet/156 m
Beam – Waterline 59 feet/18 m
Draft 30.5 feet/9.3 m
Displacement – Full Load 9,217 tons/9,363 metric tons
Power Plant 4 General electric LM 2500-30 gas turbines; 2 shafts; 2 CRP (Contra-Rotating) propellers; 100,000 shaft horsepower/75,000 kW
Speed in excess of 30 knots/34.5 mph/55.5 km/h
Range 4,400 NM/8,149 km at 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h
Crew 380 total: 32 Officers, 27 CPO (Chief Petty Officer), 321 OEM
Surveillance SPY-1D Phased Array Radar and Aegis Combat System (Lockheed Martin); SPS-73(V) Navigation; SPS-67(V)3 Surface Search; 3 SPG-62 Illuminator; SQQ-89(V)6 sonar incorporating SQS-53C hull mounted and SQR-19 towed array sonars used with Mark-116 Mod 7 ASW fire control system
Electronics/Countermeasures SLQ-32(V)3; Mark-53 Mod 0 Decoy System; Mark-234 Decoy System; SLQ-25A Torpedo Decoy; SLQ-39 Surface Decoy; URN-25 TACAN; UPX-29 IFF System; Kollmorgen Mark-46 Mod 1 Electro-Optical Director
Aircraft 2 embarked SH-60 helicopters ASW operations; RAST (Recovery Assist, Secure and Traverse)
Armament 2 Mark-41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) with 90 Standard, Vertical Launch ASROC (Anti-Submarine Rocket) & Tomahawk ASM (Air-to-Surface Missile)/LAM (Loitering Attack Missile); 5-in (127-mm)/54 (62) Mark-45 gun; 2 (1) CIWS (Close-In Weapon System); 2 Mark-32 triple 324-mm torpedo tubes for Mark-46 or Mark-50 ASW torpedos


Guided Missile Destroyers Lineup


Flight IIA: Restart

Ship Yard Launched Commissioned Homeport
DDG-113 John Finn HIIIS 03-28-15
DDG-114 Ralph Johnson HIIIS 12-12-15
DDG-115 Rafael Peralta GDBIW 10-31-15


Flight IIA: Technology Insertion

Ship Yard Launched Commissioned Homeport
DDG-116 Thomas Hudner GDBIW
DDG-117 Paul Ignatius HIIIS 11-12-16
DDG-118 Daniel Inouye GDBIW
DDG-119 Delbert D. Black HIIIS
DDG-120 Carl M. Levin GDBIW
DDG-121 Frank E. Peterson Jr. HIIIS
DDG-122 John Basilone GDBIW
DDG-123 Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee HIIIS


Flight III

Ship Yard Launched Commissioned Homeport
DDG-124 Harvey C. Barnum, Jr. GDBIW
DDG-125 Jack H. Lucas HIIIS
DDG-126 Louis H. Wilson, Jr. GDBIW


Successful in Tests

Lockheed Martin’s modernized Tactical Missile System (TACMS) missile continued its streak of successful flight tests with two recent flights at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. These tests represent the third and fourth consecutive successful trials of the modernized TACMS.

A TACMS long-range missile takes flight from a Lockheed Martin M270A1 launcher during a test
A TACMS long-range missile takes flight from a Lockheed Martin M270A1 launcher during a test

In December 2016, a modernized TACMS successfully engaged and destroyed a target in a 44-mile/71-kilometer test. And in early February 2017, a fourth modernized TACMS destroyed a target at White Sands at a range of more than 124 miles/200 kilometers. In both tests, the TACMS missiles were launched from a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launcher.

«With our third and fourth consecutive successful modernized TACMS flights, I believe we have demonstrated that our production quality and new technology are ready to move forward», said Scott Greene, vice president of Precision Fires & Combat Maneuver Systems at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. «These modernized TACMS missiles will allow our warfighters to quickly and accurately address imprecisely located targets on the battlefield».

The missiles used in these two tests were produced at Lockheed Martin’s Precision Fires Production Center of Excellence in Camden, Arkansas.

As part of the U.S. Army’s TACMS Service Life Extension Program, the modernized missile includes new state-of-the-art guidance electronics and added capability to defeat area targets without leaving behind unexploded ordnance. The TACMS modernization process disassembles and demilitarizes TACMS Block 1 and 1A submunition warheads, replacing them with new unitary warheads and bringing them into compliance with Department of Defense policy on cluster munitions and unintended harm to civilians. The modernization process also resets the missile’s 10+ year shelf life.

In December 2014, Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Army signed a $74 million contract to take existing TACMS missiles from inventory and modernize them.

The TACMS platform provides maximum flexibility to quickly integrate new payloads and capabilities to meet current and future demands.

With unsurpassed performance and an unwavering commitment to production excellence, TACMS is the only long-range tactical surface-to-surface missile ever employed by the U.S. Army in combat. TACMS missiles can be fired from the entire family of Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) launchers.

SIHAM3 Unveiled at IDEX

At IDEX 2017, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) company Siham Al Khaleej Technology (SAKT), together with Leonardo and MBDA are presenting an innovative and cost-effective weapon system designated «SIHAM3», providing a comprehensive and stand-alone anti-air and anti-surface capability to all types of warships.

SIHAM3: a comprehensive Air & Surface Self-Defence Capability
SIHAM3: a comprehensive Air & Surface Self-Defence Capability

This industrial cooperation will be officially announced during IDEX 2017 and a mock-up of the system will be displayed at the SAKT booth, B-0004, at NAVDEX.

In particular, SAKT will be responsible for integration of the «SIHAM3» weapon system, which combines two Leonardo products: the OTO Marlin WS 30-mm Naval Gun and the Medusa MK4/B Electro-Optical Fire Control System (EO-FCS) providing a stand-alone capability to detect and track with high accuracy either air or surface targets. The system is completed with an MBDA Twin Air Defence Mistral missile launcher on a single mounting.

This new system will be fully controlled by a single operator and will allow for a significant reduction in the ship’s installation requirement thanks to a single mounted system.

A further evolution of the SIHAM3will allow integration with a Combat Management System (CMS).

This «Made in the UAE» system will be developed, produced, assembled and integrated by the three parties together.

Next Generation Vehicles

Oshkosh Defense, LLC, an Oshkosh Corporation company, will showcase its MRAP All-Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV) and Light Combat Tactical All-Terrain Vehicle (L-ATV), the U.S. military’s Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) solution, at the IDEX Conference 2017. The vehicles will be on display at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, in Abu Dhabi from February 19-23, 2017.

M-ATV Assault 2
M-ATV Assault 2

«Our M-ATV and L-ATV platforms serve a full spectrum of military and security missions around the world», said George Mansfield, vice president and general manager of International Programs for Oshkosh Defense. «Both platforms having a place on today’s modern and undefined battlefields, these vehicles represent a new generation of protection, mobility, lethality and communications, which is allowing customers to redefine their ground vehicle capability».

The battle-proven M-ATV Family of Vehicles combines best-in-class off-road mobility and life-saving survivability to deliver optimal protected mobility with MRAP-level protection against IEDs and other battlefield threats. The M-ATV Assault variant on display is outfitted with a Moog Reconfigurable Integrated-weapons Platform (RIwP), which can help achieve tactical unit overmatch with proven precision lethality in any operational environment. The featured RIwP configuration employs the Orbital ATK M230LF 30-mm lightweight automatic chain gun, an M249 machine gun, a Javelin missile, and the DRS Long Range target acquisition sensor suite. RIwP provides commanders with options of direct fire, missile, sight and non-lethal configurations to meet changing enemy threats. It also improves soldier situational awareness with a gunner’s hatch and protects them through weapon reload under armor. The M-ATV is further equipped with the DRS Technologies Driver’s Vision Enhancer and Enhanced Situational Awareness System to provide greater coverage and mission capability.

M-ATVs are offered in standard and extended wheel base models with five variants to meet mission requirements for militaries and security forces around the world. The M-ATV variants include:

  • M-ATV Special Forces;
  • M-ATV Assault;
  • M-ATV Engineer;
  • M-ATV Command;
  • M-ATV Utility.

After years of U.S. Government testing, the Oshkosh JLTV Family of Vehicles is recognized as the most capable light tactical vehicles ever built, providing troops with the payload, performance and protection they need for current and future battlefields. Built with the future in mind, the JLTV takes lessons learned from past conflicts to prepare for threats unknown. The JLTV General Purpose variant on display is equipped with an EOS R-400S-MK2 remote weapon system integrated with Orbital ATK’s M230 LF 30 mm lightweight automatic chain gun to demonstrate the vehicle’s ability to support increased lethality including a medium caliber weapon system. The JLTV is available in 2-door and 4-door models in the following configurations:

  • JLTV Utility;
  • JLTV General Purpose;
  • JLTV Close Combat Weapons Carrier;
  • JLTV Heavy Guns Carrier.

Oshkosh Defense leadership will be available to discuss the Oshkosh M-ATV and L-ATV Family of Vehicles, and the Company’s full portfolio of Heavy, Medium, Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting (ARFF) and protected vehicles, technologies, integration capabilities and aftermarket solutions at IDEX 2017 in booth 02-B11.

Finnish Thunder

According to Finnish Broadcasting Corp., Finland will buy 48 used self-propelled howitzers from South Korea for 146 million euros. Besides the howitzers, the deal also includes training, spare parts and maintenance.

The Korean-designed K9 Thunder 155-mm self-propelled gun was evaluated in Finland’s Lapland, and its suitability to Finnish requirements confirmed (Finnish MoD photo)
The Korean-designed K9 Thunder 155-mm self-propelled gun was evaluated in Finland’s Lapland, and its suitability to Finnish requirements confirmed (Finnish MoD photo)

Defence Jussi Niinistö (Sannf) approved the purchase on Friday, February 17.

The new vehicles are to replace part of the Finnish army’s artillery park that will become obsolete in the 2020s and 2030s.

The first self-propelled guns will arrive in Finland next year and the final ones in 2024. Conscripts are scheduled to begin training in the new artillery system in 2019.

The Army tested the K9 Thunder self-propelled guns last year in Lapland. Their 155-millimeter (6.1 inches) guns have a range of about 40 kilometers/24.8 miles. They have a top speed of over 60 kilometers per hour/37 miles per hour.

Protection and Mobility

General Dynamics Land Systems – Canada has been awarded a CA$404 million contract amendment by the Government of Canada to upgrade 141 Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV) III vehicles.

General Dynamics Land Systems – Canada to Increase Protection and Mobility for Canadian Army’s LAV Fleet
General Dynamics Land Systems – Canada to Increase Protection and Mobility for Canadian Army’s LAV Fleet

The upgrades will enhance the performance and survivability of these Canadian designed and manufactured vehicles. It also ensures the consistency and availability of equipment for training and deployments. In addition, having a fleet of LAVs of largely the same configuration reduces long-term maintenance costs.

The LAV III Upgrade program delivers vehicles in the new LAV 6.0 configuration. It is the direct result of lessons learned by the Canadian Army in Afghanistan, and was developed with substantial inputs from the Government of Canada. The upgrades include the life-saving double-V hull, protection and mobility enhancements, onboard vetronics and capacity for future growth and modularity.

«We are committed to delivering highly protected, flexible and capable vehicles to our soldiers and the LAV 6.0 provides the Canadian Army with best-in-class protection and mobility», said Danny Deep, vice president of General Dynamics Land Systems – Canada. «This announcement is welcome news to the London area and to our suppliers across Canada whose jobs will be sustained with this additional work».

In October 2011, the Government of Canada awarded General Dynamics Land Systems – Canada a CA$1.064 billion contract to incorporate a comprehensive upgrade package into 550 of the Canadian Army’s fleet of LAV III combat vehicles and extends their life to 2035.

This contract sustains approximately 250 highly skilled jobs in advanced manufacturing in the London, Ontario, region. In addition, it will be of direct economic benefit to General Dynamics’ extensive supplier network located across Canada.

General Dynamics Land Systems – Canada is a defence industry leader in land and amphibious systems development and integration. Based in London, Ontario, the Canadian operations employs more than 2,000 people in the design, manufacture and support of light- and medium-armoured vehicles, and are specialists in machining, materials, electronics, software development, prototyping, logistics support and systems integration.

Augmentation System

Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) signals are critical tools for industries requiring exact precision and high confidence. Now, Geoscience Australia, an agency of the Commonwealth of Australia, and Lockheed Martin have entered into a collaborative research project to show how augmenting signals from multiple GNSS constellations can enhance positioning, navigation, and timing for a range of applications.

Second-Generation Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS)
Second-Generation Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS)

This innovative research project aims to demonstrate how a second-generation Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS) testbed can – for the first time – use signals from both the Global Positioning System (GPS) and the Galileo constellation, and dual frequencies, to achieve even greater GNSS integrity and accuracy. Over two years, the testbed will validate applications in nine industry sectors: agriculture, aviation, construction, maritime, mining, rail, road, spatial, and utilities.

«Many industries rely on GNSS signals for accurate, safe navigation. Users must be confident in the position solutions calculated by GNSS receivers. The term ‘integrity’ defines the confidence in the position solutions provided by GNSS», explained Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand Chief Executive Vince Di Pietro. «Industries where safety-of-life navigation is crucial want assured GNSS integrity».

Ultimately, the second-generation SBAS testbed will broaden understanding of how this technology can benefit safety, productivity, efficiency and innovation in Australia’s industrial and research sectors.

«We are excited to have an opportunity to work with Geoscience Australia and Australian industry to demonstrate the best possible GNSS performance and proud that Australia will be leading the way to enhance space-based navigation and industry safety», Di Pietro added.

Basic GNSS signals are accurate enough for many civil positioning, navigation and timing users. However, these signals require augmentation to meet higher safety-of-life navigation requirements. The second-generation SBAS will mitigate that issue.

Once the SBAS testbed is operational, basic GNSS signals will be monitored by widely-distributed reference stations operated by Geoscience Australia. An SBAS testbed master station, installed by teammate GMV, of Spain, will collect that reference station data, compute corrections and integrity bounds for each GNSS satellite signal, and generate augmentation messages.

«A Lockheed Martin uplink antenna at Uralla, New South Wales will send these augmentation messages to an SBAS payload hosted aboard a geostationary Earth orbit satellite, owned by Inmarsat», explains Rod Drury, Director, International Strategy and Business Development for Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. «This satellite rebroadcasts the augmentation messages containing corrections and integrity data to the end users. The whole process takes less than six seconds».

By augmenting signals from multiple GNSS constellations – both Galileo and GPS – second-generation SBAS is not dependent on just one GNSS. It will also use signals on two frequencies – the L1 and L5 GPS signals, and their companion E1 and E5a Galileo signals – to provide integrity data and enhanced accuracy for industries that need it the most.

Partners in this collaborative research project include the government of Australia. Lockheed Martin will provide systems integration expertise in addition to the Uralla radio frequency uplink. GMV-Spain will provide their ‘magicGNSS’ processors. Inmarsat will provide the navigation payload hosted on the 4F1 geostationary satellite. The Australia and New Zealand Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information will coordinate the demonstrator projects that test the SBAS infrastructure.

Lockheed Martin has significant experience with space-based navigation systems. The company developed and produced 20 GPS IIR and IIR-M satellites. It also maintains the GPS Architecture Evolution Plan ground control system, which operates the entire 31-satellite constellation.