A memorandum of intent between the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine and the Ministry of Defence of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on cooperation in developing and enhancing the capabilities of the Navy of the Armed Forces of Ukraine was signed during the official visit of President Volodymyr Zelenskyi to Great Britain.
The document was signed on behalf of Ukraine by Defence Minister Andrii Taran. According to him, it is a question of supply of modern samples of military equipment and the newest high-precision armament, adjustment of production of separate types of military production in Ukraine, and also development of bases of the Navy.
The implementation of these projects will significantly strengthen the capabilities and combat potential of the Ukrainian Navy, as well as the interoperability with the naval component of NATO member states. In addition, we expect that this will be a driver of recovery of the shipbuilding industry of Ukraine and will attract to our economy the latest technologies, – noted Andrii Taran.
Specific measures for the practical implementation of the agreements reached will be discussed during a bilateral meeting between the Minister of Defence of Ukraine Andrii Taran and the Secretary of State for Defence of the United Kingdom Ben Wallace, which will take place on Thursday, October 8.
On October 7, 2020 the Ukrainian delegation headed by the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi visited the naval base of Great Britain «Portsmouth». During the event, the delegation inspected the aircraft carrier of the British Navy «Prince of Wales» and held an interactive round table with representatives of British companies, which are considered as potential partners in developing the capabilities of the Navy of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Minister of Defence of Ukraine Andrii Taran, as a member of the official delegation of Ukraine, is taking part in the events envisaged by the program of the official visit of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi to the United Kingdom.
The Space Development Agency (SDA) announced on October 5, 2020 that two companies won bids to build out Tranche 0 of the tracking layer for the National Defense Space Architecture (NDSA). Together, those contracts amount to more than $342 million.
Both L3Harris Technologies, Inc., of Melbourne, Florida, and Space Exploration Technologies Corp., of Hawthorne, California, also known as SpaceX, were successful in their bids to participate in the NDSA.
Each company is expected to build four Overhead Persistent Infrared Imaging, or OPIR, satellites for the tracking layer of the NDSA. Those satellites should be ready by the end of fiscal year 2022.
«The satellites will be able to provide missile tracking data for hypersonic glide vehicles and the next generation of advanced missile threats», said Derek Tournear, the director of the Space Development Agency.
Tournear said both L3Harris and SpaceX will build satellites of their own design, but that meet criteria set by the SDA. They must all be able to do the missile tracking mission, and then also be able to communicate directly with transport layer satellites via laser communications link.
This most recent contract award is the second for development of the NDSA, Tournear said. About a month ago, he said, contracts were awarded for transport layer satellites. Those contracts went to Lockheed Martin and York Space Systems. Each of these companies will build ten satellites.
The contracts for both the tracking and transport layers are part of Tranche 0 of the NDSA. Tranche 0, he said, comprises 28 SDA satellites: 20 transport satellites and 8 tracking layer satellites. Tournear said there will be a separate solicitation to launch those 28 satellites.
«We call it ‘tracking’ because it’s missile tracking – so it provides detection, tracking and fire control formation for hypersonic glide vehicles, ballistic missiles … any of those kinds of threats», Tournear said.
When tracking layer satellites detect a threat, such as a ballistic missile, they send that information to satellites in the transport layer.
«The transport satellites are the backbone of the National Defense Space Architecture», Tournear said. «They take data from multiple tracking systems, fuse those, and are able to calculate a fire control solution, and then the transport satellites will be able to send those data down directly to a weapons platform via a tactical data link, or some other means».
The development of the NDSA is based on two pillars: proliferation and spiral development. Ultimately, Tournear said, there will be hundreds of satellites that make up the NDSA.
«With Tranche 0 in 2022, we will provide enough capability to where people can start to experiment with what those data could do, and figure out how they could put that into their operational plans for battle», Tournear said.
Tranche 1, due in 2024, will include a couple hundred satellites in the transport layer, and a few dozen in the tracking layer. With Tranche 2, in 2026, the SDA would continue to build out the system as needed. By then, he said, the SDA would have global coverage, ensuring that the capabilities provided by the NDSA could be available to warfighters anywhere in the world.
«Every two years thereafter, we would continually spiral out and proliferate more satellites with new capabilities and, in essence, retire satellites with older capabilities as we develop new tranches», he said.
Tournear said that the NDSA is certainly based in space, its focus is mostly back on Earth – in support of service members conducting operations on land, at sea and in the air.
«Our architecture is entirely warfighter-focused for the terrestrial battlefield», Tournear said. «Our goal is to be able to provide real-time targeting data for targets, for time-sensitive targets and for missiles, so that the terrestrial warfighter can utilize space to be able to affect their mission in real time. We’re focused on making sure that we can provide capabilities from space».
October 6, 2020, UVision Air Ltd. – a global leader in Loitering Munitions Systems of all sizes for a variety of missions, and Milrem Robotics – a world renowned manufacturer of advanced unmanned ground vehicles and robotic warfare solutions, have recently joined forces. The joint solution – two of Milrem Robotics’ Robotic Combat Vehicles (commonly known as Unmanned Ground Vehicles, UGV´s) which are now mounted with Loitering Munition Multi-Canister Launcher, is a new step in the deployment of combat unmanned remotely operated systems.
The new operational concept, presented by the two companies, is designed to offer frontline forces with a new independent ability to locate, track and accurately eliminate heavily armored targets from large distances in challenging battlefield conditions, including GPS denied environment and communication jamming, without the need for a headquarters’ support. It provides small light forces with advanced ISR capabilities combined with highly accurate long-range heavy fire power that were achieved until now only with complex cooperation between several units and echelons.
The Estonian-based Milrem Robotics, which only four months ago announced the integration of the Cockerill Protected Weapons Station Generation II (CPWS II) on to its newly developed Type-X Robotic Combat Vehicle (RCV), again shows its innovation, teaming with the Israeli company UVision, and installing a Multi Canister Launcher for UVision’s Lethal Loitering Munition Systems (LMs) on the RCV. The Launcher can be equipped with two of UVision’s already operational Loitering Munition Systems: The Hero-120, with its anti-tank warhead and up to one hour of flight time, and the Hero-400EC, capable of destroying fortified targets, with up to two operational hours. Milrem’s Type-X will also be equipped with a 40 km/25 miles range communication antenna, located on a telescopic rising mast, improving the operator’s control of the system.
The second vehicle, Milrem robotics’ UGV flagship, THeMIS, is designed for operation by dismounted infantry and Special Forces. Able to carry up to six of UVision’s Loitering Munition systems, it will provide the forces with long-range ISR and firepower combination that will now be available to them for the first time. The THeMIS recently completed a full 12-month deployment to an international military operation in Mali, and has already been delivered to a several NATO countries (including Norway, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, and USA).
«As a leading innovative company that takes pride in advanced and in-depth military understanding, UVision has long been a provider of new operational solutions», says Major General (res) Avi Mizrachi, UVision’s CEO. «With a highly experienced team, all – with military background, and many with actual combat experience, we know first-hand the challenges that are facing operational forces in battle conditions today, and we are committed to provide advanced, yet user-friendly and affordable solutions that meet those challenges. Teaming up with Milrem Robotics, to provide new operational concepts based on the advantages of both companies’ cutting-edge solutions, is another milestone in our unprecedented developments».
Kuldar Väärsi, Milrem Robotics CEO adds «bringing disruptive technologies to the battlefield and enhancing our warfighters’ safety and capabilities are the driving force for Milrem Robotics. Our robotic platforms are deployed by different nations and it is our duty to propose new ways on how unmanned systems can benefit to capability building».
UVision’s Hero-120 and Hero-400EC
Modular, customizable loitering weapon systems that can be fitted with a range of powerful multi-purpose warheads and variety of payloads. These versatile, precision, multi-operational systems, with a unique aerodynamic structure, can carry out pinpoint lethal strikes against mid-range hard targets ‒ vehicles, tanks, concrete fortifications and personnel ‒ in populated urban areas or remote locations with minimal collateral damage. Their extended endurance of over an hour (Hero-120), and up to 2 Hours (Hero-400EC), and their loitering range of 40 km/25 miles (Hero-120) and up to 150 km/93 miles (Hero-400), allow these systems to be independently operated by frontline forces, precisely striking time-sensitive targets from a wide variety of angles. Featuring low acoustic and low visual and thermal signatures, and fully gimbaled, stabilized day/night tracking, both systems combine real-time intelligence with high-precision attack to allow a whole new range of operational possibilities. Advanced and versatile, these systems are highly affordable and cost-effective due to their recoverable option, using a parachute, while securing the warhead. The Hero-120 was recently purchased by several NATO military forces. The Hero-400EC was already operationally demonstrated and is currently in evaluation stages by several key military forces.
Milrem Robotics Type-X and THeMIS
The Type-X RCV is a Robotic Combat Vehicle (RCV) with tactical characteristics of a modern Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV). The RCV can be equipped with a main armament of 30 up to 50 mm automatic cannon. It is a rapidly deployable and dependable unit, able to autonomously navigate the battlefield and perform tasks, keeping the operator in the loop with real-time Situational Awareness.
The Type-X concept is based on open architecture that enables it to be integrated with various payloads. The vehicle is designed for operations encompassing the entire spectrum of conflict from permissive to denied environments, fighting effectively in both conventional and non-conventional conflicts.
The THeMIS is the first hybrid fully modular unmanned ground vehicle in the world. The vehicle is intended to provide support for dismounted troops by serving as a transport platform, remote weapon station, IED detection and disposal unit, and much more. The vehicle’s open architecture gives it the multi-missions capability much needed on the modern battlefield.
Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division announced on October 02, 2020 the successful completion of acceptance sea trials for the U.S. Coast Guard’s newest national security cutter, USCGC Stone (WMSL-758). During seal trials, the ship spent two days in the Gulf of Mexico proving its systems.
«I am very proud of the Ingalls team that conducted another outstanding acceptance trial on our ninth national security cutter Stone. This ship, like all of the national security cutters we have delivered, will be capable of undertaking the most challenging Coast Guard missions with great capability and endurance», Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias said. «We are proud of our shipbuilders and the state-of-the-art design and construction of Stone, and we look forward to the ship’s upcoming delivery».
Ingalls has delivered eight Legend-class NSCs with two more under construction and one additional under contract. Stone is scheduled to deliver later this year and will be homeported in Charleston, South Carolina.
NSC-9 was named to honor Coast Guard officer Commander Elmer «Archie» Fowler Stone, Coast Guard aviator number one, who made history in 1919 for being one of two Coast Guard pilots in the four-man air crew who completed the first transatlantic flight in a Navy seaplane.
The Legend-class NSC is the most technologically advanced ship in the Coast Guard’s fleet, which enables it to meet the high demands required for maritime and homeland security, law enforcement, marine safety, environmental protection and national defense missions. NSCs are 418 feet/127 m long with a top speed of 28 knots/32 mph/52 km/h, a range of 12,000 NM/13,809 miles/22,224 km, an endurance of 60 days and a crew of 120.
4,500 long tons
418 feet/127 m
54 feet/16 m
28 knots/32 mph/52 km/h
12,000 NM/13,809 miles/22,224 km
Mk-110 57-mm turret mounted gun
6 × 12.7-mm/.50 caliber machine guns
3D air search radar
2 level 1, class 1 aircraft hangers
A stern launch ramp for mission boats
(2) MCH, or (4) Vertical-Launch Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (VUAV) or (1) MCH and (2) VUAV
Two cutter boats (Long Range Interceptor and/or Short Range Prosecutor)
Electronic Warfare and Decoys
AN/SLQ-32 Electronic Warfare System, Two Super Rapid Bloom Offboard Countermeasures (SRBOC)/2 NULKA countermeasures chaff rapid decoy launcher
HF, VHF & UHF
Sensors and Processing Systems
X and S band radar, 3D air search radar, AN/SPQ-9 radar, Identification, Friend or Foe (IFF)
Northrop Grumman Corporation’s Cygnus spacecraft was successfully captured by Commander Chris Cassidy of NASA using the International Space Station’s robotic Canadarm2 at 5:32 a.m. EDT after its launch on the company’s Antares rocket on October 2 from Wallops Island.
The S.S. Kalpana Chawla executed a series of thruster burns during its three-day journey to the station. Once Cygnus was in close range, crew members grappled the spacecraft with the station’s robotic arm. Cygnus was then guided to its berthing port on the Earth facing side of the station’s Unity module and officially installed to the space station at 8:01 a.m. EDT.
«The S.S. Kalpana Chawla has successfully completed the first part of its mission with its arrival at the International Space Station», said Frank DeMauro, vice president and general manager, tactical space systems, Northrop Grumman. «Northrop Grumman is proud to support both NASA and our commercial partners as we continue to play a critical role in support of humans living and working in space».
Cygnus will remain berthed to the International Space Station for approximately three months while more than 8,000 pounds/3,629 kg of cargo is unloaded and astronauts reload the vehicle with disposal cargo. Cygnus will then undock and complete its secondary mission of hosting both the Northrop Grumman-built SharkSat payload and the Saffire-V experiment. The SharkSat prototype payload is mounted to Cygnus and will collect performance data of new technologies in low Earth orbit. To learn more about these payloads, visit Northrop Grumman’s website.
Northrop Grumman solves the toughest problems in space, aeronautics, defense and cyberspace to meet the ever evolving needs of our customers worldwide. Our 90,000 employees define possible every day using science, technology and engineering to create and deliver advanced systems, products and services.
General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS), a business unit of General Dynamics (GD), was awarded a $1.219 billion contract to produce, test and deliver Interim Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense (IM-SHORAD) systems to the U.S. Army. The Army’s initial order on the contract calls for 28 Stryker IM-SHORAD vehicles for $230 million.
«General Dynamics and our teammates Leonardo DRS and Raytheon are pleased to be able to partner with the Army to bring this powerful capability to U.S. Soldiers», said Don Kotchman, Vice President and General Manager of GD Land Systems. «This dedicated SHORAD capability adds a new operational dimension to the Stryker fleet in all of the Army’s maneuver formations».
The IM-SHORAD is designed to counter threats from Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and a multitude of other Rotary and Fixed Wing aircraft, and provides a common Army platform that is cost-effective, highly mobile, survivable, sustainable and transportable.
Stryker continues to be a highly sought platform beyond the Stryker Brigade Combat Team formations.
Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of September, 30, 2025. GD Land Systems has production locations in Tallahassee, Florida; Scranton, Pennsylvania; London, Ontario; Lima, Ohio; and Anniston, Alabama.
Headquartered in Sterling Heights, Michigan, General Dynamics Land Systems provides innovative design, engineering, technology, production and full life-cycle support for land combat vehicles around the globe. The company’s extensive experience, customer-first focus and seasoned supply chain network provide unmatched capabilities to the U.S. military and its allies.
Saab delivers the second GlobalEye Swing Role Surveillance System to the United Arab Emirates on 30 September 2020.
This follows Saab’s delivery of the first GlobalEye aircraft in April 2020 to the United Arab Emirates, which has ordered three GlobalEye aircraft. The initial contract was signed in late 2015.
«Completing the second GlobalEye delivery in five months is a testament to Saab’s in-house expertise as aircraft manufacturer, sensor provider and large system integrator. I am proud to contribute to the United Arab Emirates’ airborne surveillance capability with GlobalEye, which is the most advanced solution of its kind», says Micael Johansson, President and CEO of Saab.
GlobalEye is Saab’s new airborne early warning and control solution. It provides air, maritime and ground surveillance in a single solution. GlobalEye combines Saab’s new Erieye Extended Range Radar and a range of additional advanced sensors with the ultra-long range Global 6000 aircraft from Bombardier.
The 556th Test and Evaluation Squadron conducted the first flight of the MQ-9A Reaper carrying eight live AGM-114 Hellfire missiles on September 10, 2020, reinforcing the platform’s «persistent attack» role.
This new capability is part of the MQ-9 Operational Flight Program (OFP) 2409, a software upgrade set to field by the end of calendar year 2020. Previous to this software, the Reaper was limited to four AGM-114s across two stations. The new software allows flexibility to load the Hellfire on stations that previously were reserved for 500 lbs./227 kg class bombs or fuel tanks.
«The hardware/launcher is the same that we use on the outboard stations», said Master Sergeant Melvin French, Test System Configuration Manager. «Aside from the extra hardware required to be on-hand, no other changes are required to support this new capability and added lethality. The Reaper retains its flexibility to fly 500 lbs./227 kg bombs on any of these stations, instead of the AGM‑114s, when mission requirements dictate».
The new capability stems from a combined requirements process between Air Combat Command and Air Force Special Operations Command that sets the scope for each MQ-9 OFP update.
«History has proven the MQ-9’s ability to provide aerial continuity and attack support for air and ground forces during counter-insurgency and Close Air Support», said Lieutenant Colonel Michael Chmielewski, commander, 556th Test and Evaluation Squadron. «Doubling the firepower of this high-endurance aircraft with Hell fires improves the lethality and agility of the MQ-9 over many combat roles, with an arsenal of highly versatile, accurate, and collateral-friendly weapons for all Combatant Commanders».
In future conflicts, MQ-9 aircrew will be required to dynamically target priority targets and defend isolated personnel, explained Chmielewski. These missions require accelerated kill chains to engage priority targets, some with fleeting engagement opportunities, and to neutralize hostile threats immediately. Added firepower increases the persistent attack ability of the MQ-9 to respond immediately across its long mission times, where it previously may have exhausted its weapons inventory and had to slow the kill chain to coordinate for additional kinetic support to engage a priority target.
«The 556th Test and Evaluation Squadron continues to break barriers to maximize MQ-9 relevance across the spectrum of conflict to develop capabilities for today and tomorrow’s warfighter», said Chmielewski. «This team never fails to impress me. OFP tests are very rigorous and require a squadron‑wide effort. Pair that effort with the fast-paced aspect of this OFP cycle, the Advanced Battle Management System demonstration, restrictions from COVID-19, and the unique approaches to overcome these challenges to deliver the tactical advantage to the warfighter without delay are proven impressive».
«Doubling the Hellfire capacity increases the MQ-9 flexibility, responsiveness, and lethality», said Captain Arthur James, lead MQ-9 OT&E Project Manager for this test. «While this capability is just one of the various upgrades to OFP 2409, it is one that benefits the MQ-9 across current and future AORs (area of responsibility) in which we are expected to fight».
In conjunction with the Air National Guard (ANG), the Air Force Reserve Command Test Center (AATC) and Ultra Electronics, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA‑ASI) successfully completed initial operational assessment of the Rosetta Echo Advanced Payloads (REAP) pod on an MQ-9 Reaper Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA). The first REAP flight test (known as REAP-1), held August 3 and based out of Syracuse, New York, demonstrated a communications relay network providing seamless connectivity between air and ground participants in the demonstration area. Specific waveforms supported by the REAP pod include Link 16, Ultra High Frequency/Very High Frequency (UHF/VHF) radio and P25 public safety, as well as mobile ad hoc networks (MANET).
«GA-ASI is really excited to showcase the communication capabilities of the REAP pod, which provides the backbone for warfighters to collaborate and share critical battlefield situational awareness. Our MQ-9 Reaper, with its industry-leading persistent endurance, is the ideal platform for connecting sensors to shooters and realizing USAF’s Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) vision», said GA-ASI President David R. Alexander.
According to the ANG/AATC, a REAP-equipped MQ-9 Reaper relayed video received from a Coyote small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) to a ground node at distances over 110 miles / 177 km. All this was done while simultaneously bridging voice communications over the MANET at extended distances.
Major Curt Wilson, National Guard Bureau (NGB) A5 Branch Chief for Special Mission Aircraft, said: «REAP far exceeded our expectations for a first flight and initial operational assessment. The REAP pod is the first step in a number of innovations that the NGB, Ultra and GA-ASI have pioneered to demonstrate near-term and affordable Joint All-Domain Command & Control (JADC2) capabilities on the MQ-9 Reaper».
The ANG and AATC are working to schedule another flight test in late 2020 with the REAP pod installed on the MQ-9 Reaper. A REAP-2 pod, due for completion in mid-2021, encompasses all of the REAP-1 capability plus 4G/LTE, the addition of which will add disaster relief operations as a capability to its existing military waveform relay and bridging capability. REAP-2 will be integrated into AFRL’s (Air Force Research Laboratory) open architecture AgilePod16 variant, demonstrating GA-ASI’s continued commitment to widely adopting and proliferating Open Mission Systems (OMS) and open architecture. REAP was also featured as part of the second Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) Demo that took place September 1-3, 2020.
On September 29, 2020, the fourth 209/1400mod class submarine for the Navy of Arab Republic of Egypt was named and launched at the shipyard of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems in Kiel. Following the very strict corona prevention measures at the shipyard, Vice Admiral Ahmed Khaled Hassan Said, Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian Navy, officially named the boat «S44».
Doctor Rolf Wirtz, CEO of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems: «Given the global corona pandemic, we are pleased to welcome Vice Admiral Ahmed Khaled Hassan Said to celebrate this very special milestone. The naming of the fourth submarine proofs how strong and trusting we can work together even in challenging times. I would like to thank our employees, who have always worked in line with tremendous care and discipline in the past work-intensive month».
The contract for the delivery of the first two 209/1400 mod class submarines to the Arab Republic of Egypt was signed in 2011. In 2015, Egypt decided to take the option for two additional units. The first submarine was handed over in December 2016 and the second submarine in August 2017. Subsequently, the third submarine, named «S43», was handed over in April 2020. The submarines are designed for maritime defense as well as conflict prevention, surveillance, information gathering and operations by special forces.
The submarines of the HDW Class 209/1400mod series are extremely reliable, can stay submerged for a long time, are fast, and are hard to locate thanks to their low signatures. The HDW Class 209/1400mod is the latest version of the HDW Type 209 with over 60 boats built or under contract.