Tag Archives: BAE Systems

Atmospheric lens

Within the next fifty years, scientists at BAE Systems believe that battlefield commanders could deploy a new type of directed energy laser and lens system, called a Laser Developed Atmospheric Lens which is capable of enhancing commanders’ ability to observe adversaries’ activities over much greater distances than existing sensors.

Laser Developed Atmospheric Lens (LDAL)
Laser Developed Atmospheric Lens (LDAL)

At the same time, the lens could be used as a form of «deflector shield» to protect friendly aircraft, ships, land vehicles and troops from incoming attacks by high power laser weapons that could also become a reality in the same time period.

The Laser Developed Atmospheric Lens (LDAL) concept, developed by technologists at the Company’s military aircraft facility in Warton, Lancashire, has been evaluated by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and specialist optical sensors company LumOptica and is based on known science. It works by simulating naturally occurring phenomena and temporarily – and reversibly – changes the Earth’s atmosphere into lens-like structures to magnify or change the path of electromagnetic waves such as light and radio signals.

LDAL is a complex and innovative concept that copies two existing effects in nature; the reflective properties of the ionosphere and desert mirages. The ionosphere occurs at a very high altitude and is a naturally occurring layer of the Earth’s atmosphere which can be reflective to radio waves – for example it results in listeners being able to tune in to radio stations that are many thousands of miles away. The radio signals bounce off the ionosphere allowing them to travel very long distances through the air and over the Earth’s surface. The desert mirage provides the illusion of a distant lake in the hot desert. This is because the light from the blue sky is ‘bent’ or refracted by the hot air near the surface and into the vision of the person looking into the distance.

LDAL simulates both of these effects by using a high pulsed power laser system and exploiting a physics phenomena called the «Kerr Effect» to temporarily ionise or heat a small region of atmosphere in a structured way. Mirrors, glass lenses, and structures like Fresnel zone plates could all be replicated using the atmosphere, allowing the physics of refraction, reflection, and diffraction to be exploited.

«Working with some of the best scientific minds in the UK, we’re able to incorporate emerging and disruptive technologies and evolve the landscape of potential military technologies in ways that, five or ten years ago, many would never have dreamed possible», said Professor Nick Colosimo, BAE Systems’ Futurist and Technologist.

Professor Bryan Edwards, Leader of STFC’s Defence, Security and Resilience Futures Programme said of the work: «For this evaluation project, STFC’s Central Laser Facility team worked closely with colleagues at BAE Systems and by harnessing our collective expertise and capabilities we have been able to identify new ways in which cutting edge technology, and our understanding of fundamental physical processes and phenomena, has the potential to contribute to enhancing the safety and security of the UK».

Craig Stacey, CEO at LumOptica added: «This is a tremendously exciting time in laser physics. Emerging technologies will allow us to enter new scientific territories and explore ever new applications. We are delighted to be working with BAE Systems on the application of such game-changing technologies, evaluating concepts which are approaching the limits of what is physically possible and what might be achieved in the future».

BAE Systems has developed some of the world’s most innovative technologies and invests in research and development to generate future products and capabilities. The Company has a portfolio of patents and patent applications covering approximately 2000 inventions internationally. Earlier this year, the Company unveiled two other futuristic technology concepts, including envisaging that small Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) bespoke to specific military operations, could be ‘grown’ in large-scale labs through chemistry and that armed forces of the future could be using rapid response aircraft equipped with engines capable of propelling those aircraft to hypersonic speeds to meet rapidly emerging threats.

Atmospheric lens could revolutionize the future of battlefield observation

Artisan 3D radar

BAE Systems’ Artisan 3D radar system has successfully completed three years of sea-based trials on the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigates. Artisan 3D has also been fitted on the new aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth which is due into Portsmouth later this year.

BAE Systems’ Artisan 3D radar system passes sea-based acceptance trials
BAE Systems’ Artisan 3D radar system passes sea-based acceptance trials

The radar, which can monitor more than 900 objects simultaneously from 656 feet/200 meters to 108 NM/124 miles/200 kilometers away – and cut through radio interference equal to 10,000 mobile phone signals – has undertaken sea trials across multiple Royal Navy frigates since 2013 and proved its capabilities in an operational environment.

Under a £105 million contact BAE Systems will develop, manufacture and provide support for 19 of the radars for the Royal Navy until 2022. The nineteenth Artisan 3D radar has now successfully completed factory acceptance testing and all 19 radars will be delivered to the Ministry of Defence (MOD) by mid-2017.

In addition to the 11 frigates fitted to date, Artisan 3D has also been fitted on the new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, a landing platform dock assault ship, a landing platform helicopter assault ship and installed at MOD’s land-based test site at Portsdown Technology Park, Portsmouth.

Artisan will also be installed on the second of the new aircraft carriers HMS Prince of Wales, a further two frigates and a landing platform dock assault ship. Further trials will take place prior to each of the radars going into service.

Les Gregory, Director for Products and Training Services at BAE Systems said: «Artisan 3D is a ground-breaking radar system that delivers real capability to the Royal Navy with its supreme accuracy and uncompromising tracking. Its world-leading electronic protection measure ensures that even complex jammers will not reduce its effectiveness. Artisan 3D has now been extensively tested, demonstrating high performance with significant flexibility to meet current and future threats. It provides air and surface surveillance and target tracking to support platform and weapon system requirements on a wide range of platforms. BAE Systems is proud to continue its record of providing the most advanced radar capabilities to the Royal Navy».

Jonathan Barratt, Head of the Complex Weapons Team at the MOD’s Defence Equipment & Support said: «Artisan is a highly capable radar, providing record breaking track detection ranges against complex and demanding threats. This contract demonstrates how DE&S, industry and the Royal Navy are working collaboratively to deliver cutting-edge equipment, vital in supporting and protecting our Armed Forces».

Artisan 3D radar
Artisan 3D radar

 

General Characteristics

  • Artisan is the most sophisticated radar in the Royal Navy’s fleet. Approximately five times more efficient than any previously in service on the Type 23 fleet.
  • Artisan’s range is between 656 feet/200 meters – 108 NM/124 miles/200 kilometers. It can identify birds as well as larger potential dangers such as destroyers and aircraft carriers.
  • Artisan can operate in densely signal-populated environments and cut through interference equivalent to 10,000 mobile signals directed its way.
  • The radar can identify a target the size of a tennis ball travelling at a speed of Mach 3 (over 2,000 mph/3,219 km/h), greater than 13.5 NM/15.5 miles/25 km away.
  • Artisan can track more than 900 targets at any one time.
  • Artisan is made of the same carbon glass fibre materials as a Formula 1 racing car.

 

Active Protection Systems

BAE Systems has received a contract from the Netherlands for the testing and verification of Active Protection Systems (APS) on its CV90 Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs).

Dutch CV90s to become first NATO combat vehicles to receive active protection
Dutch CV90s to become first NATO combat vehicles to receive active protection

Active Protection is an advanced solution consisting of countermeasures that can intercept incoming rocket-propelled grenades, anti-tank missiles, and other threats to increase crew and vehicle survivability.

BAE Systems, the manufacturer of the Dutch CV9035 variant vehicles, will lead the APS integration. BAE Systems will also carry out the future installation of the system, called Iron Fist, developed by Israeli supplier IMI Systems. Iron Fist is an automated system that uses a radar to detect and track threats and then takes action to eliminate the threat.

«Iron Fist will give the Dutch Army a highly sophisticated defensive tool on its CV90s to counter threats and improve the safety of the vehicle and its crew», said Tommy Gustafsson-Rask, managing director of Sweden-based BAE Systems Hägglunds. «Iron Fist is yet another example of the advanced technology BAE Systems and its partners can deliver to our customers».

The integration of this advanced APS solution onto the Dutch CV90s demonstrates the vehicle’s adaptability to new and evolving technologies to meet customer-specific requirements.

«During this test phase, we will pre-qualify the active system against our threat specification, and together with our partners analyze system safety and prepare for its integration onto our CV9035NL vehicles», said Hans de Goeij, project manager at the Netherlands Defence Materiel Organisation, Ministry of Defence. «We expect to make a decision on the next phase by early 2018. With Iron Fist, the Netherlands is expected to become the first NATO country with an Active Protection System of its kind on combat vehicles».

BAE Systems is a leader in the development of survivability technologies for combat vehicles. The company has, for example, developed a system called ADAPTIV, which uses cloaking technology to alter the appearance of a vehicle, making it harder to identify. BAE Systems has also developed a situational awareness tool called BattleView 360. BattleView 360 employs sensors outside the vehicle that feed a 360-degree image to a helmet-mounted monocle, allowing soldiers inside the vehicle to essentially «see through» armor and better detect threats.

Vehicle mounted mortar

BAE Systems has received a 575 million SEK ($68 million) contract for the installation of vehicle mounted mortar systems on Swedish Army CV90 Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs).

BAE Systems to deliver vehicle mounted mortar systems to Swedish Army
BAE Systems to deliver vehicle mounted mortar systems to Swedish Army

The installation of the company’s mortar system, known as Mjölner, on 40 CV90s will considerably increase the indirect fire capability of the vehicles to support mechanized battalions.

«The delivery of the Mjölner solution to the Swedish Army allows it to field a capability well adapted for the CV90 while enhancing the fleet’s firepower», said Tommy Gustafsson-Rask, managing director of BAE Systems Hägglunds.

Mjölner is the hammer of Thor in Norse mythology. The contract was issued by the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV, Försvarets materielverk), with first deliveries scheduled to take place in the first quarter of 2019.

CV90 is a family of Swedish tracked combat vehicles designed for FMV by BAE Systems Hägglunds and BAE Systems Bofors, which provides the vehicle’s turrets. More than 4.5 million engineering hours has contributed to the development of this advanced vehicle. The Swedish version is outfitted with a turret equipped with a 40-mm autocannon.

The Swedish Army has more than 500 CV90s. Earlier this year, BAE Systems was awarded a contract to refurbish 262 of the vehicles, including survivability, turret, and combat system performance upgrades. Adding the mounted mortar systems addresses another priority that helps increase the vehicles’ lifespan in support of Army capabilities.

Denmark, Estonia, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, and Switzerland also operate CV90s.

Officially named

HMS Audacious (S122), the fourth submarine in the Astute class, was officially named on 16 December 2016 during a ceremony at our Submarines site in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria. Guests watched as Lady Jones, Audacious’ sponsor and wife of Admiral Sir Phillip Jones, the First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, named the 7,400 tonne, 318-foot/97-metre-long attack submarine. In keeping with tradition, she then smashed a bottle of locally brewed beer against her hull.

Fourth submarine in Astute class named at Barrow-in-Furness
Fourth submarine in Astute class named at Barrow-in-Furness

Tony Johns, Managing Director of BAE Systems Submarines, said: «Today marks an important milestone in Audacious’ build programme and is the culmination of many years’ hard work. We have already delivered three highly-capable Astute class submarines to the Royal Navy and Audacious now takes another significant step towards joining her sister submarines. This is a fitting end to a very important year for our business, in which we also began construction on the Dreadnought submarine programme and opened the first of our new facilities. The focus for Audacious now turns to getting her ready for launch next year».

Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin said: «HMS Audacious is the fourth in our fleet of Astute Class submarines, the largest and most advanced attack submarines in service with the Royal Navy, already providing unprecedented levels of stealth and attack capability across the world. Backed by a rising defence budget and a £178 billion equipment plan, Barrow will remain the hub of our submarine building programmes for years to come».

HMS Audacious (S122) will stay inside the Company’s main construction facility – the Devonshire Dock Hall – following today’s ceremony, before being launched next year.

BAE Systems is the prime contractor responsible for the design, build, test and commissioning of the seven Astute class nuclear-powered attack submarines. It is also the industrial lead for the Dreadnought programme, the Royal Navy’s next generation of submarines that will carry the continuous at-sea nuclear deterrent.

The Company’s Submarine operation employs approximately 8,000 people and spends more than £300 M per year with over 3,000 suppliers – 85 per cent of whom are based in the UK.

Facts and stats
Facts and stats

Multi-Purpose Vehicle

BAE Systems on 15 December 2016 rolled out the first prototype Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) to the U.S. Army during a ceremony at the company’s York, Pennsylvania facility. The AMPV provides the Army with enhanced mobility, survivability, force protection, and combat superiority.

BAE Systems rolls out first Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle
BAE Systems rolls out first Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle

«The AMPV prototype vehicles are the result of a highly collaborative relationship between the Army and our industry team», said Beach Day, program director for AMPV at BAE Systems Combat Vehicles. «Through this relationship, we have been able to design a vehicle that provides a modern, robust solution that meets the needs of today’s soldier and of the future force».

The AMPV is a fully modern, highly flexible vehicle that includes five variants and is designed to replace the Vietnam War-era M113 family of vehicles. It is a mature, cost-effective solution that leverages proven Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) and Paladin M109A7 Self-Propelled Howitzer designs. It meets the Army’s force protection and all-terrain mobility requirements that enable the AMPV to maneuver with the rest of the Armored Brigade Combat Team (ABCT). Maximizing commonality within the ABCT reduces developmental risk and provides significant cost savings to the Army.

In December 2014, BAE Systems was awarded a contract worth up to $1.2 billion from the Army for the Engineering, Manufacturing, and Development (EMD) and Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP) phases of the AMPV program. The initial award of $383 million, under the EMD phase, is for development and production of 29 vehicles across all of the variants:

  • general purpose,
  • mission command,
  • mortar carrier,
  • medical evacuation,
  • medical treatment.

Today’s ceremony commemorated the rollout of the first of the general purpose variant. Deliveries of the prototype vehicles will continue into 2017, and developmental testing will run through 2018.

First ACV 1.1

BAE Systems rolled out the first of 16 Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) 1.1 prototypes to the U.S. Marine Corps in a ceremony on 13 December 2016 at the company’s York, Pennsylvania facility. BAE Systems’ ACV 1.1 offering is a fully amphibious, ship-launchable and ship-recoverable 8×8 wheeled combat vehicle.

Roll out of first Amphibious Combat Vehicle 1.1 to U.S. Marine Corps
Roll out of first Amphibious Combat Vehicle 1.1 to U.S. Marine Corps

«BAE Systems has a long-standing legacy of supporting the Marine Corps’ amphibious mission», said John Swift, the company’s director for the ACV 1.1 program. «That expertise, coupled with the hard work of our dedicated ACV team, has allowed us to deliver the first of these vehicles ahead of schedule».

BAE Systems’ solution for ACV 1.1 leverages an existing platform provided by Iveco Defence Vehicles. It is highly effective at sea when compared to any other amphibious vehicle in production today, providing superior land mobility and state-of-the-art systems survivability.

«As the Marine Corps begins testing we are confident that the capabilities of these vehicles will be proven», Swift said.

The BAE Systems solution balances the Marine Corps’ demands for an affordable, production-ready platform with added designs for increased force protection, water and land mobility, lethality, transportability, and survivability.

BAE Systems’ ACV 1.1 is equipped with a robust 700HP engine, providing a significant power increase over the Assault Amphibious Vehicle currently operated by the Marine Corps. The vehicle excels in all-terrain mobility and has a suspended interior seat structure for 13 embarked Marines, blast protected positions for an additional crew of three, and improved survivability and force protection over currently fielded systems.

The Marine Corps awarded BAE Systems a $103.7 million contract for the Engineering, Manufacturing, and Development (EMD) phase of the ACV 1.1 program in November 2015, one of two EMD contracts issued. During this phase, the company is producing 16 prototypes that will be tested by the Marine Corps starting in the first quarter of 2017.

BAE Systems has long been a trusted supplier to the Marine Corps across multiple domains and has more than 70 years of experience designing and building amphibious vehicles. The company is also a leading provider of combat vehicles, having produced more than 100,000 systems for customers worldwide. Iveco Defence Vehicles brings additional proven experience, having designed and built more than 30,000 multi-purpose, protected, and armored military vehicles in service today.

BAE Systems was awarded a U.S. Marine Corps contract for the Engineering, Manufacturing, and Development phase of the Amphibious Combat Vehicle 1.1 program
BAE Systems was awarded a U.S. Marine Corps contract for the Engineering, Manufacturing, and Development phase of the Amphibious Combat Vehicle 1.1 program

 

Specifications

Gross vehicle weight 67,500 lbs/30,617 kg
Payload Up to 7,280 lbs/3,302 kg
Personnel capacity 13 + 3 crew
Speed Paved road >65 mph/105 km/h
Speed Open ocean 6 knots/6.9 mph/11.1 km/h
Range on road at 55 mph/89 km/h Up to 325 miles/523 km
Range at sea followed by land Up to 12 NM/13.8 miles/22.2 km followed by 250+ miles/402+ km on land
Turning radius 36 feet/11 m curb to curb turning radius
Side slope >30%
Gradient >60%
Overall length 350 inches/8.9 m
Width 124 inches/3.1 m
Height (hull) 113 inches/2.8 m

The optimum balance of sea and land mobility, survivability and payload – a true, no-compromise 8×8 amphibious platform

Five ship programme

BAE Systems welcomed Harriett Baldwin MP, Minister for Defence Procurement to its Govan shipyard in Glasgow on 8 December 2016 to announce the £287 m manufacturing contract for two further River Class Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) and support services for the five ship programme, taking the total value to £635 m.

OPV contract announcement marked by construction of new navy warship
OPV contract announcement marked by construction of new navy warship

Work on the additional two Offshore Patrol Vessels, named TAMAR and SPEY, will sustain skills in Glasgow and the wider supply chain, with over 100 companies involved in the programme across the UK.

To mark the occasion employees were joined at a ceremony by representatives of the Royal Navy and the local community as Harriett Baldwin switched on a plasma cutting machine to cut the first steel plates for the fourth and latest of the River Class OPVs.

During the visit to BAE Systems’ shipyard Harriett Baldwin said: «This contract will deliver two more modern Offshore Patrol Vessels for the Royal Navy and safeguard vital shipbuilding skills and hundreds of jobs in Scotland. Protected by a rising Defence budget, the OPV programme is an important part of the Government’s £178 billion plan to ensure our armed forces have the equipment they need».

Iain Stevenson, Managing Director of BAE Systems Naval Ships, said: «Securing this contract for two further River Class OPVs is testament to the proven capability of the design and the tremendous skill and dedication of employees on the programme. Our investment in the latest digital design technologies and new processes is enabling us to deliver equipment of the highest quality at the lowest possible cost, helping to secure the long-term future of our highly skilled industry in the UK. I am looking forward to seeing both the OPV and Type 26 ships in construction across both our shipyards in Glasgow next year».

This offshore patrol vessel design builds on the Royal Navy’s existing River Class ships with variants already in service in Brazil and Thailand which puts capability at the forefront of their navies.

The first vessel, FORTH, entered the water in August, less than two years after construction started, and is now docked at the Company’s Scotstoun facility where she will complete final systems installation and testing before being delievered to the Royal Navy in the second half of 2017.

The second ship, MEDWAY, is scheduled to enter the water in the spring of 2017 while the third ship, TRENT, is currently at an advanced stage of assembly at Govan.

Bendable titanium alloy

A bendable titanium alloy suspension system inspired by the hard shells and flexible legs of ironclad beetles could hold the key to protecting future military vehicles from explosive impacts.

New bendable titanium alloy suspension concept
New bendable titanium alloy suspension concept

The alloy is made from the same type of material used in flexible spectacles and allows the suspension to «bounce back» into shape after impact, so that the vehicle can continue its mission. Initial tests of a prototype have proved successful and engineers at BAE Systems in Telford, Shropshire believe that the new suspension system could be made available in the next decade.

Currently, the hulls of combat vehicles and their passengers are protected from blasts such as mines or IEDs, but key operational parts such as the vehicle’s suspension can still be damaged – meaning they must be rescued by other military units. The memory metal alloy was first developed by the United States Naval Ordnance Laboratory in the 1960s, but engineers at BAE Systems believe this is the first time it has been used to build an entire suspension system. Using memory metal also means the spring can be removed entirely from the suspension – strengthening and simplifying the system further.

A prototype of the suspension system has already been constructed and tested by a team of experts and apprentices at BAE Systems as part of their response to a competition placed by the Government’s Defence, Science and Technology Laboratory for an unmanned Highly Robust Ground Platform. The small-scale prototype underwent five increasingly powerful explosive tests, showing significant resilience against the blasts as a result of its highly robust construction.

Now, the Company’s engineers are investigating adapting memory metal suspension for full-size combat vehicles, meaning that bendable titanium alloys could form a part of military operations within the next 10 years.

Marcus Potter, Head of Mobility at BAE Systems Land (UK), said: «This unique use of memory metals could prove a real game-changer for combat vehicles taking part in operations. Being able to adapt to changing situations is hugely important to maintaining effectiveness, and this application of bendable titanium could give armed forces the required flexibility – and survivability – to complete tasks in challenging areas».

The concept of using memory metals for suspension was developed after BAE Systems engineers reviewed a range of innovations in other high technology sectors and considered how they could be applied to combat vehicles.

BAE Systems businesses have a portfolio of patents and patent applications covering approximately 2000 inventions internationally. The Company has developed some of the world’s most innovative technologies and invests in research and development to generate future products and capabilities.

Tubes for Block V

BAE Systems has received a contract from General Dynamics Electric Boat to begin work associated with the production of Virginia Payload Module (VPM) tubes for Block V Virginia-class (SSN-774) submarines.

The concept of the Virginia Payload Module
The concept of the Virginia Payload Module

This initial award will fund work surrounding certification, special tooling, and other items related to production readiness.

The VPM is an additional mid-body section being integrated into the U.S. Navy’s Virginia-class submarines, beginning with the second boat of Block V. It contains four large-diameter payload tubes, each capable of storing and launching up to seven Tomahawk cruise missiles. Accessible while at sea, the VPM also offers an unprecedented amount of flexibility in the potential integration of future payloads.

«The new Virginia Payload Module will bring an additional 28 missiles to each Virginia-class submarine, tripling their payload strike capacity», said Joe Senftle, vice president and general manager of Weapon Systems at BAE Systems. «Increasing the firepower of the Virginia class is a cost-effective way for the U.S. Navy to maintain its strike capability after its four SSGN guided missile submarines retire».

BAE Systems has a long history of supporting the U.S. undersea fleet as the leading provider of propulsors and other submarine systems. Earlier this year the company announced it was selected to provide propulsors, spare hardware, and tailcones for Block IV Virginia-class submarines.

Work on the initial award will be performed at BAE Systems’ facility in Louisville, Kentucky. Contracts for the launch tube production are expected in early 2017, with deliveries through 2019.