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Drones and Unmanned Systems - Air, Sea, Land, Micro & Robot Systems
AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE SELECTS GA-ASI'S MQ-9B FOR PROJECT AIR 7003
Wednesday, December 4, 2019
SAN DIEGO -- General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) has been advised that the Australian Government has selected GA-ASI's MQ-9B SkyGuardian variant to provide the Armed RPAS for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) under Project Air 7003. This follows the Government’s announcement in November 2018 that GA-ASI would provide Armed RPAS to the ADF. The ADF expects to take first delivery in the early 2020s.

"We have worked closely with the ADF to determine the right RPAS to meet their needs," said Linden Blue, CEO, GA-ASI. "MQ-9B will provide the all-weather, multi-mission support, and interoperability that the ADF requires. We look forward to working closely with our Australian industry partners to provide a highly capable RPAS to the ADF, while creating high-tech jobs in Australia."

The ADF joins other top-tier military forces in choosing a GA-ASI RPAS because of its proven multi-role combat performance. MQ-9B is part of GA-ASI's Predator series of RPAS, which is the world's most trusted and capable armed Medium-altitude, Long-endurance (MALE) RPAS, and hails from a family of aircraft that has flown more than six million flight hours.

The UK Royal Air Force (RAF) is acquiring the MQ-9B as part of its Protector RG Mk1 program and is scheduled for first delivery in the early 2020s. The Government of Belgium has approved Belgian Defense to negotiate for the acquisition of MQ-9B to meet the nation’s RPA requirements.

MQ-9B development is the result of a five-year, company funded program to deliver an unmanned aircraft system to meet the stringent airworthiness type-certification requirements of NATO and civil aviation authorities throughout the world. MQ-9B is provisioned for the GA-ASI-developed Detect and Avoid (DAA) system, which consists of air-to-air radar, Traffic alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS II), and Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B). The MQ-9B is built for all-weather performance with lightning protection, damage tolerance, and de-icing system.

GA-ASI announced its intention to offer a MALE RPAS to the ADF during AVALON 2017 with the launch of Team Reaper Australia, a robust group of Australian industry partners. The team currently consists of ten world-class Australian companies providing a range of innovative sensor, communication, manufacturing and life-cycle support capabilities including Cobham (lead industry partner), CAE, Raytheon, Flight Data Systems, TAE Aerospace, Quickstep, AirSpeed, Collins Aerospace, Ultra, and SentientVision.

Source:  General Atomics
Associated URL: Click here to visit

 
STRIKESHIELD ACTIVE CLOSE-IN PROTECTION SYSTEM SELECTED FOR TESTING BY U.S. ARMY
Tuesday, December 3, 2019
BERLIN -- The U.S. Army has awarded a contract valued at $11 million (€10 million) to the team of Rheinmetall Protection Systems and Unified Business Technologies (UBT) for significant testing of the StrikeShield Active Protection System to begin in October 2020 at Redstone Test Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

The Army's recently formed Vehicle Protective Systems (VPS) program office will evaluate StrikeShield as part of a larger effort to characterize APS performance against a wide variety of anti-armor threats. This significant contract award represents the first funded APS testing the Army will undertake of the StrikeShield system. It provides a pathway to potential utilization of the system on vehicles in the current Army vehicle fleet as well as vehicles fielded in the future.

The StrikeShield APS is a distributed, real time system which was developed to protect the carrying platform against anti-tank rockets and missiles. It therefore can operate in the immediate vicinity of the vehicle to be protected. Additionally in StrikeShield the technical requirements of large calibre Kinetic Energy (KE) defeat are addressed, which is a unique combination of threats to protect against and reason for the promising overall outlook.

The Army will carry out extensive live fire testing of the StrikeShield system that will take place over a period of several months. The objective of the Army tests will be to gather performance data that can inform future selection of APS technologies best suited for any particular platform. The Army expects the test results will inform APS pursuits for both its fielded vehicle fleets and new vehicle programs like Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV), Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) and the Optionally-Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV).

Rheinmetall and UBT have teamed for U.S. active protection programs since 2015. The companies are optimistic that this new Army testing program will lead to further vehicle integration opportunities on U.S. military vehicles and both firms are extremely pleased that the Army has selected StrikeShield for this important program.

"We are excited to enter into a new phase of partnership with the Army that will enable the Army to carry out extensive tests of the StrikeShield APS system," said Stefan Haase, Rheinmetall's head of the product unit Active Protection. "We are confident the system will perform very well in the testing and that possibilities for fielding the technology on Army vehicle systems will arise."

"The StrikeShield system is a world class, mature APS system that will deliver tremendous capability for the U.S. Army," said UBT CEO Michelle D'Souza. "UBT and Rheinmetall are proud to be teamed together as a partner to the Army in addressing the high priority requirement for APS technology."

Hybrid Protection Module

Rheinmetall has also developed a modular hybrid configuration of its StrikeShield APS that combines the company's active and passive protection technologies in a single integrated design. This new configuration was on display at AUSA 2019. The hybrid approach draws on Rheinmetall's unique expertise as a provider of both APS and armor protection, and the company's proven track record as a leading vehicle supplier and system integrator. The system's hybrid and modular design is well suited for integration on both tracked and wheeled vehicles.

The hybrid protection module allows for an integrated approach: passive protection components simultaneously serve as interface and shield for the components of the active protection system. Conversely, the StrikeShield APS components comprise ballistic functions and characteristics. The external protection layer protects these components against shell fragments, small arms fire and other sources of mechanical stress. The StrikeShield countermeasures are embedded in the first protection plate from the outside and serve simultaneously as part of the first layer of passive protection. The sensors of the system are contained in the space in between.

The Rheinmetall and UBT team will engage the U.S. Army VPS team regarding the potential of the future hybrid module approach on U.S. vehicles as part of its funded testing.

Source:  Rheinmetall AG
Associated URL: Click here to visit

 
CONTRACT TO DELIVER C-UAS TO GERMANY
Wednesday, December 4, 2019
OSLO -- Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace AS (Kongsberg) has entered into a contract with Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment (BAAINBw) to deliver a Counter Unmanned Aerial System (C-UAS) based on the Protector Remote Weapon Station.

The contract worth NOK250 million was won in an international bidding process.

Germany is the first country to acquire a C-UAS solution with the Protector as a kinetic effector. The emergence of inexpensive, small unmanned aerial systems (UAS), also referred to as drones, poses a relatively new threat to both military units as well as civilian infrastructure and events, such as airports, government buildings, power plants, political gatherings and sporting events. The Protector RWS C-UAS has a rapid deployment and reaction time, and is highly mobile.

Kongsberg has studied the growing threat posed by UAS and developed technology and solutions for detection, tracking and defeat of drones. There has also been a close cooperation with the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) to evaluate possible technologies and solutions. The combination of the operationally proven Protector RWS with advanced sensors, tracking algorithms and rapid engagements provides an innovative and cost-efficient solution.

For Germany's Protector RWS C-UAS project, Kongsberg has cooperated closely with Hensoldt and is integrating the Hensoldt Spexer 3rd generation radar for UAS detection and tracking. The solution utilizes a 40 mm Automatic Grenade launcher with airburst ammunition, - but the Protector RWS has a variety of weapon integrations up to 30 mm and air defense missiles that can be employed against UAS.

Germany is the 22nd country to select Kongsberg's Protector RWS, adding to the almost 20,000 systems delivered to our customers around the globe.

"Kongsberg is very proud to win this first C-UAS competition, and we look forward to a long-term close cooperation with the German Army. With this contract, Kongsberg combines existing and new technologies entering a new growing market niche," says Pal E. Bratlie, Executive Vice President Protech Systems, Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace AS.

Source:  Kongsberg Defence
Associated URL: Click here to visit

 

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