Please visit our latest report from ISDEF 2010 at:
Please visit our latest report from ISDEF 2010 at:
Our second daily coverage of the Latrun event focus on electro-optical devices shown here. Among many familiar systems, Defense Update has picked several new systems and developers, that have made their first steps in bringing their innovative EO systems to the market. Some are brand new, demonstrated as prototypes and proof of concept demonstrators while others are already fielded and operational, primarily with special operations units.
Anticipating a growth in the activity of its South African business, Rheinmetall Waffen Munition (RWM) has teamed with its South African based subsidiary with Denel – Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) to acquire the Laingsdale Engineering company of Cape Town, South Africa, previously a division of Tellumat Pty Ltd. Under the new ownership RWM will have a majority interest of 51% in the new company, with RDM holding the remaining 49% share.
The company provides precision mechanical manufacturing related to fuses, safe-and-arming devices, kinetic energy weapons and a variety of naval applications. Laingsdale Engineering has about 180 employees and had sales in FY 2009 of approximately €10 million. The bulk of Laingsdale Engineering business is currently with RDM. The company expects to see its business volume double from the current figure. “We are excited about this acquisition which will enhance and grow our business in South Africa”, said Norbert Schulze, CEO of RDM. “We have acquired a highly successful company which we have been working with for many years and with great success.” The new skills and capability base it is acquiring in precision mechanical manufacturing will enhance Rheinmetall’s current indigenous ammunition products.
The Raytheon Company has acquired Technology Associates Inc., a privately held supplier to the U.S. intelligence community, providing system engineering support for mission-critical programs. Technology Associates’ capabilities include data extraction and analysis; digital media intercept and exploitation; embedded system programming; and information assurance services. Based in Reston, Va., Technology Associates was established in 1990 and has 110 employees.
Technology Associates will become part of Raytheon’s Intelligence and Information Systems (IIS) business. Technology Associates President Preston Harrelle joins Raytheon and will continue to lead business operations while taking on a broader cyberstrategy role across the Information Security Solutions (ISS) product line. “By acquiring Technology Associates and integrating its talent and expertise into our business, we’ll further strengthen our ability to meet the evolving needs of our customers.” Lynn Dugle, president of Raytheon IIS commented.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is unveiling two new unmanned systems, representing a breakthrough in Vertical Take off and Landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designs. Both designs, named Panther and Mini-Panther employ a new tilt-rotor propulsion concept patented by IAI. Both are designed for tactical use. The Panthers have already performed test flights and are expected to operational ready next year. The new Panther will be displayed tomorrow in Latrun, Israel
Panther combines the flight capabilities of fixed wing airplane with helicopter-like hovering, takeoff and landing, by employing two tilt-rotor propellers, and a vertical lift augmenter propeller providing additional lift for hovering, takeoff and landing. This configuration enables the Panther to be runway-independent, taking off and landing from unprepared areas. This unique, concept can be applied to UAVs of different sizes, providing land forces and special operations units at tactical level the capabilities commonly associated with much larger platforms.
Weighing about 65 kg, the Panther is powered by three electrical motors and packs sufficient power to loiter on missions of up to six hours at an altitude of 10,000 ft. At this altitude operational radius can exceed 60 km. The Panther carries IAI’s MiniPOP multi-sensor electro-optical day-night payload comprising stabilized day and night cameras, laser rangefinder, laser pointer or laser designator. The smaller Mini-Panther is a 12 kg tilt-rotor mini-UAV designed for mission endurance of two hours. This version operates at lower altitudes and carries the miniature ‘Micro-POP’ EO stabilized payload. Both versions are powered by ultra-quiet electrical motors contributing to the Panther’s stealth capability. The Panther’s flight control system is enhanced with automatic transition flight modes controlling the transitions between hovering and forward flight, enabling the Panther to take off and land automatically by a simple click of the operator console, thus eliminating the need for an external pilot. The Panther system employs compact ground control station and support systems packed into a midsize vehicle, storing up to three aircraft, communications datalink, and support equipment, allowing tactical units an autonomous operation. The ground control segment has two operators, using two fully redundant and identical consoles. The two consoles are employed for maximum mission efficiency – according to IAI, the Panther can be operated by a single operator as well. Designed as a portable system, the mini Panther includes two aircraft and a command and control unit carried by two soldiers. The Panther control station, transported on a midsize vehicle, can store up to three aircraft, as well as the ground data link, the support equipment and spare parts, all of which allow the troops’ autonomous operation on the field at a tactical level. Two operators control the mission using two fully redundant identical consoles. IAI is unveiling the Panther tilt-rotor tactical UAV tomorrow, at the Latrun Conference in Israel. IAI’s new UAV will make its international debut later this month, at the Association of the United States Army’s (AUSA) 2010 Annual Meeting and Exposition in the USA.
Elbit Systems Ltd. announced today that it was awarded an approximately $56 million tank upgrade contract from a customer in Asia. The tank upgrade project will span over 24 months and include the installation of battle management systems (BMS), and optronic observation and surveillance systems. The current program is a follow-on upgrade Elbit Systems is conducting with this specific customer (the identity of the customer was not released).
Due to political implications and U.S. technology transfer limitations, Israeli companies are restricted in offering defense systems to a number of Asian countries. Among these, Azerbaijan, India, Singapore and Thailand fit the vague description provided by the company.
It was reported in the Indian media that the Indian state owned DRDO is cooperating with Elbit Systems in the development of Battlefield Management System for the Indian indigenous Arjun tank. BMS integration could follow as part of the continuous Indian upgrades of the T-72M tanks and, and, possibly with the T-90S. Such BMS allows the tank to network with other fighting units, enabling several tanks to network with other each other, to effectively engage multiple targets. On the other hand, Azerbaijan has recently received 62 T-72 tanks from Russian military surplus. Azeri T-72s have already been updated with new fire control and remotely controlled weapon station.
On Thursday last week (Sept 30) the Pentagon awarded two competitive contracts for the delivery of advanced targeting pods for U.S. Air Force fighters. The Air Force will continue the procurement of two types of pods under the Advanced Targeting Pod – Sensors Enhancement (ATP-SE) program – the AAQ-33 Sniper from Lockheed Martin and AAQ-28(V) Litening – from Northrop Grumman and Israel’s Rafael. The total spending on the two systems over the life of the program could reach US$2.3 billion. The service is seeking to acquire an estimated 275 systems. At present, the contracts awarded to each of the two teams amount about $23 million each.
ST Aerospace has been selected to operate the Singapore Republic of Singapore Air Force’s (RSAF) training in Cazaux, France. As the prime contractor for the entire program, ST Aerospace is acquiring 12 M346 advanced trainers at the cost of S$543 million, the first is scheduled for delivery in 2012. In addition, ST Aerospace will provide systems maintenance and support while Boeing will provide ground based training as a subcontractor. ST Aerospace has been providing depot maintenance for RSAF’s A-4SU / TA-4SU fleet in Cazaux since 1999. In 2007 the company was selected by the Singapore Ministry of Defense (MinDef) to widen the scope of its maintenance program to Total Aviation Support.
Navistar Defense, LLC unveiled today a new, high-mobility medium tactical vehicle (MTV) at the Modern Day Marine Exposition. The MTV is based on the International 7000-MV platform. The MTV incorporates the DXM independent suspension and can also accommodate a variety of survivability and armoring solutions derived from the International MaxxPro Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle.
The MTV also incorporates automatic traction control, anti-lock brakes, self-diagnostics, advanced electronics systems optional central tire inflation system (CTIS). It is offered with two powertrain options – utilizing the MaxxForce D 9.3L and 13L powertrains. The vehicle is capable of climbing a 60 percent gradient and maneuvering 40 percent side slopes.
According to Archie Massicotte, president, Navistar Defense, since receiving the first contract in 2005 Navistar Defense has delivered more than 21,000 7000-MV vehicle platforms in 13 different variants. The current variant adds survivability and independent suspension technologies meeting the requirements of U.S. and allied nations operating in Afghanistan. The company recently completed building 1,130 MaxxPro Dash vehicles with the DXM independent suspension for fielding in Afghanistan. An additional 1,222 Dash units already in operation will also soon be retrofitted with the DXM suspension solution. Navistar medium tactical vehicles are currently in operation in countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Canada, Israel, Jordan and Taiwan.