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May 4, 2021 | International, Aerospace, Naval

Martin UAV Selected to Prototype U.S. Navy Unmanned Aerial System - Seapower

PLANO, Texas — The Navy selected Martin UAV’s V-BAT for a VTOL UAS prototyping and development effort in order to fulfill new technological requirements driven by the changing nature of threats in austere operating environments, Martin UAV said in an...

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  • Israeli firm sells Harop, Rotem kamikaze drones to several Asian countries

    February 3, 2021 | International, Land

    Israeli firm sells Harop, Rotem kamikaze drones to several Asian countries

    By: Seth J. Frantzman JERUSALEM — Israel Aerospace Industries on Monday announced more than $100 million in contracts for loitering munitions in three deals that include the Rotem VTOL and the Harop drones. The latter was sold in its land and naval versions. In keeping with the usual policy in Israel, the company did not reveal its customers, only saying that a foreign country acquired Rotem, while the naval and ground versions of Harop were sold in Asia. IAI said the contracts are proof of the importance that modern armies place in having accurate munitions, noting the deals may serve as a “harbinger of additional business activity.” Loitering munitions are sometimes referred to as kamikaze drones because they can be used as a weapon by crashing into a target. These weapons can also hunt down enemy air defenses, among other critical targets. The Harop maritime variant provides an operational solution for a range of vessels, IAI said. “In a complex naval theater, the Harop system gives mission commanders in a fleet of ships the capability to independently and organically collect intelligence, assess targets and strike,” the firm has said. It can also be used as an alternative to or complement sea-to-sea missiles, and is useful in both low- and high-intensity conflict as well as counterterror operations, according to the company. It is also equipped with day and night cameras. The Harop is sometimes seen in sets of nine on land vehicles but can be configured to a different format for use at sea. The electro-optical assets of the Harop aid the man-in-the-loop operator and also provide for deep strike air superiority capabilities, IAI said. The Rotem is a vertical-takeoff-and-landing drone used by several countries. “The system provides a reconnaissance, observation and attack envelope with maximum autonomous performance, integrating a simple and intuitive operation interface that can be used by a single fighter from a touchscreen tablet,” IAI said. According to Yoel Guzansky, a senior fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University, the recent Abraham Accords that saw relations improve between Israel and its neighbors, including the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, has opened a niche in which Israel is more “kosher” to do deals with. That opens doors in the Gulf region and to Muslim countries globally, where Israeli sales would otherwise be viewed skeptically or be very sensitive. Other events boosting sales, he noted, include tension with Iran and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, during which Azerbaijan used loitering munitions against Armenian forces. Israel often doesn’t identify the countries to which it sells defense systems because it doesn’t want to appear to be part of conflicts, Guzansky explained. But “usually in reports when they don’t disclose, it can be an Arab or Muslim country or Singapore, so usual suspects could be Taiwan, Singapore, Philippines, etc.,” he added. “Israel must be sensitive, to think hard at what kind of weapon systems and to whom [it is selling],” Guzansky said, as the government doesn’t want to become entangled in a conflict between rival countries or have its arms end up in the hands of those for which they were not intended. Tal Inbar, an expert on defense and missile systems and a former chief of the Space Research Center at the Fisher Institute, also pointed to the recent Armenian-Azeri conflict as showcasing the use of loitering munitions. Amid the Abraham Accords, “I believe we will see [a] dramatic increase in [sales of] Israeli products.” Three and a half decades of experience in producing UAVs has led IAI to this point. Its family of systems also include the Harpy, Mini Harpy and Green Dragon. The Harpy was developed with an anti-radiation seeker to suppress surface-to-air missile radar. IAI predicts a future where militaries will use multiple layers of unmanned and remotely operated systems. The company sees the systems as appropriate for a variety of customers, from wealthy nations seeking high-tech weapons to those customers that require an affordable option to compensate for a lack of fifth-generation warplanes.

  • Brexit A Certainty After Boris Johnson Election Landslide

    December 13, 2019 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    Brexit A Certainty After Boris Johnson Election Landslide

    By Tony Osborne  LONDON – Britain’s aerospace industry is waking up to Brexit certainty after Prime Minister Boris Johnson secured a landslide majority in a Dec. 12 general election. Johnson’s Conservative party secured a significant majority in the British Parliament – the largest since Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s - which will enable him to push through his vision of Brexit on Jan. 31, 2020 ending Parliamentary and legal deadlocks that have delayed the UK’s departure from the EU since the original date of March 29, 2019. For aerospace, the Parliamentary majority means stability in planning and investment, and there are unlikely to be any more delays to the process. It should also mean that the threat of a no-deal Brexit – widely considered the worst-case scenario for aerospace – has largely evaporated for now. The current iteration of the withdrawal agreement between Britain and the EU calls for regulatory alignment with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), but the two sides still have to negotiate future trade agreements once the UK has exited the EU. A lack of agreement here could result in a no-deal. British aerospace and defense trade association ADS said it was looking forward to working with the new government but said that ministers needed to “deliver a close future relationship with the European Union." In a statement, ADS CEO Paul Everitt called on the government to push forward with “investments in innovation and green technologies, develop a defense and security industrial strategy and an ambitious national space program.” Airbus, one of the most vocal aerospace companies against Brexit, said it welcomed the fact that the British government now has a “clear mandate” and is looking forward to “positive discussions.” “Airbus remains concerned by the potential for a ‘no-deal’ in December 2020 and we will continue to plan for that scenario as that is the only way any responsible business can plan,” the company said in a statement. “We will continue to run our major Brexit project in order to further eradicate and/or mitigate risks.” If the election result made Brexit more likely, it makes the break-up of the UK more probable too after the Scottish National Party (SNP) secured 48 of the 59 Parliamentary seats in Scotland. SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said the result was a mandate for a second Scottish independence referendum. The Conservative government is unlikely to green-light such a referendum, but independence would have significant ramifications for UK defense given the presence of several airbases and the UK’s ballistic missile submarines carrying the nuclear deterrent.

  • Marshall signs exclusive partnership with QinetiQ for C-130 armour

    July 22, 2020 | International, Land

    Marshall signs exclusive partnership with QinetiQ for C-130 armour

    July 16, 2020 - Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group (Marshall ADG) signed an exclusive agreement with QinetiQ to market, sell and install the latest generation of lightweight armour (LAST Armor® LWA) for the C-130 Hercules. The new armour is half the weight and offers air crew the same threat protection as the previous LAST Armor. It also saves fuel, reduces the impact on the aircraft’s centre of gravity and allows the C-130-30 variant its full cargo carrying capacity. Marshall ADG will be the first company to certify the new lightweight armour on the C -130 aircraft. Marshall ADG’s Sales Director, Matthew Harvey said: “Being able to offer C-130 operators a lightweight armour solution that provides the same level of threat protection as the current LAST Armor demonstrates our commitment to protecting people in critical situations, “Crew safety is paramount and critical to mission success and we’re pleased to be able to provide this capability to customers through this partnership with QinetiQ." This increased operational capability allows air forces around the world to operate in hostile environments with the confidence that their crews are protected against small arms fire. Vice President of QinetiQ Inc., Dan Deguire, said: “Since 1995, LAST Armor has provided critical protection from small arms fire on hundreds of C-130J, C-130E/H, C-5, and C-17s, as well as several other aircraft platforms. We are excited to have this opportunity to partner with Marshall ADG to launch our next generation of improved lightweight armor products worldwide.” The armour is manufactured from high tenacity polyethylene, making it extremely robust, and approximately 380kg (840lbs) lighter than the current LAST Armor solution specifically on the C -130J. This, combined with its environmental coatings ensures that the armour remains relatively inert throughout its service life, even when operating within the harshest of environments. The armour can be quickly and easily installed during scheduled maintenance or as a standalone activity, thus ensuring optimum aircraft mission availability. View source version on Marshall ADG:

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