Back to news

July 2, 2019 | International, Aerospace

Strategic Air Bases Receive First Counter-UAS Systems


Several Air Force installations with strategic assets are now armed with systems to protect against small unmanned aircraft that might loiter nearby.

Steve Wert, the Air Force's digital program executive officer helping to roll out counter-UAS systems, said the service had fielded initial capabilities to an undisclosed number of US Strategic Command and Air Force Global Strike Command sites. Speaking at an Air Force Life Cycle Management Conference recently in Dayton, Ohio, Wert described the new systems as “a command-and-control capability integrated with some detection and some jamming,” but did not mention kinetic attacks.

“Much more work to do,” he said. “We're finding the typical problems you will find on some bases. In order to have a radar providing detection, you actually have to build a tower. Building towers is hard because you have to do environmental assessments.”

The systems provide “a composite suite of options” to sense and defeat drones attempting to enter restricted airspace around nuclear, space, electronic warfare, long-range strike, and missile defense resources, Air Force spokeswoman Laura McAndrews said.

“The concept of ‘tailored and layered defense' provides the ability to execute kinetic solutions, such as traditional ballistic rounds and capture nets, coupled with other countermeasures that disrupt the operator's ability to navigate drones in our restricted airspace,” she said.

The Air Force and Army are also collaborating on using 40 mm ammunition with nets that deploy and wrap around the drones to bring them down.

“We've had some recent success working with the Army on kinetic defeat, successful test round firings,” Wert said. “The idea of a net round is probably a good solution, but that system's becoming accurate enough where the training rounds are directly hitting UAVs, so very good results there.”

In May, Pentagon acquisition chief Ellen Lord told reporters Defense Department officials were concerned that military personnel weren't aware of their options for addressing UAVs and the services weren't sharing their ideas. Combatant command representatives and acquisition officials meet each month to discuss the right way forward.

That's generated a list of counter-UAS systems in the DOD with details on their maturity, how many are deployed, and how they are used, Lord said. The Air Force is also working toward laser and microwave weapons for that purpose.

The FAA already regulates how and where small UAS are allowed to fly, though those rules are evolving in collaboration with the Pentagon, which called the issue a high priority earlier this year.

“I really do think of these UAVs as something that's low-cost, it's easy to manipulate,” then-acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan told the Senate Appropriations Committee in May. “We need to develop the capabilities and the rules because, quite frankly, this airspace is shared by so many different authorities, so it's as much about rules to operate in space as it is the technologies to defeat them.”

Over the past few years, Defense Department officials have pointed to instances of enemy combatants dispatching small drones for strike and intelligence-gathering in the Middle East and of unmanned aerial vehicles lingering near high-end aircraft. US Strategic Command did not answer how many little aircraft have been spotted lately or if the number is growing.

"So far, they've been incidental activities,” STRATCOM boss Gen. John Hyten said at a 2017 Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. "But the fact that they're occurring, and then if you watch what is happening overseas in the [US Central Command theater] with the use of lethal UAVs and the use of UAVs for surveillance on the part of a terrorist adversary, I'm very concerned that those same kind of UAVs could be employed against our weapon storage facilities, especially on the nuclear weapon storage facilities."

Air Combat Command chief Gen. Mike Holmes in 2017 also noted two incidents that interfered with operations on the same day and required reports to Air Force leadership. Conventional military assets need similar policies and protections as STRATCOM has put in place over the past few years, allowing workers to track and engage drones when needed, he argued.

"At one base, the gate guard watched one fly over the top of the gate shack, tracked it while it flew over the flight line for a little while, and then flew back out and left," Holmes said. "The other incident was an F-22 . . . had a near collision with a small UAS, and I don't have anything that I can do about it."

On the same subject

  • High-cost satellites remain vulnerable to low-cost threats

    April 24, 2018 | International, Aerospace, C4ISR

    High-cost satellites remain vulnerable to low-cost threats

    By: Daniel Cebul WASHINGTON ― Despite advances in satellite technology, many of the U.S. military's most expensive and necessary assets remain vulnerable to jamming from inexpensive tools, according to a new report from the CSIS Aerospace Security Project. “The technology needed to jam many types of satellite signals is commercially available and relatively inexpensive,” the report reads. Other electronic threats such as spoofing, which attempts to trick receivers into believing manipulated data from an attacker is real, also offer low cost options to adversaries who hope to interfere with satellite connectivity. These kinds of attacks can disrupt communications or position, navigation and timing techniques. The report, released April 12 and titled “Space Threat Assessment 2018,” notes that while United States near-peer adversaries have made strides in more advanced kinetic weapons, such as direct ascent anti-satellite weapons, jamming technology also is seen as critical. For example, “China has made the development and deployment of satellite jamming systems a high priority,” according to the authors, Todd Harrison, Kaitlyn Johnson and Thomas Roberts. Another near-peer, Russia, has displayed jamming and spoofing capabilities in the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Syria in the last several years. The report said the use of Russian technology in these conflicts “demonstrate[s] that Russia retains advanced electronic attack capabilities, despite some analysts' claims that Russia's ability to jam and spoof satellites has declined since 1991.” But the threat from jamming and spoofing attacks goes beyond near-peers. Iran and North Korea, so-called rogue states, also have demonstrated the capability and willingness to interfere with satellite communications and GPS signals, according to the report. And the ability to jam and spoof signals is likely to spread. The report notes once a jammer or spoofer is developed, “it is relatively inexpensive to produce and deploy in large numbers and can be proliferated to other state and non-state actors.” But the United States is not sitting by idly. The Air Force's Advanced Energy High Frequency satellites, reserved for secure communication, “incorporate a high degree of protection against jamming, spoofing, and other forms of electronic attack,” according to the report. The U.S. is also preparing troops to operate in GPS-denied environments. In January, the Defense Department jammed GPS-signals in western states so pilots could train in environments that will likely come to characterize combat in the age of electronic warfare.

  • KBR Wins $64M Recompete to Expand DoD Testing and Training Capabilities for U.S. Warfighter

    May 1, 2020 | International, Land

    KBR Wins $64M Recompete to Expand DoD Testing and Training Capabilities for U.S. Warfighter

    Houston – April 27, 2020 – KBR (NYSE: KBR) has received a $63.9 million task order from the Department of Defense (DoD) Test Resource Management Center (TRMC) to develop interoperability solutions to expand the U.S. military's testing and training capabilities. KBR will utilize its vast test and evaluation (T&E) expertise to assess and address the unique requirements necessary to incorporate additional test range sites into the DoD's T&E infrastructure. This will streamline and enhance the integration of test and training capabilities for DoD weapons systems. KBR's work will result in developed hardware and software solutions that address the military's T&E needs. KBR will help DoD improve range interoperability and effective reuse of resources resulting in increased capability while reducing development, operation and maintenance costs for test ranges. The company's efforts will also further the important partnership between the Test and Training Enabling Architecture Software Development Activity (TENA-SDA) and Joint Mission Environment Test Capability (JMETC) to expand connectivity and develop enhanced capabilities for test and training facilities. “KBR is proud of our nearly two decades of TENA support, promoting range interoperability and flexibility for the U.S. military,” said Byron Bright, KBR President, Government Solutions U.S. “KBR will continue to use its expertise to develop innovative solutions to fortify and grow the DoD's T&E capabilities.” KBR was awarded this task order under the cost-plus-fixed/firm-fixed fee One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services (OASIS) contract which KBR won a seat on in 2014. This is a one-year task order with four option periods. KBR ensures mission success for customers on land, at sea, in the air, and in space and cyberspace. It has operational and developmental T&E processes designed for corporate, government and military organizations. KBR holds extensive experience evaluating complex systems and technologies ranging from combat vehicles and high-performance aircraft to weapons systems and orbital launch platforms. KBR is engineering solutions for the needs of today and tomorrow, safely and efficiently. About KBR, Inc. KBR is a global provider of differentiated professional services and technologies across the asset and program lifecycle within the Government Solutions and Energy sectors. KBR employs approximately 37,000 people worldwide (including our joint ventures), with customers in more than 80 countries, and operations in 40 countries, across three synergistic global businesses: Government Solutions, serving government customers globally, including capabilities that cover the full lifecycle of defense, space, aviation and other government programs and missions from research and development, through systems engineering, test and evaluation, program management, to operations, maintenance, and field logistics Technology Solutions, featuring proprietary technology, equipment, catalysts, digital solutions and related technical services for the monetization of hydrocarbons, including refining, petrochemicals, ammonia and specialty chemicals, as well as inorganics Energy Solutions, including onshore oil and gas; LNG (liquefaction and regasification)/GTL; oil refining; petrochemicals; chemicals; fertilizers; differentiated EPC; maintenance services (Brown & Root Industrial Services); offshore oil and gas (shallow-water, deep-water, subsea); floating solutions (FPU, FPSO, FLNG & FSRU); program management and consulting services KBR is proud to work with its customers across the globe to provide technology, value-added services, integrated EPC delivery and long-term operations and maintenance services to ensure consistent delivery with predictable results. At KBR, We Deliver. Visit Forward Looking Statement The statements in this press release that are not historical statements, including statements regarding future financial performance, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. These statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the company's control that could cause actual results to differ materially from the results expressed or implied by the statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: the outcome of and the publicity surrounding audits and investigations by domestic and foreign government agencies and legislative bodies; potential adverse proceedings by such agencies and potential adverse results and consequences from such proceedings; the scope and enforceability of the company's indemnities from its former parent; changes in capital spending by the company's customers; the company's ability to obtain contracts from existing and new customers and perform under those contracts; structural changes in the industries in which the company operates; escalating costs associated with and the performance of fixed-fee projects and the company's ability to control its cost under its contracts; claims negotiations and contract disputes with the company's customers; changes in the demand for or price of oil and/or natural gas; protection of intellectual property rights; compliance with environmental laws; changes in government regulations and regulatory requirements; compliance with laws related to income taxes; unsettled political conditions, war and the effects of terrorism; foreign operations and foreign exchange rates and controls; the development and installation of financial systems; increased competition for employees; the ability to successfully complete and integrate acquisitions; and operations of joint ventures, including joint ventures that are not controlled by the company. KBR's most recently filed Annual Report on Form 10-K, any subsequent Form 10-Qs and 8-Ks, and other U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings discuss some of the important risk factors that KBR has identified that may affect the business, results of operations and financial condition. Except as required by law, KBR undertakes no obligation to revise or update publicly any forward-looking statements for any reason. For further information, please contact: Investors Alison Vasquez Vice President, Investor Relations 713-753-5082 Media Philip Ivy Vice President, Global Communications and Marketing 713-753-3800 View source version on KBR, Inc.:

  • Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - September 08, 2020

    September 9, 2020 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - September 08, 2020

    AIR FORCE Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Roy, Utah, has been awarded a $13,293,562,839 cost-plus-incentive-fee contract for a tested and fully qualified design of the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD). The GBSD will replace the Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Weapon system. This contract will provide for the engineering and manufacturing of the GBSD. Work will be performed in Roy, Utah, and multiple other locations nationwide, and is expected to be completed February 2029. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition and one offer was received. Fiscal Year 2020 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $85,000,000 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, is the contracting activity (FA8219-20-C-0006). NAVY Raytheon Technologies Corp., Pratt and Whitney Military Engines, East Hartford, Connecticut, is awarded a $174,221,174 modification (P00022) to previously awarded fixed-price-incentive-firm, cost-plus-fixed-fee, cost contract N00019-18-C-1021. This modification exercises an option for the production and delivery of 14 F135-PW-100 low rate initial production Lot 14 propulsion systems for the Air Force in support of the F-35A conventional take-off and landing aircraft. Work will be performed in Middletown, Connecticut (46%); East Hartford, Connecticut (22%); Windsor Locks, Connecticut (16%); North Berwick, Maine (11%); Phoenix, Arizona (3%); and Santa Isabel, Puerto Rico (2%), and is expected to be completed in June 2022. Fiscal 2020 aircraft procurement (Air Force) funds in the amount of $174,221,174 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity. RDA Inc.,* Doylestown, Pennsylvania, is awarded a $19,983,378 cost-plus-fixed-fee order (N68335-20-F-0360) against previously issued basic ordering agreement N68335-20-G-3039. This order provides for continued advanced technology research and development efforts for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) products for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and under-sea warfare (USW) systems under SBIR topic N98-035 titled “Signal Processing and System Concepts to Exploit Passive Signals in Airborne Active ASW Missions; topic N04-247 titled “Littoral Environment Parameter Estimation from Bistatic and Multistatic Fleet Air ASW Acoustic Reverberation Data;” and topic N06-011 titled “Multi-Sensor Data Fusion for Littoral Undersea Warfare.” Further development and research efforts will include engineering, technical, managerial, analysis, prototyping, maintenance, quality control, training and test participation. Additionally, this order provides operational software development, acoustic capability enhancements and technical engineering for further development and transition of technologies and system performance improvements, providing on-going fleet training and maintenance products for deployed systems. Work will be performed in Warrenton, Virginia (45%); Patuxent River, Maryland (35%); and Doylestown, Pennsylvania (20%), and is expected to be completed in September 2025. Fiscal 2020 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $852,759 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, New Jersey, is the contracting activity. Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. Aeronautics Systems, San Diego, California, is awarded an $11,635,599 cost-plus-fixed-fee order (N00019-20-F-0103) against previously issued basic ordering agreement N00019-20-G-0005. This order provides non-recurring engineering for qualification testing and integration of the Redundancy unmanned air vehicle common automatic recovery systems and multi-platform anti-jam Global Positioning System navigation antenna integrated upgrades into the MQ-8C Fire Scout aircraft. Work will be performed in San Diego, California (90%); and Moss Point, Mississippi (10%), and is expected to be completed in January 2023. Fiscal 2019 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $11,635,599 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity. DEFENSE INFORMATION SYSTEMS AGENCY Qwest Government Solutions Inc., doing business as CenturyLink QGS, Herndon, Virginia, was awarded a $70,250,013 modification (P00004) against non-competitive firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract HC1013-19-D-0002 to increase the current contract ceiling. This modification allows for the continued operations and maintenance support for dark fiber and commercial facilities in the continental U.S. to support the Department of Defense. Funding will be obligated at the individual task orders. The total contract ceiling value has increased from $126,895,698 to $197,145,711. The period of performance is Nov. 30, 2018, through Nov. 29, 2023. The Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, is the contracting activity. ARMY Amentum Services Inc., Germantown, Maryland, was awarded a $29,034,547 hybrid (cost-no-fee, labor-hours) contract for contractor labor support services at Anniston Army Depot and Watervliet Arsenal. Bids were solicited via the internet with three received. Work will be performed at Anniston Army Depot, Alabama; and Watervliet Arsenal, New York, with an estimated completion date of Jan. 15, 2023. Fiscal 2020 Army working capital funds in the amount of $29,034,547 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Detroit Arsenal, Michigan, is the contracting activity (W56HZV-20-F-0396). Manson Construction, Seattle, Washington, was awarded a $26,493,750 firm-fixed-price contract for maintenance dredging. Bids were solicited via the internet with two received. Work will be performed in Plaquemines, Louisiana, with an estimated completion date of June 20, 2021. Fiscal 2020 civil operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $26,493,750 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans, Louisiana, is the contracting activity (W912P8-20-C-0061). Kallidus Technologies Inc.,* Lowell, Massachusetts, was awarded a $15,478,911 firm-fixed-price contract to construct a new security forces and communications training facility. Bids were solicited via the internet with six received. Work will be performed in Westhampton Beach, New York, with an estimated completion date of April 1, 2022. Fiscal 2020 military construction (Army National Guard) funds in the amount of $15,478,911 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Property and Fiscal Office, New York, is the contracting activity (W50S8E-20-C-0005). Bell Textron Inc., Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded a $13,500,000 order-dependent contract to conduct design studies, analyses, simulation, testing, integration and fabrication activities in order to mitigate risks, investigate operational usage and conduct maturation activities at the technology, subsystem and system-level maturation for the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft and its variants. Bids were solicited via the internet with two received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 7, 2025. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity (W911W6-20-D-0006). Enviremedial Services Inc.,* Oceanside, California, was awarded a $9,455,140 firm-fixed-price contract for a vehicle wash system, preventive maintenance and inspections, labor, management, supervision, tools, materials and equipment to perform facility support services at Marine Corps Reserve centers. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of March 28, 2026. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Charleston, South Carolina, is the contracting activity (W912HP-20-D-3000). DEFENSE ADVANCED RESEARCH PROJECTS AGENCY HRL Laboratories LLC, Malibu, California, was awarded a modification to incorporate sole-source additional scope totaling $8,390,427 to previously awarded contract HR0011-19-C-0006 for a Phase 2 Millimeter-wave GaN Maturation (MGM) project. The modification brings the total cumulative face value of the contract to $18,789,575 from $10,399,148. Work will be performed in Malibu, California, with an expected completion date of September 2022. Fiscal 2020 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $1,950,000 are being obligated at time of award. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity. Kryptowire LLC, McLean, Virginia, was awarded a $7,337,148 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for a research project under the Open, Programmable, Secure 5G (OPS-5G) program. The OPS-5G program will create open source software and systems enabling secure 5G and subsequent secure mobile networks such as 6G. Work will be performed in McLean, Virginia; Blacksburg, Virginia; and Fairfax, Virginia, with an expected completion date of September 2024. Fiscal 2020 research, development, test and evaluation funding in the amount of $883,977 is being obligated at time of award. This contract was a competitive acquisition under an open broad agency announcement and 40 offers were received. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity (HR0011-20-C-0154). *Small Business

All news