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  • Rheinmetall lifts curtain on new next-gen combat vehicle with hopes to spark US Army interest

    13 juin 2018 | Local, Terrestre

    Rheinmetall lifts curtain on new next-gen combat vehicle with hopes to spark US Army interest

    PARIS, France — Rheinmetall lifted a curtain, literally, complete with smoke and 80s rock, on its new Lynx KF41 infantry fighting vehicle at Eurosatory June 12, setting its sights on meeting requirements for both European and U.S. future combat vehicles. “Do current fighting vehicles meet the needs of future forces? This was the question that started Rheinmetall on a journey to develop a Lynx family of vehicles,” Ben Hudson, the head of the company’s vehicle systems division, said at Eurosatory just ahead of the unveiling. Hudson said militaries around the world are rethinking requirements and it is clear that in order to meet all the demands of future operations and potential peer-on-peer conflict that a vehicle needs “to provide utility across the spectrum of conflict” and have “the ability to conduct peer-on-peer warfare against emerging battlefield threats.” The U.S. Army has set developing a Next-Generation Combat Vehicle (NGCV) as one of its top six modernization priorities.

  • Meet Serval, France’s next multi-role armoured vehicle

    12 juin 2018 | International, Terrestre

    Meet Serval, France’s next multi-role armoured vehicle

    PARIS — France has given a brand name for its planned light multi-role armoured reconnaissance vehicle, or VBMR: Serval. The French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly confirmed “the forces are waiting impatiently for these Light VBMR,” in a June 11 speech to mark the official opening of the Eurosatory trade show. “They will be efficient, protectors, innovative,” she added. “I believe they will be feared and decisive for our strategic security. For these Light VBMR, they lack nothing, except a name. It is a real honor to baptize these Light VBMR with the name Serval.” That name was a tribute to the “know-how and audacity” of the French forces and borrowed from a desert cat known for its “dexterity, speed and smarts,” she said. The French forces conducted the Serval combat operation in Mali, which ran from 2012 to 2014 and took its name from a wild cat found in sub-Saharan Africa. The French parliament has approved the multi-year defense budget, which has boosted the order for Light VBMR by 420 units to 978, she said.

  • Eurosatory: This navigation system by Safran doesn’t need GPS

    12 juin 2018 | Local, Terrestre, C4ISR

    Eurosatory: This navigation system by Safran doesn’t need GPS

    PARIS ― Safran Electronics & Defense unveiled June 12 at the Eurosatory trade show a range of military inertial navigation systems, dubbed Geonyx, aimed at equipping armored vehicles, target acquisition systems and artillery. The Geonyx INS range is a navigation tool designed to allow operators to find their position and aim weapons, a Safran ED executive told journalists. The system is intended to be highly reliable and independent of GPS, which can be jammed. Safran ED presented its Geonyx system to the Direction Générale de l’Armement procurement office and the French Army’s Stat equipment assessment department on May 30. Geonyx could be fitted as a replacement of the Safran Sigma 30, which is fitted on the Nexter Caesar 155mm artillery. The resonance technology in the new INS range is “extremely disruptive,” the executive said. The Geonyx is smaller, highly reliable and at “a much lower price” than the Sigma 30, he added, however no price details were available. The three Geonyx models ― SP, HP and XP ― offer a rising level of performance, reflecting a range of operational requirements for an army. The systems are intended to be highly robust to withstand shock from artillery fire. An operational life of 10-15 years is expected, the executive said. Geonyx draws on technology developed on its Crystal gyroscope, an advanced hemispherical resonator gyroscope. The resonance technology will be applied to equipment for space, air, land and sea, both civil and military, Safran ED said in a statement. Northrop Grumman has developed its HRG system, which can be deployed in space.

  • Eurosatory 2018: Black Hornet is integrated into vehicles

    12 juin 2018 | International, Aérospatial, Terrestre, C4ISR

    Eurosatory 2018: Black Hornet is integrated into vehicles

    The new Black Hornet 3 nano unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is being presented by FLIR at Eurosatory 2018, being held in Paris on 11-15 June, while the previous Black Hornet 2 is being shown integrated into vehicles. At Eurosatory, the Black Hornet is displayed on a Patria AMV armoured vehicle and a BAE Systems CV90 infantry fighting vehicle. Arne Skjaerpe, vice-president of unmanned aerial system (UAS) sales and operations at FLIR, told Jane's the Black Hornet 3, which was announced in a 5 June FLIR press release, has a new, modular air vehicle which can carry new day/night sensors with better perceived picture quality and new software, which he said was a “step change” compared with the Black Hornet 2. He reported that there are 30 customers for the Black Hornet, including many NATO countries, with the US Army's Soldier Borne Sensor programme having ordered the first batch of Black Hornet 3s for USD2.6 million. Other customers of the latest version of the UAS are the Australian and French armed forces. On 11 June French special forces equipped with Black Hornets participated in the rehearsal for a live demonstration to be held at Eurosatory on 12 June. The Black Hornet 3 UAV weighs 32-33 g, compared with 18 g for the Black Hornet 2, and both share the same base station and screen, according to Skjaerpe. He said FLIR would continue to provide service and maintenance support for the Black Hornet 2. A vehicle reconnaissance system is being developed for the Black Hornet to give vehicles greater situational awareness and targeting capabilities, according to Skaerjpe. These range from reconnaissance vehicles to main battle tanks and self-propelled howitzers.

  • Eurosatory 2018: Rheinmetall Canada unveils production-ready Mission Master Cargo unmanned ground vehicle

    12 juin 2018 | Local, Terrestre

    Eurosatory 2018: Rheinmetall Canada unveils production-ready Mission Master Cargo unmanned ground vehicle

    Rheinmetall Canada has unveiled a newly named Mission Master Cargo unmanned ground vehicle (UGV), which is a new version of the Multi-Mission UGV that was first revealed at IDEX in February 2017. The platform is designed for direct support of dismounted troops and is available in a cargo and casualty evacuation version, and a surveillance and reconnaissance version. The new UGV was revealed during Eurosatory 2018 in Paris, and Rheinmetall Canada spoke to Jane’s prior to the event. Modules can be swapped in and out as required, so the UGV can fulfil mission sets including logistics support; weaponised; chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear and explosives (CBRNE); and communications relay. “The end user can buy either a surveillance module, CBRN module or fire suppression module and clip it onto the vehicle itself with no modification required. The software can integrate and interact with any of those mission modules that are already embedded into every single UGV,” Alain Tremblay, vice-president of business development for Rheinmetall Canada, told Jane’s. In the weaponised role, the platform is fitted with a remote weapon station featuring a 12.7 mm machine gun. Live fire testing was done at the end of 2017 on a military base in Canada to trial how the UGV could lock onto a target, the target then be confirmed by operators, and the platform fire by itself up to a range of 800 m. Tremblay noted that any type of remote weapon station, regardless of the manufacturer, can be fitted to the platform. “The open architecture of the software allows anything to be mounted, even a Russian type missile which has a different architecture system to the western world,” he said. “Early next year we are going to be starting to work on a medium calibre 20 mm remote weapon station for the same platform which is actually not that difficult to do.

  • Rafael to demo lighter Trophy protection system on Bradley Fighting Vehicle

    12 juin 2018 | International, Terrestre

    Rafael to demo lighter Trophy protection system on Bradley Fighting Vehicle

    PARIS — Rafael is rapidly driving toward a demonstration of a lighter version of its Trophy active protection system, or APS, on a Bradley Fighting Vehicle this summer as the U.S. Army continues to assess APS systems on its combat vehicles, according to Rafael’s head of its land maneuver systems directorate. The Israeli company has already been chosen to field Trophy on four brigade sets of Abrams tanks, and the U.S. Army continues to analyze two other systems on Bradley and on the Stryker combat vehicle. The Army is qualifying Israeli company IMI System’s Iron Fist on Bradley and the Virginia-based Artis’ Iron Curtain for Stryker. The characterization efforts for both Bradley and Stryker systems are delayed by roughly six to eight months depending on the system. Should one or both of them have insufficient performance or maturity, the Army could choose to adapt another system under evaluation to that platform; or the service could assess another nondevelopmental APS system to fit that same role; or furthermore, it could make a decision to move the system from engineering development activity under a science and technology development effort as part of the Vehicle Protection Systems program of record, according to Army spokeswoman Ashley Givens. There’s also fiscal 2018 funding that will be used to evaluate a fourth nondevelopmental APS system via an installation and characterization activity to be identified after a preliminary evaluation phase that will occur late this year, applying lessons learned from efforts to date, Givens added. So Rafael sees a lighter version of Trophy as a promising candidate for other U.S. combat vehicles, which has advantages such as a large amount commonality with Trophy on Abrams, Rafael’s Michael L. told Defense News in a June 11 interview at the French defense conference Eurosatory. Michael’s last name has been withheld for security reasons. And the timing seems right, according Michael, as the Army will move toward decisions on APS systems for its combat vehicles at some time this year. Rafael has been conducting extensive testing of its lighter and smaller Trophy system, and the company is inviting the U.S. military to attend a major test event in August in Israel to witness the capability on a Bradley, which is the combat vehicle considered the most difficult on which to integrate a system because of the current variant’s power limitations. The company would also be capable of integrating the system onto a Stryker, but it has decided — along with its U.S. partner DRS — to focus on Bradley for the time being, Michael said. While the current Trophy system would be too heavy, coming in at 1.8 tons as a full system, the lighter version will weigh just shy of half that, while still retaining “the same method of operations, the same logic, the same interface,” Michael said. Rafael sees the solution not as a simple one, but a high-end one, which it believes would be needed on a platform like Bradley. Israel and other countries are also calling for a lighter APS system that would work on infantry fighting vehicles, and so Rafael sees “a large business opportunity,” according to Michael. “In August we are going to surprise a lot of people who weren’t sure,” Michael said, “because when you say shrinking, it’s not just making it smaller. You need to make sure that nothing was lost in the process … we already know that nothing has been lost, but we are testing it to make sure that everything is in order, and I think we have a great solution.” Rafael is also developing and testing a 30mm weapon station outfitted with Trophy as an all-in-one system, according to Michael. The turret can be purchased with or without the Trophy system. One customer ― not Israel or the U.S. ― is buying more than a hundred 30mm weapons stations. The company will complete development of the turret in September and will then begin production for the country in January 2019, Michael said. While the country has yet to commit to adding Trophy as part of a single system, it wanted to prove the system with Trophy. Rafael is eyeing what happens with the ongoing assessment by the U.S. Army to upgun its Strykers with a 30mm cannon. The assessment of the current configuration is expected to wrap up in the summer. Michael said the company has spoke with the Stryker program office in the U.S. to understand what the soldier wants from a 30mm cannon with the intention to fine-tune an offering should the Army decide to assess other 30mm options in order to outfit the rest of its Stryker fleet. And to sweeten the deal, the 30mm cannon would come with an APS system already integrated into the turret, according to Michael.

  • Plan d’investissement de la Défense 2018

    11 juin 2018 | Information, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    Plan d’investissement de la Défense 2018

    Le Programme des capacités de la Défense (PCD) un nouvel outil maintenant en ligne permet d’accéder à des renseignements sur les occasions d’investissement en défense. À l’instar du Guide d’acquisition en défense, le PCD offre à l’industrie de l’information sur la planification comme les fourchettes de financement et les échéanciers des projets. L’industrie pourra y trouver environ 250 projets financés dans le cadre de la politique Protection, Sécurité, Engagement (PSE), dont des projets d’infrastructure ainsi que d’importants contrats de soutien en service afin de faire ses prévisions pour les occasions d’acquisition en défense et tenter d’obtenir des contrats. Grâce à ces renseignements, l’industrie sera en mesure de prendre des décisions éclairées en matière de recherche-développement (R-D) et de partenariats stratégiques fondés sur les besoins prévus des Forces armées canadiennes. On trouvera dans le PCD : des projets : des projets de biens d’équipement ou d’infrastructure d’une valeur de plus de 5 millions de dollars prévus et financés dans le cadre du la politique PSE des contrats de soutien : des contrats de soutien en service et des contrats de service professionnels d’une valeur escomptée supérieure à 20 millions de dollars qui seront octroyés dans les prochaines années pour soutenir les capacités livrées dans le cadre de la politique PSE des projets de PSE notés et inscrits Le PCD comprend une fonction de recherche par mot-clé et segmente les occasions d’investissement en composantes qui peuvent servir de critères de recherche : secteurs en matière de capacités de Défense (SCD) secteurs d’investissement en matière de capacités de défense (SICD) promoteurs du projet capacités industrielles clés (CIC) Les secteurs en matière de capacités de Défense (SCD) se divisent en treize grandes catégories, comme les le domaine terrestre, le domaine maritime, le domaine aérien, l’aérospatiale et le cyberespace. Ces catégories se subdivisent en éléments constituants plus de 150 secteurs d’investissement en matière de capacités de défense (SICD), comme les véhicules de modèle commercial, les pièces de navires et l’avionique. Les promoteurs du projet correspondent au commandement du service ou à l’organisation civile équivalente au sein du ministère de la Défense nationale (MDN). Il est aussi possible de rechercher les projets et les occasions d’investissement en fonction des capacités industrielles clés (CIC) d’Innovation, Sciences et Développement économiques Canada. Ces secteurs de capacité indiquent à l’industrie qu’elles sont les principales activités commerciales prioritaires pour le gouvernement en ce qui concerne l’approvisionnement en matière de défense. Enfin, il y a une fonction de recherche avancée qui permet à l’utilisateur de filtrer ses résultats selon des critères particuliers.

  • Nexter armored vehicle could soon include tethered drones

    11 juin 2018 | International, Aérospatial, Terrestre, C4ISR

    Nexter armored vehicle could soon include tethered drones

    VERSAILLES, France ― Nexter has unveiled a concept version of its Titus armored vehicle adapted to carry augmented mission systems, including a tethered drone, unmanned ground vehicles and a remote controlled 20mm cannon. The six-wheeled vehicle serves as a multipurpose platform to develop capabilities that could one day be fitted to vehicles such as the Griffon troop carrier. One of the capabilities is a captive UAV tethered to the vehicle, which could be used for observation and artillery targeting, a Nexter executive told journalists May 16. The UAV can fly to a height of 50 meters. A quieter option is a small, stand-alone UAV, which can also be launched from the vehicle’s roof for reconnaissance missions. The hull has an outside compartment to deploy small unmanned ground vehicles, or UGV, to detect improvised explosive devices as well as chemical, biological and radiation weapons. The vehicle is armed with a remote controlled 20mm cannon, with options for a 25mm or 30mm weapon. The gun, UGV and UAV could be controlled inside or outside the vehicle with a smart pad. Another capability that could be installed includes a “virtual fence” for facial recognition for the vehicle’s crew and troops. Nexter displayed the demonstrator vehicle at an artillery day event in December at the Canjuers Army base in the southeast of France. Nexter also showed off Themis, a tracked UGV armed with a 20mm gun. The vehicle is supplied by Milrem of Estonia. Themis is armed with an ARX 20mm remote controlled cannon with a 2-kilometer range and armor piercing shells. Other options are 12.7mm and 14.5mm heavy machine guns. The vehicle could support disembarked troops with heavy firepower and be used to open roads. Themis weighs 1 ton, travels at 24 kph and has an all-terrain capability. It is powered by electricity and diesel, with the latter delivering an endurance of 10 hours. Many countries, particularly for special forces, have shown interest in the vehicle, a Nexter executive said. A firing test is due to be held this year.

  • Here are just some of the ways Canadian technology keeps Americans safe

    11 juin 2018 | Local, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR

    Here are just some of the ways Canadian technology keeps Americans safe

    It’s been a week since the Trump White House slapped Canada with steel and aluminum tariffs on the ground that reliance on our imports was threatening the “national security” of the United States. If Canadians are particularly galled at this, it might be because no foreign country in modern times has done more to arm and equip the United States than Canada. “I would not be surprised if every single major aircraft or warship in U.S. military service today has Canadian components in it,” said Richard Shimooka, a senior fellow at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute. Below, a cursory summary of some of the Canadian stuff used by history’s most powerful military. Landing gear We’ll start with an entry that directly concerns steel and aluminum. Quebec-based Héroux-Devtek is the world’s third largest aircraft landing gear company, and some of that is thanks to a longstanding relationship with the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy. Specifically, Héroux-Devtek is in charge of landing gear repair and overhaul for several large U.S. aircraft, including the heavy-lift C-130 Hercules. Of course, landing gear is made almost entirely of steel or aluminum. So, thanks to these new tariffs, American military procurers are either going to start getting hosed on their Héroux-Devtek contracts — or they’re going to have start getting their landing gear overhauls from a U.S. company that isn’t their first choice. Armoured personnel carriers “Canada and the US have been building military equipment for each other since the summer of 1940,” David Bercuson, a military historian at the University of Calgary, told the National Post. “Literally billions of dollars of such equipment has passed the border since then.” The most obvious example is the Stryker. There are nearly 5,000 Stryker armoured personnel carriers in the U.S. military, and all of them were built in London, Ontario. Not only that, but the Stryker is even based on a Canadian design, the LAV III. Coming in at a rock bottom $4 million apiece, the Americans use Strykers for everything: Ambulances, firefighting, missile platforms, chemical weapons defence and mine detection. They even started rigging them up with giant lasers to shoot down enemy drones. Armoured vehicles happen to be a Canadian specialty. While the United States was busy throwing money at big ticket items such as tanks and attack helicopters, the shoestring Canadians have gotten very good at the much cheaper task of simply strapping guns and armour to oversized trucks. And if a U.S. diplomat found themselves touring Iraq in an armoured Toyota Land Cruiser, chances are good they were shielded from bullets and IEDs by Canadian workmanship. Specialized aircraft Here again, the United States has it covered when it comes to big ticket aircraft such as fighters or bombers. But the U.S. military will occasionally call up Canadian plane-makers when it needs something quirky. Bombardier has retooled some of its airliners and business jets to act as airborne radar platforms. When the United States Army Parachute Team appears at air shows, they’re jumping out of a Canadian-made de Havilland Twin Otter. De Havilland has also hooked up the Americans with some of its famously rugged prop planes for use in electronic warfare, remote cargo drops or simply moving National Guard troops around Alaska. All told, the U.S. military is flying more planes built in Canada than in any other foreign country. The U.S. military’s only cargo drone (and it has the most Canadian name imaginable) A U.S. special forces unit is pinned down on a remote Central Asian mountaintop. Surrounded by militants on all sides, it needs an emergency airlift of water and ammunition to even see daybreak. Enter the SnowGoose, an unmanned autogyro specializing in precision deliveries to special forces. The SnowGoose is the U.S. military’s only cargo drone, and it’s an all-Canadian creation. An emerging theme on this list is that Canada is great at building niche military hardware for cheap, and the SnowGoose is no exception. As the drone’s Stittsville, Ont. builders note, it can move cargo across a battlefield at a fraction of the price of other drones. Nuclear fuel Uranium is a big part of the modern U.S. military. It has more than 100 nuclear-powered vessels in the navy, and there’s also those 7,000 atomic weapons it still has lying around. Canada has sold a whole lot of uranium to the U.S. military, going all the way back to the initial atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. However, the taps were somewhat shut off in the 1960s, when Canada started limiting uranium exports to “peaceful” purposes. Still, with Canada ranking as the United States’ top uranium dealer, we help keep their uranium topped up enough to have plenty left over for the military. Speaking of nuclear weapons, it might behoove the White House to remember that if a Russian or North Korean missile should happen to be fired in their direction, a Canada-based NORAD station will likely be among the first to let them know. Making fighter jets last forever This entry should fill thrifty Canadians with particular pride: We’ve gotten so good at squeezing every penny out of our CF-18s that we’re now globally renowned experts at fighter jet life extension. Among other things, Canada invented “robotic shot-peening,” a method of using robots to restore aging aircraft with a precision never before known. The technology has been exported to Europe, Australia and, in 2013, the U.S. Navy brought in the Quebec aerospace company L-3 MAS to give its jets a makeover. Battlefield communications Tactical radios are another niche technology in which Canadian companies have a built a slow but steady reputation with the Americans. In a 2017 reporton Canada/U.S. military industrial cooperation, the Center for Strategic and International Studies noted that the U.S. military has been using Canadian radios since the 1960s. Ultra TCS, headquartered in Montreal, remains a supplier of tactical radios to both the U.S. Army and Marine Corps. And these aren’t just walkie-talkies; they’re hyper-advanced networks that can provide email, voice and even video hook-ups to American troops in battle. Jeeps That’s right. The Second World War-era Willys Jeep — one of the most American vehicles in history — was manufactured in part by Canada. Ford Motor Company of Canada churned out thousands of Jeeps after the Second World War. In 1952 alone, Canadian factories were making an average of seven of them per day. According to Ford Canada’s website, “these postwar Canadian-made Jeep were shipped to the United States, for the American military forces.” Space robots DARPA is the U.S. agency tasked with pursuing military so cutting edge that they occasionally veer into outright science fiction. Last year, DARPA signed a deal with Canada’s MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates to design robots that could be dispatched into space in order to repair U.S. military satellites. And like most times Canada is brought in for U.S. military stuff, the robot space mechanic program is indeed intended as a cost saving measure. Canada has been a leader in space defence for some time. Our beloved Canadarm, in fact, technically qualifies as an early military space robot. Over the course of the space shuttle program 11 missions were sent up to perform classified work for the Pentagon. We still don’t know the specifics of what the Canadarm did for Uncle Sam on those missions, but the arm is a certifiable Cold Warrior.

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