The US Navy plans to test its new electronic warfare (EW) drone this fall. The drones are part of the „Remedy“ program by the Navy and Northrop Grumman that sees a small Class II unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) packed into a cluster munition canister that would then eject from a mothership and fly a programmed route ahead of stand-off jammers and strike aircraft. This could mean that electronic EW platforms like the EA-18G Growler could soon release swarms of drones from the aircraft, allowing the smaller vehicles to fly ahead to scout out for radar and other battlefield emitters. The drones could even take part in electronic attack missions themselves by jamming enemy sensor networks. During the trials in fall, Northrop Grumman plans to link the drone with an actual Growler as part of Fleet Tactical Grid 2019.
The US Naval Sea Systems Command issued a request for information for the proposed Unmanned Maritime Autonomy Architecture (UMAA). In 2018, the Unmanned Maritime Program Office chartered a cross-organizational team to develop the Unmanned Maritime Autonomy Architecture with the goal of standardizing autonomy interfaces across its growing portfolio of unmanned vehicles. The intent of UMAA is to provide overarching standards that various unmanned undersea vehicles and unmanned service vehicles can be built to in order to avoid creating multiple conflicting systems in the future.The Naval Sea Systems Command’s Program Executive Office Unmanned and Small Combatants, Unmanned Maritime Systems Program Office is looking for government organizations and industry to participate in the development of the UMAA.
Middle East & Africa
Iran unveiled an indigenous submarine that reportedly is capable of firing cruise missiles several hundred miles and staying more than 650 feet underwater for five weeks. The vessel includes 412,000 pieces, utilizing 76 state-of-the-art technologies. 4.2 million working hours utilized 120 industrial centers, 80 knowledge-based companies, 57 universities and 195 research centers. The submarine includes surface-to-surface systems, a torpedo launcher, advanced sonar, electrically powered propulsion, battle management systems, integrated electronic security and communications technology.
Norwegian shipbuilder Vard Group AS ordered the 9LV Fire Control System (FCS) including the Ceros 200 fire control director from Saab for the Norwegian Coast Guard’s new Jan Mayen-class-vessels. The 9LV FCS is used to detect, monitor and combat threats with high accuracy. It provides rapid, reliable defense against any threat in any environment, including advanced sea-skimming missiles and asymmetric surface threats. Ceros 200 is one of its core components and is based on radar and optronic technology, which gives the system very high precision in all weather conditions. Vard Group is building the Jan Mayen class vessels with the first delivery planned for 2022. Saab will undertake the work in Järfälla, Sweden.
ZALA Aero, a subsidiary of Rostec’s Kalashnikov Group unveiled its new KYB-UAV loitering munition at the IDEX in Abu Dhabi. The drone, that could target enemy air defenses, is 1,210 mm long with a 950 mm wingspan. The new system precisely hits ground targets, delivering a specific payload to target coordinates. The target coordinates are specified manually or acquired from payload targeting image. Powered by an electric motor, it can carry a 3-kg payload, has a speed of 80-130 km/h, and an endurance of 30 minutes. The so called KYB-BLA is a small, slow and presumably inexpensive cruise missile.
The Australian Army contracted Saab to update the Wireless Audio Visual Emergency System (WAVES) for the counter-rocket, artillery, and mortar (C-RAM) sense-and-warn systems. C-RAM is a set of systems used to detect or destroy rockets, artillery, and mortar round in the air before they hit their ground targets, or provide early warning. Australia’s C-RAM solution is built around the Saab Giraffe Agile Multi-Beam (AMB) radar which is part of a family of ground-based radars that can detect a range of incoming threats, from mortar and artillery rounds and rockets to small drones and fast moving aircraft. The WAVES equipment provides early warning audible and visual alerts when the C-RAM sensors detect and identify an incoming threat within an exclusion zone.
Japanese vehicle manufacturer Komatsu stopped developing new models of its Light Armored Vehicle (LAV) for the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JG SDF). This highlights the struggle the Japanese private sector faces in supporting the country’s armed forces, even though it is government policy to maintain the country’s defense industry. Komatsu supplies the SDF with armored personnel carriers, light armored vehicles, reconnaissance vehicles and high explosives. The company will continue producing its nuclear, biological, and chemical reconnaissance vehicles for the JGSDF.
Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) is delivering 16 Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas to the Indian Air Force (IAF) operational fleet by the end of the year. HAL has already delivered 16 Tejas in the Initial Operation Clearance (IOC) configuration to the IAF. The HAL Tejas is an Indian single-engine, multirole light fighter. It features a tailless, compound delta wing and is able to guide air-to-surface and anti-shipping weapons to be integrated for multirole and multimission capabilities. The IAF has conveyed to HAL that it would require 83 more LCAs Mark 1 for its frontline bases. However, the government is yet to clear their cost for production.
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