Army Develops Venus | Russian MALE UAV Unveiled | Japan Reportedly Reconsidering Global Hawk AcquisitionAug 20, 2020 05:00 UTC
Teledyne Defense Electronics won a $23.6 million deal for the repair of the electron tubes associated with the ALQ-99 system in support of the F/A-18G aircraft. This contract includes a five-year base period with no options. The AN/ALQ-99 is an airborne electronic warfare system, found on EA-6B and EA-18G military aircraft. Receiver equipment and antennas are mounted in a fin-tip pod while jamming transmitters and exciter equipment are located in under-wing pods. Work will take place in Rancho Cordova, California. Expected completion will be by August 2025.
The Army has reportedly developed a new system for land mine identification that it says will greatly reduce false alarm rates. Vadum, Inc., North Carolina State University, the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Army Research Office all collaborated to develop the Vibration-Enhanced Underground Sensing system called Venus. Instead of detecting the electromagnetic signature of the mine, which can be confused with other buried metal objects or with wet or magnetic patches of soil, the Venus system uses a pulsed magnetic field to stimulate the metal parts inside a landmine to vibrate. The Army has awarded the research team an additional two-year Phase II STTR contract to mature the technology and make it ready for outdoor testing at the Army’s range.
Middle East & Africa
Iran unveiled the upgrade it appears to be implementing for its T-72M1 main battle tanks (MBTs) when Minister of Defense Amir Hatami inaugurated the production line at the Bani-Hashem Armour Industrial Complex near Dorud in the mid-August. General Hatami reportedly expressed hope that the experts of the defense ministry will be able to upgrade all the operational main battle tanks of the Armed Forces, saying that Iran is currently capable of manufacturing tanks equipped with an electro-optical fire control system, laser rangefinder system, ballistic computer, and a system to fire at fixed and moving targets, day or night.
A new Russian medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle was reportedly unveiled to the public during a visit by the Minister of Industry and Trade to Kronstadt Group on August 18. The UAV is named Helios and is likely a mock-up at this stage. At the production site, the head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia was shown the diversification of technologies developed for civilian use, technologies for creating parts of UAVs
The US military lost two MQ-9 UAV over Syria when both aircraft collided with each other in mid-air. A defense official told the Air Force Times that while there were indications that both drones collided, whether it was due to enemy fire is still unclear at the moment. Locals had photographed the drones flying over north of Idlib just before the incident. The Reaper has also been reportedly deploying a “flying Ginsu” weapon. The weapon has been in use for some time, while its existence has been kept under wraps by the Central Intelligence Agency and the Pentagon, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The Japanese government may reportedly cancel the acquisition of three RQ-4 Global Hawk surveillance drones from the United States, slated for procurement through Washington’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) system. The government is apparently reconsidering the plan and will soon make a decision, which could be the cancellation of the purchase, according to informed sources. It is the second time for Japan to review a procurement deal under Washington’s Foreign Military Sales program, following the recent decision to scrap the plan to deploy the US-made Aegis Ashore land-based missile defense system.
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