Morning Defence News Briefing 30 January 2020
DEFENCE & SECURITY NEWS AT A GLANCE
- EU, Commission approves 5G risk mitigation package.
- Romania to purchase five more F-16 jets from Portugal.
- Spain, Marina evaluates a second shipyard for new ships besides Navantia.
- Leonardo takes over 100 percent of the Swiss helicopter company Kopter from Lynwood.
- EU-Ukraine, Borrell, Donbass question on the next Foreign Council agenda.
- US ambassador to Poland, purchase F-35 will strengthen bilateral cooperation.
- Syria, Erdogan, Turkey to change its foreign policy position towards Russia.
- Iraq, Saudi Foreign Minister, we do not want US forces to leave the country.
- Libya, Saudi Arabia condemns external interference in the country.
- Palestinians, Iran, Turkey, Jordan reject Trump’s peace plan for Israel.
- Libya, Turkey sends soldiers and armaments to Tripoli, the GNA sends reinforcements to Sirte against Haftar.
- Libya, Bani Walid hosts the Libyan Tribal Forum.
- Libya, Qanunu (Gna), shot down enemy drone and sent reinforcements to the front of Sirte.
- Chad, Boko Haram attack, 6 soldiers killed on the border with Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria
- India, Jammu and Kashmir, one terrorist killed and one arrested in two security operations.
- Vietnam signed an agreement with Moscow to purchase Yak-130 trainers.
- Japan, in the summer chosen commercial partner for the development of next generation fighter planes
- United States-Benin, Pompeo meets President Talon, focus on security and the fight against terrorism.
- US army will participate in the investigation into the military helicopter crashed in Croatia.
- Afghanistan, US officials retrieve crashed military plane remains.
USAF gives mandate to Raytheon to modernise missile warning architecture: Raytheon has been awarded by the US Air Force (USAF) a five-yea $197 million contract to support the department with the update of its missile-warning architecture. As part of this, Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services (IIS) has developed an open framework to provide advanced processing capabilities to the USAF. Work will involve providing a new system dedicated to collect and integrate data from various sensors. The capability of the framework encompasses the processing of overhead persistent infrared (OPIR) satellite data from the USAF’s constellations, as well as civil and environmental sensors. Raytheon IIS president Dave Wajsgras said: “The US Government’s global satellite network produces a constant flood of data, petabytes and petabytes of it every day.
Russia and China weighs building new African naval bases: The Russian and Chinese militaries may build bases in Africa, according to US officials cited by the New York Times. China is considering building a new port in Senegal under the pretence of assisting the Senegalese Navy, while Russian officials are looking at Berbera in the separatist region of Somaliland as a base location.
Japan reports rise in the number of Chinese military aircraft approaching its airspace: The Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) has reported that it had scrambled its fighter aircraft 523 times between April and December in response to Chinese military aircraft approaching the country’s airspace: a 9% increase compared with the same period in 2018. The figure is second-highest registered during this nine-month period since 2016, according to local media sources.
US seeks industry input for new high-speed military computing system: The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has made public its intention to seek industry input for an effort to significantly increase the computing power within US armed forces’ weapons programmes and subsystems, enabling those platforms to operate faster in an increasingly networked combat environment. DARPA seeks “potential user cases” from industry for integrating 3D monolithic system-on-a-chip (3DSoC) technologies into Department of Defense programmes and platforms. “The goal of this RFI is to establish possible applications and performance [and] capability limits of a 3DSoC” for current and future Pentagon and service-level platforms, with proposals due by 4 February, the RFI said.
DEFENCE & SECURITY SYSTEMS
Ukraine is getting ready for second generation drone warfare: A new quadcopter, dubbed Bereginya and designed specifically for military use, may give Ukraine a new tool adapted to the lessons of its recent conflict.
Kiev has announced that is preparing for the second generation of small drone warfare. Ukraine, which remains locked into a stalemate with pro Russian separatists in its eastern regions, was one of the first proving grounds of commercial drones pressed into military use.
The drone, manufactured by Meridian Corporation, which is part of Ukraine’ UkrOboronProm defense conglomerate, resembles a regular commercial quadcopter, except it has a distinctive black humped back. “Meridian claims that it took only six months to develop and test this UAV, once the company was contacted by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense,” said Samuel Bendett, a fellow in Russia studies at the American Foreign Policy Council. “This is significant, given that delays usually accompany defense procurement. The loses to pro-Russian forces back in 2014 and 2015 were due in part to the inability of the Ukrainian military to get an accurate situational awareness.” The Bereginya reportedly weights 2.2 pounds, has a range of 7.5 miles, and includes parts made with 3D printers, which suggests easy repair near the field. It’s designed to get to an altitude of 330 feet in just 3 seconds, and to operate in high winds. “This is a tactical, close support vehicle that is supposed to aid troops with situational awareness, surveillance and reconnaissance,” said Bendett, an adviser at the Center for Naval Analyses. “It’s other defining feature is that Meridian claims its has ‘secure communications,’ which presumably would allow its operator to work securely, without being identified by adversary’s electronic warfare systems.”
DroneShield selected by US Army for xTechSearch Phase III: The US Army has selected DroneShield for the Army’s Phase II Expeditionary Technology Search (xTechSearch) programme to Phase III. The programme seeks to allow selected private sector companies to partner with the service and help solve modernisation challenges. xTechSearch is an opportunity for traditional and non-traditional small businesses to pitch novel technology solutions to the army. DroneShield has been selected for this programme for its portfolio of drone detection products integrated with artificial intelligence / machine learning algorithms. Commenting on the progress, DroneShield CEO Oleg Vornik said: “The US DoD continues to substantially ramp up its counter-unmanned aerial systems (UAS) work, with the recently reported decision to appoint the US Army as the DoD’s executive agent for its counter-UAS efforts. “We are pleased to progress into the next phase of the xTechSearch process, allowing DroneShield further engagement with the US Army’s ecosystem, and growing our relationship with them towards their acquisition processes.”
DARPA awards BAE Systems a contract to develop mixed-signal electronics: BAE Systems has been awarded a contract by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to to build the next generation of mixed-signal electronics. Under the contract, worth $8 million, BAE Systems FAST Labs research and development team will be tasked to design and develop wafer-scale technology on a silicon foundry platform in collaboration with programme foundries. The technology aims to enable new Department of Defense (DoD) applications, including high capacity, robust communications, radars and precision sensors. BAE Systems FAST Labs Radio Frequency, Electronic Warfare, and Advanced Electronics product line director Chris Rappa said: “T-MUSIC will incorporate analogue and digital signals on a single chip for high-performance data converters and digital processing and intelligence. “The advanced electronics we are developing under the T-MUSIC programme could create the foundation for greatly enhanced Department of Defense capabilities in advanced RF sensors and high-capacity communications.”
Germany unveils plans to use bizjet instead of Triton UAV for PEGASUS project: The German Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced its decision to switch from an unmanned to a manned platform for its Persistent German Airborne Surveillance System (PEGASUS) programme to provide Signalerfassende Luftgestützte Weiträumige Überwachung und Aufklärung (signal collection airborne broad-area surveillance and reconnaissance, SLWÜA) capabilities. Purchase of the Tritons was approved by the US in 2018. The aircraft were intended to fly signals intelligence missions under the Persistent German Airborne Surveillance System (Pegasus) program. According to the MoD the Triton high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) UAV equipped with a German ISTAR mission system would not meet the NATO requirement for a SLWÜA initial capability by 2025 and would be “considerably more expensive”. Indeed, experience with the similar Global Hawks used by NATO’s new Alliance Ground Surveillance fleet, stationed in Sigonella, Sicily, led the German Ministry of Defence to conclude that it was unlikely to be able to meet the safety standards required for flying in European airspace by 2025.
Russia, Rostec to convert Pantsir TLV into fighting vehicle: Rostec has unveiled its plans to convert the Pantsir Transporting and Loading Vehicle (TLV) to a combat vehicle capable of firing missiles, while receiving targets from the system’s main unit radar, says Valery Slugin, the chief air defense designer at KBP JSC (a subsidiary of Rostec’s High Precision Weapons JSC), adding that the TLV can carry twice as many missiles as the main unit. “We plan to develop a new support vehicle that will carry an even bigger payload,” Slugin said, adding that the new “transporting and loading vehicle may become a transporting combat vehicle.” “We can install a simplified control system: the vehicle will receive target designation from the main unit, but will fire missiles on its own.”
DEFENCE EVENTS AND CONFERENCES
Mobile Deployable Communications (30-31 January 2020 – Warsaw, Poland)