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IDEX 2017: Polaris outlines technology goals

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Polaris Defense is eyeing a number of advanced technologies and the introduction of unmanned capabilities to its range of high-mobility platforms.

Jane’s has also learned that the company’s four-seat diesel MRZR-D4 vehicle will shortly start trials in the United Arab Emirates and is undergoing evaluation with the British Army.

Speaking at IDEX 2017 in Abu Dhabi, John Olson, the company’s vice-president and general manager, said that Polaris had identified key technologies that will be examined for the development of its vehicles, among which are advanced mission packages and hybrid engines.

Olson said that the mission packages under consideration include counter-improvised explosive device (IED) and counter-unmanned aerial vehicle (C-UAV) systems.

The development of a hybrid-electric engine capability was described by Olson as a “strategic technology”; other advances may include the introduction of drive-by-wire systems.

Work to enable the vehicles to operate as optionally unmanned platforms and leveraging the company’s know-how and technology to develop dedicated unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) is under way, Olson said, adding that Polaris is partnering with specialists from industry and academia for these efforts – among the latter are staff at Carnegie Mellon University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Olson said that the US Army’s Squad Multipurpose Equipment Transport (S-MET) UGV requirement is a potential opportunity for the company.

Doug Malikowski, the company’s director of international business development, said that work is also ongoing to look at enhancements to its existing platforms, including uprating the suspension to provide an extra 150 kg of payload capacity on the Deployable Advanced Ground Off-Road (DAGOR) vehicle.

Referring to the upcoming trials of the MRZR-D4 in the UAE, Malikowski said that the vehicle is especially suited to operating in high temperatures, as the diesel configuration enabled a more effective cooling unit to be used over the gasoline-fuelled variant.

A further advantage is the increased torque brought by the diesel unit, Malikowski noted, adding that many operators now want the option to tow trailers.

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Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group Continues the Support of Project Amphora

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Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group Continues the Support of Project Amphora

CAMBRIDGE, the UK (BulgarianMilitary.com), 21 September 2018, Editor: Galina Zdravkova, Photo credit: Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group

One of the largest privately owned and independent aerospace and defence companies, offering civil, military and commercial aircraft and defence solutions, Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group, announced on 17 September 2018 that the Ministry of Defence of the United Kingdom has extended its containerised deployable systems support contract, Project Amphora, for a further three years, learned BulgarianMilitary.com

The Head of Operational Infrastructure at DE&S, the MoD’s procurement body, Sam Rawle commented, “Amphora has delivered significant financial and delivery efficiencies in its initial four year term, benefitting all our Front Line Commands; it was an obvious choice to extend the contract to build on these early successes. I look forward to our teams continuing to work together to achieve even more over the next three years.”

For the past 4 years Marshall, together with its partner G3 Systems, has been assigned the task to refurbish and re-engineer a range of shelters so that the deployable shelter systems to be completely supported to demanding operational levels and the equipment’s useful life to be extended.

The Chief Executive of Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group Alistair McPhee underlined, “The extension to the Amphora support contract is a real vote of confidence in the team. It has come about through hard work, focusing on the task and most importantly through integrity and honesty, which has been demonstrated by the close working relationship between the two teams to deliver real value for money for the taxpayer.”

By now, under the current period of contract, the team of Marshall has worked on refurbishing and bringing thirteen different shelter systems up to the newest standards. Systems, the life of which has been extended, are Tardis, the Power Pack Repair Facility (PPRF), and the Deployable Engineering Workshop.

Read more: Saab Will Continue to Provide Logistical Support for the UK’s Arthur System
Read more: UK RAF Typhoons Accredited for Missions over the Black Sea

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First Automated Landing of an MQ-9 Block 5 Completed by USAF

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First Automated Landing of an MQ-9 Block 5 Completed by USAF

SAN DIEGO, California, the USA (BulgarianMilitary.com), 21 September 2018, Editor: Galina Zdravkova, Photo credit: General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI)

The affiliate of the privately-held company General Atomics and leading manufacturer of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) systems, radars, and electro-optic and related mission systems solutions, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), announced on 17 September 2018 that the US Air Force (USAF) has completed the first automated landing of an MQ-9 Block 5, learned BulgarianMilitary.com

Read more: Sarcos Robotics Received a Second Exoskeleton Development Contract from the USAF 

The first-ever automated landing of an MQ-9 Block 5 Remotely Piloted Aircraft was carried out on 7 August 2018 and two days later, on 9 August 2018, the first auto-takeoff of the MQ-9 Block 5 followed.

That innovative Automatic Takeoff and Landing Capability (ATLC) has been developed by GA-ASI for the purposes of improving mission capability and thus increasing the safety and efficiency of the air crews.

Read more: The Royal Netherlands Air Force Will Acquire RPAS from GA-ASI (Video)

The President, Aircraft Systems, at General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. David R. Alexander, commented, “This new, all-weather capability greatly increases the autonomy, flexibility, combat effectiveness and safety of the MQ-9 Reaper for the USAF. Adding this level of automation will reduce the deployment burden of the warfighter and expand the scope of missions that can be flown by Air Force MQ-9s.”

The ATLC development programme remains on track for fielding next year in the autumn.

Read more: The Two USAF Hypersonic Programmes Awarded to Lockheed Martin

About GA-ASI

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) is a leading company in the field of design and manufacturing of reliable Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) systems, radars, and electro-optic and related mission systems, among which are the Predator®RPA series and the Lynx®Multi-mode Radar. The company also makes various ground control stations and sensor control/image analysis software, develops meta-material antennas and provides pilot training and support services.

Reaper, Predator, and Lynx are registered trademarks of GA-ASI.

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Supacat Announces at DVD2018 That Its All Terrain Mobility Platform Will Be Upgraded

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Supacat Announces at DVD2018 That Its All Terrain Mobility Platform Will Be Upgraded

Millbrook, Bedfordshire, the UK (BulgarianMilitary.com), 20 September 2018, Editor: Galina Zdravkova, Photo credit: Supacat

The UK maker of high mobility vehicles, Supacat, has announced at the Defence Vehicle Dynamics (DVD) 2018 exhibition a new programme, under which its All Terrain Mobility Platform (ATMP) will be modernized, learned BulgarianMilitary.com

The original vehicle is still reliable, flexible and capable workhorse although it has been in service with the UK MOD, foreign militaries and other non-defence sectors since the early 1980s (more than 30 years).

Read more: The Procedures for the Bulgarian Land and Air Force Modernization Projects Start

“This is an exciting time for Supacat as we seek to harness the rapid advances in hybrid propulsion and autonomous technologies made over the last few years to enhance the capabilities of our products and team for the benefit of our defence and non-defence customers,” underlined the Engineering Director at Supacat Steve Austen

The modernization programme will include upgrading of the engine and drive train. A hybrid drive train will be integrated into the platform as well. For the purposes of developing the alternative drive solution Supacat are working together with the University of Exeter.

Read more: 21 BMP-2 Fighting Vehicles Upgraded for the Slovak Armed Forces

“The Knowledge Transfer Partnership is an exciting opportunity for us to use the latest academic research in industry to improve and modernize what is already a hugely successful vehicle. It is fantastic to work with a company like Supacat who have a huge wealth of experience and a really agile approach to engineering,” said Matthew Harvey of the University of Exeter comments.

The All Terrain Mobility Platform of Supacat is designed to carry a payload of 1600 kg. The Platform has already been successfully proven in lots of military and humanitarian missions in Canada, Malaysia, Afghanistan, the Gulf, the Falklands, Bosnia, and Kosovo. It can be transported within or underslung below a range of air platforms.

DVD is a biennial two-day Defence industry exhibition held at Millbrook Proving Ground. This year it has been scheduled to take place on 19th and 20th September 2018.

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Cyber and Electronic Warriors of the Future Will Be Trained at New Leonardo Facility

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Cyber and Electronic Warriors of the Future Will Be Trained at New Leonardo Facility

ROME, Italy (BulgarianMilitary.com), 19 September 2018, Editor: Galina Zdravkova, Photo credit: Leonardo

The global high-tech company and one of the key players in aerospace, defence and security Leonardo announced on Friday, 14 September 2018, that at a ceremony on the same day the UK’s Chief of Defence Intelligence Air Marshal Philip Osborn officially opened a new training facility of the company, learned BulgarianMilitary.com

The new training facility will be used by Leonardo to train and educate technical specialists within the Cyber and Electromagnetic Activities (CEMA) domain. The company has in invested in that new training centre more than £2M in response to the growing market demand for training in the skills needed to operate in today’s electronics-driven battlespace.

Read more: Leonardo Unveiled Its BriteCloud 55-T for Military Transport Aircraft Protection

It shall be reminded that Lenorado has run a base in Lincoln since 2009, where UK Armed Forces based at the nearby Air Warfare Centre at RAF Waddington and visiting delegates from allied nations have been trained.

At the new Leonardo Academy facility, UK MoD personnel will be trained in protection of platforms against high-tech threat radar systems. In addition, the Academy will offer a range of domain knowledge modules that provide users with a structured course of education from overview to expert across the CEMA environment, some of which will be part of a Masters of Science (MSc) programme.

The Leonardo Academy in Lincoln will also host delegates from international allies, including Brazil and South Korea. Approximately 70% of the training is expected to be provided to international customers.

The company is quite well prepared to provide the mentioned types of training because it employs some of the best UK experts in CEMA and is one of the main suppliers of such technology to the UK Armed Forces. It shall be mentioned here that Leonardo provides more than 60% of the avionics needed for the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft in service with the RAF and its allies, It also delivers protective equipment and support for the helicopter fleet of the UK.

Read more: Extra money for technical support or C-27J Spartan stays on the ground

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