Connect with us
MilSim Ehxibition 2018

Global

The Pentagon’s IED-Hunters Have a New Target: Drones

The Pentagon’s IED-Hunters Have a New Target: Drones

(Source: Caroline Houck, DefenceOne | Photo: DefenceOne)
A short list of U.S. military outfits that develop tools and techniques to fight enemy drones includes DARPA, the services’ research labs — and now, the group created more than a decade ago to solve the IED problem.

Founded in the early 2000s as a taskforce with a budget of just $100 million, the agency now called the Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Office, JIDO, has evolved over the years. First, it mushroomed into the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization, JIEDDO, with a multibillion-dollar budget and a three-part mission that had it inventing counter-IED technology while simultaneously collecting intelligence and training troops on what to look out for. Then it shrank in a series of reorganizations that eventually housed it under the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.

It’s a logical next step to tackle commercial drones

its director Lt. Gen. Michael Shields says.

We’re incredibly focused on counter-IED — the counter-[drone] work is really just a natural extension as an airborne IED,

he told reporters last week at a demonstration day the office hosted.

As small quadcopters and fixed-wing drones became cheaper and more accessible over the last few years, the Islamic State put them to use on the battlefield — for everything from conducting surveillance to dropping small bombs.

Historically, ISIS has been very adept at how they adapt and integrate improvised explosive devices. In the early days, [they had] an almost industrial capacity to do so

Shields said.

The natural extension of that was their use of the drones. I don’t see that going away.

Gen. Raymond Thomas, who leads U.S. Special Operations Command, called ISIS’s armed drones the past year’s “most daunting problem.”

About five or six months ago, there was a day when the Iraqi effort nearly came to a screeching halt, where literally over 24 hours there were 70 drones in the air,

Thomas told a special operations forces conference in May.

At one point, there were 12 ‘killer bees,’ if you will, right overhead and underneath our air superiority.

Though nowhere near as life-threatening to U.S. troops as the IED has been in the 15 years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the problem jump-started JIDO’s rapid response arm. The office rushed two devices into theater in fewer than 60 days, and has been part of the U.S. military’s all-hands-on-deck response since. ISIS isn’t using drones to the same great effect they were at the start of the year, the deputy commander of the U.S.-led war in Iraq and Syria told Defense One last month. But JIDO is still building new tech to fight the armed drones, because officials say that just like with the other forms of IEDs — vehicle-borne, roadside bombs, booby-trapped buildings, and the like — ISIS will continue to innovate its tactics as the Pentagon pushes out new solutions.

We’re never finding the solution,

said Lisa Swan, JIDO’s deputy director for mission support.

We adapt, they adapt, we adapt, they adapt…sometimes we put things out there and it isn’t a long-term need because they have adapted and so we must move on to the next thing.

It’s the IED problem all over again, just airborne. And groups like ISIS are further advantaged by the drone industry itself, which JIDO scientist Hatch Tynes said is constantly innovating to make drones not just more capable, but also “idiot-proof” — easier to pilot and more resilient. There’s no equivalent commercial market driving innovation on the counter side.

Fighting drones — with drones
One approach JIDO is exploring, in conjunction with the Air Force Research Lab, is getting spoofing equipment aloft on a fixed-wing unmanned vehicle. The idea, scientists from both organizations said at JIDO’s field day, is to marry the ground-based Negation of Improvised Non-State Joint Aerial threats (NINJA) that electronically takes command of the drone, with a surveillance drone called the Long-Endurance Aerial Platform (LEAP). Both technologies already exist and are deployed separately in Central Command.

Basically it’s going to sense drone systems from the air, and then take command and control of the drone itself,

said one JIDO scientist.

In short, they want to fight drones with drones. There’s still work to be done — miniaturizing the NINJA system to give the mated system a longer endurance, figuring out how best to use it with troops on the ground and the like. JIDO said it plans to demo the integrated platform next spring.

But it’s far from the only approach to realizing a battle of the drones. Another experimental platform JIDO had on display was a hard-kill option attached to the military’s own commercial drone — a DJI M600. Unlike the “soft kill” NINJA/LEAP combination which electronically disables the drone but leaves its mechanics untouched, this technology would give troops the option to physically stop a drone by ensnaring it in a net.

While previous devices have launched nets at enemy UAVs with mixed results, a copter drone displayed by JIDO and the Air Force Research Lab last week can sweep the air with an attached net, a promising approach both against single UAVs and the expected swarms of the future.

But before U.S. troops and partner forces can take down an enemy drone, they first have to be aware of it. Commercial drones are hard to hear, harder to spot, and not metallic enough to be picked up by radar. So JIDO’s looking at various sensors and detection systems, including things that pick out enemy UAVs by their acoustic signatures. But “the trick is always the noise,” Tynes said.

“It’s the same problem we have with IEDs on the ground. There’s so much clutter you end up getting a lot of false positives, false alarms. And when everything’s making noise, you turn it off.”

 The Pentagon’s IED-Hunters Have a New Target: Drones

JIDO director Lt. Gen. Michael Shields examines the hard kill option the office is developing with the Air Force Research Lab to take down enemy drones. © DefenceOne

An enduring threat
The U.S-led coalition may have ousted ISIS from its physical capitals in Raqqa and Mosul, but the threat it and other extremist organizations pose will continue. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Joseph Dunford said yesterday he believes ISIS will attempt to establish a physical presence outside Syria and Iraq and, barring that, will continue to link up with local insurgencies — as the Pentagon believes it did in Niger, where four U.S. soldiers were recently killed in an ambush by an ISIS-affiliated group.

“We’re at an inflection point in the global campaign, not an end point,”

he said.

And without a defined caliphate, will ISIS probably rely more on traditional insurgent tactics, like low-effort, asymmetric drone attacks? “The answer is yes,” Shields said. And they likely won’t be the only ones doing so.

“What I think is happening is other violent extremist organizations are going to school and observing,”

Shields said.

“The issue and the challenge with drones in Iraq/Syria is not an Iraq [and] Syria problem. It’s a regional one. It’s a global problem”

Facebook Comments

Global

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

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.

Follow us everywhere and at any time. BulgarianMilitary.com has responsive design and you can open the page from any computer, mobile devices or web browsers. For more up-to-date news from us, follow our Reddit, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+ pages. Do not miss the chance to subscribe to our newsletter.

BulgarianMilitary.com

Facebook Comments

Continue Reading

Global

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

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

Follow us everywhere and at any time. BulgarianMilitary.com has responsive design and you can open the page from any computer, mobile devices or web browsers. For more up-to-date news from us, follow our Reddit, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+ pages. Do not miss the chance to subscribe to our newsletter.

BulgarianMilitary.com

Facebook Comments

Continue Reading

Global

Technology of Sonardyne Selected by the USNSWC for Underwater Vehicle Testing Ground

Technology of Sonardyne Selected by the USNSWC for Underwater Vehicle Testing Ground

HOUSTON, Texas, the USA (BulgarianMilitary.com), 18 September 2018, Editor: Galina Zdravkova, Photo credit: Sonardyne/The US Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Carderock Division’s SFOMF (South Florida Ocean Measurement Facility).

An underwater target tracking technology of the Houston-based company, Sonardyne Inc., has been selected by the US NSWC (Naval Surface Warfare Center), Carderock Division for use at its SFOMF (South Florida Ocean Measurement Facility), learned BulgarianMilitary.com

Read more: Lockheed Martin Will Provide up to 200+ eCASS Stations for the US Navy

The Carderock Division of the NSWC is located in Maryland. It is the research, engineering, modelling, and test centre for surface and undersea technologies of the U.S. Navy or “the force behind the fleet” as its motto is. It is the largest, most comprehensive organization of this type in the world. The Division is close to the Gulf Stream, due to which Carderock’s SFOMF ensures an important open ocean test environment for developing subsea systems and unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) not only for the U.S. Navy, but also for the maritime industry as a whole.

Read more: The US Cyber Security Office Will be Supported by Booz Allen Hamilton for 5 Years

Therefore, for the purposes of supporting the above mentioned activities of the Centerk, Carderock Division has ordered the high accuracy Ranger 2 Ultra Short Baseline (USBL) acoustic tracking system of Sonardyne together with a GyroUSBL transceiver, Nano and Wideband Sub-Mini 6 Plus (WSM 6+) transponders as revealed by the company today.

Read more: The High-Speed USNS Carson City Is Tested on the Black Sea for Logistics Purposes

The Ranger 2 system is intended for accurate tracking of the underwater position of any subsea system or UUV. The system may track systems in shallow and deep water, near the surface and over very long ranges. With the help of Nano and WSM 6+ transponders, vehicles of any size may be accommodated.

The Ocean Engineer at the NSWC Matt Young commented, “During the tender process, Sonardyne’s Survey Support Group was able to provide us with performance predictions using their USBL System Error (USE) software tool. This service isn’t offered by anyone else and was invaluable when selecting the perfect system to suit our needs. The team was also forthcoming with information and technical details about Sonardyne’s products; no question was too much trouble to answer.”

Follow us everywhere and at any time. BulgarianMilitary.com has responsive design and you can open the page from any computer, mobile devices or web browsers. For more up-to-date news from us, follow our Reddit, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+ pages. Do not miss the chance to subscribe to our newsletter.

BulgarianMilitary.com

Facebook Comments

Continue Reading

Global

BAE Systems Introduced Its Innovative New Information Security and RMF Capability

BAE Systems Introduced Its Innovative New Information Security and RMF Capability

NATIONAL HARBOR, Maryland, the USA (BulgarianMilitary.com), 18 September 2018, Editor: Galina Zdravkova, Photo credit: BAE Systems

Yesterday, 17 September 2018, BAE Systems introduced its innovative new information security and risk management framework (RMF) capability, Epiphany, at the Air Force Association’s Air, Space and Cyber Conference at National Harbor, Maryland, the USA, learned BulgarianMilitary.com

The VP and GM of BAE Systems’ Air Force Solutions business Pete Trainer underlined, “After just a few minutes of answering common organizational process questions, Epiphany can begin automating an organization’s most complex and time consuming processes, including the completion of detailed regulatory paperwork. The solution meets Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement security standards and is ready for use in stand-alone, cloud, or public facing environments.”

Read more: BAE Systems Is Developing Software Modelling Conflicts for DARPA

Epiphany is a highly configurable solution, which uses electronic workflows, centralized storage, and smart data optimization features for reducing the labour and documentation and putting enterprise data to work to solve agency challenges.

Epiphany is a process, as well as a secure information management solution capable of searching an organization’s historical data and completing automatically many standard compliance documents while safeguarding the processing, storing, and transmission of critical national security and weapon system information.

Read more: Thales, BAE Systems and CGI Team Up for the Needs of the UK Royal Navy

The detailed document repository of Epiphany stores all relevant project information for managing document version control, while tracking in real-time the status of all reviews and approvals. The framework of Epiphany is customizable and features an easy to use workflow guide for creating new process document templates. As soon as these user-generated templates are added to Epiphany’s library, the completion of future reports by using the new templates can also be automated through using its built-in smart data capabilities.

About BAE Systems

BAE Systems provides a wide range of solutions and services and thus enables militaries and governments to successfully carry out missions. The company offers large-scale systems engineering, integration, and sustainment services in the air, land, sea, space, and cyber secotrs.

Follow us everywhere and at any time. BulgarianMilitary.com has responsive design and you can open the page from any computer, mobile devices or web browsers. For more up-to-date news from us, follow our Reddit, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+ pages. Do not miss the chance to subscribe to our newsletter.

BulgarianMilitary.com

Facebook Comments

Continue Reading

Get more stuff

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Advertisement

TRENDS LAST 15 DAYS