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Archive for the ‘UAS’ Category

GA-ASI and USMC Complete First MQ-9A WTI Training Class

Monday, December 4th, 2023

MAWTS-1 Graduates Will Be Employed as MQ-9A Experts

SAN DIEGO – 30 November 2023 – General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) and the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) teamed up to conduct flight training for Marines that was completed on Oct. 29, 2023. The seven-week course on the operation of MQ-9A Block 5 Unmanned Aircraft System was given to Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One (MAWTS-1) at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona. The students participated in Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) Course 1-24, which is a comprehensive course designed for selected pilots and enlisted aircrew that incorporates Marine Corps planning along with implementation of advanced air and ground tactics.

WTI, recognized as an advanced, graduate-level program, provided standardized, advanced tactical training, and played a crucial role in developing and employing aviation weapons and tactics both over land and in maritime environments. The Marines were trained using a GA-ASI-supplied MQ-9A, and the graduates of WTI will now go on to be the experts in MQ-9A Block 5 employment in their squadrons.

The training is a critical part of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) Unmanned Expeditionary (MUX) Medium-Altitude, High-Endurance (MALE) program meeting Full Operational Capability (FOC). GA-ASI is a committed partner in helping the USMC meet this critical program milestone.

“We congratulate the new graduates of WTI and Semper Fi,” said GA-ASI Vice President of DoD Strategic Development Patrick Shortsleeve. “GA-ASI is proud to support the training of the MAWTS-1 aircrews in the use and utility of the MQ-9A platform.”

Renowned for its fault-tolerant flight control system and triple-redundant avionics system architecture, the MQ-9A UAS embodies the industry’s highest standards of reliability and performance, surpassing those of many manned aircraft.

GA-ASI has delivered nine MQ-9A UAS to the USMC so far. Four of these MQ-9A aircraft are actively engaged in operational missions, playing a vital role in supporting mission-critical Marine Corps objectives. The USMC awaits delivery of 11 additional aircraft, which will fulfill their goal of three squadrons by 2025.

WhiteFox Defense Introduces Scorpion 3: Light Weight Man-Portable C-UAS Solution for Airspace Security

Friday, December 1st, 2023

Scorpion 3 Hand-Held Drone Detection Solution is Designed for Reliable Situational Awareness

WhiteFox Defense Scorpion 3 is a lightweight, portable drone detection solution.

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif., – As regional conflicts such as in Ukraine and Israel continue to pose significant challenges to security and stability, the demand for advanced solutions to mitigate the threats posed by drones has reached a critical juncture.  WhiteFox Defense Technologies, a leading provider of cutting-edge counter-drone solutions, announces the release of Scorpion 3, a lightweight, portable drone detection solution. Customer testing has shown that Scorpion 3 offers efficient and reliable situational awareness in any dynamic environment and can be coupled with WhiteFox mitigation solutions. The Scorpion 3 hand-held drone detection system is designed for security forces to protect personnel and critical infrastructure and preserve airspace sovereignty.

“After personally seeing Scorpion 3 used in Ukraine, I can confidently say that it is a game-changer in the world of Counter UAS solutions,” said Luke Fox, CEO of WhiteFox Defense.  “It not only provides robust protection from unauthorized drones but does so in a manner that is simple to use, cost-effective, and remarkably portable. We’re committed to securing the skies, and Scorpion 3 is a testament to that dedication.”

With an intuitive user interface and an array of specialized features, Scorpion 3 ensures comprehensive airspace awareness and security, making it the go-to Portable Counter UAS solution.

“Scorpion 3’s capability to swiftly and accurately detect unauthorized drones in any environment is a critical advancement in airspace security,” said Manu Srivastava, Chief Revenue Officer of WhiteFox Defense. “By introducing this innovative solution, we provide our customers with the most powerful and adaptable tool for safeguarding their operations.”

Unwanted drone intrusions can disrupt critical mission operations and pose significant security risks. Scorpion 3 automatically detects drone threats by creating a protective dome around the user. If an unauthorized drone enters this space, Scorpion 3 promptly detects, identifies, locates, and tracks the drone location and the precise location of the drone operator for immediate situational awareness and threat assessment. This empowers law enforcement, tactical units, and security personnel to focus on defending critical assets without delay.

For further information on Scorpion 3 and how it can elevate your organization’s airspace security, please visit our website at www.whitefoxdefense.com.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese with DroneGun Mk4

Monday, November 27th, 2023

• Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese pictured with DroneShield DroneGun Mk4 portable counterdrone system at the White House complex in Washington DC.

• Australian Government supports DroneShield as a sovereign solution provider as global tensions continue to escalate, reflected in the aid package.

• $10.4 million of DroneShield equipment included under the latest $20 million aid package from the Australian Government to Ukraine, announced in late October 2023.

DroneShield (“DroneShield” or “the Company”) is pleased to share the ongoing support by the Australian Government for its cutting edge counterdrone capability, including the image of the Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese with DroneShield DroneGun Mk4 handheld counterdrone system, at the White House complex in Washington DC. 

Last month, DroneShield’s counterdrone equipment was selected for deployment to Ukraine under the latest Australian Government aid package. The total value to DroneShield is $10.4 million (out of the $20 million package to four Australian companies). Full delivery and payment under this contract is due to occur prior to end of this year.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese holding DroneShield DroneGun Mk4, a handheld counterdrone system, with DroneShield US CEO Matt McCrann (far right), at the White House complex in Washington, D.C.

Oleg Vornik, DroneShield CEO, commented: ”DroneShield continues to receive strong support from both Australian and US Governments, being our two home bases. This image of the Australian Prime Minister holding our flagship product is a showcase of this support. Most work we do, is under strict confidentiality due to the nature of our customers, and its pleasing to see this public endorsement of our work, as global tensions and hostile use of drones continue globally.” 

Unmanned Aerial Systems, Emerging Technology Showcased at Annual Maneuver and Fires Experiment

Monday, November 27th, 2023

By SGT Luis Santiago, 24th Theater Public Affairs Support Element

FORT SILL, Okla.– Nearly 30 government organizations and industry partners from across the defense enterprise gathered to identify, integrate, and leverage new tactical capabilities using cutting-edge technologies during the annual Maneuver and Fires Integrated Experiment, simply known as MFIX, from Oct. 23 to Nov. 3, 2023.

Established in 2014, MFIX is the primary live experiment spearheaded by the Fires Battle Lab, under the Fires Capabilities Development and Integration Directorate or Fires CDID based at Fort Sill, Okla. MFIX is part of a series of experimental events as part of the U.S. Army’s overarching effort to remain at the forefront of technological innovation and warfighting ability for the Army of 2030 and beyond to maintain superiority over any potential adversary.

The two-week event brought Department of Defense partners and defense industry leaders from across the U.S. to experiment on various programs of record with emerging technology to seek possible solutions in today’s operating and complex environment.

Soldiers from across different Army organizations, to include the famed 1st Armored Division, took part in this year’s MFIX to provide industry partners with the Soldier’s perspective.

As part of MFIX, Soldiers directly handle and experiment with new and improved technologies and give direct feedback to industry, government partners to gather key insight and reduce the time it takes to get technology into the field and in Soldiers’ hands to operate in the field.

“Every technology gets an assessment based on Soldiers’ touch points, and we have our report, which is an analysis and observation, based on the collected data points,” said Robert Muniz, a Fires Battle Lab targeting expert. “The industry partners will come in, and they have new technology that gets assessed for a year and the end state of all of this is to reduce the time it takes to get technology into the field and in Soldiers hands.”

As the primary orchestrator of the event, the Fires Battle Lab aims to foster innovation and facilitate the rapid integration of promising technologies into the Army’s capabilities.

“This year’s MFIX featured several new technologies, including unmanned aircraft systems, advanced fire control systems, laser technology, and a defeat system against intelligent UAS detection,” Muniz added.

In previous years, the participants were immersed in a simulated combat environment, allowing for the real-time analysis and assessment of various technologies and strategies. However, this iteration of MFIX was used as an observational period as the Army runs a series of exercises designed to coordinate data collection, communication, and decision-making leading up to U.S. Army Futures Command’s centerpiece event ‘Project Convergence-Capstone 24 (PC-4)’ being held in early 2024.

“This year is a little bit different,” said Muniz. “The Soldiers we have this year have been used more as data collectors and observers on the system,” Muniz continues. “In previous years, Soldiers got new equipment training, they got an understanding of the capability of each technology or what each system can do, and they used it at MFIX.”

Project Convergence is rebranding as a culmination of several exercises across the force as the event shifts from tactical level to theater level operations with full divisions and a focus on global military integration for command and control. The testing conducted at MFIX is just one small part of a concerted effort to incorporate knowledge gained from training ventures as part of the PC-4.

Army Col. Osvaldo Ortiz, chief of the Army G-3/5/7’s mission command division, told reporters during a June 2023 media interview that “all those exercises are going to inform what the Army Futures Command is going to get after at PC-4 capstone.”

As the U.S. Army continues to train for potential near-peer conflicts, exercises like MFIX allow industry and government partners to offer state-of-the-art solutions as the Army changes the way it organizes, equips, and fights.

” The goal of MFIX is for [Soldiers] to get an understanding of what these new technologies can do, and they’ll have an understanding of what it will be able to do in the future,” said Muniz.

GA-ASI Demonstrates Short Takeoff/Landing of UAS on UK Carrier

Friday, November 24th, 2023

Mojave Flights for the Royal Navy Highlight UAS’ Ability to Operate From Warships

SAN DIEGO – 17 November 2023 – General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) conducted a first-of-its-kind demonstration of its short takeoff and landing (STOL) capability on the HMS Prince of Wales, a Royal Navy aircraft carrier, using the Mojave Unmanned Aircraft System. The demonstration took place on November 15, 2023, when the Prince of Wales was underway off the East Coast of the U.S., and the Mojave was controlled by an aircrew within a control station onboard the ship. The demonstration included takeoff, circuits, and approaches and ended with a landing back onto the carrier.

“We applaud the Royal Navy’s foresight in embracing this unprecedented capability for its carriers,” said GA-ASI CEO Linden Blue. “We knew our STOL capability would enable a UAS to safely take off and land on the Prince of Wales. Seeing our Mojave operate successfully in this environment opens myriad new ways our aircraft can be used to support multi-domain naval operations.”

Mojave is a short takeoff and landing UAS demonstrator originally developed to prove STOL operations at unprepared landing sites. While Mojave shares common systems and components with GA-ASI’s Gray Eagle model, a STOL wing set option is likewise being planned for the larger, more capable MQ-9B aircraft, which includes SkyGuardian®, SeaGuardian®, and the new Protector RG Mk 1 currently being delivered to the UK Royal Air Force. The MQ-9B version, called MQ-9B STOL, is being considered by the Royal Navy and other navies that operate aircraft from large flat-deck warships without catapults and arresting gear.

Royal Navy Director Develop, Rear Admiral James Parkin, whose team planned the trial, said: “The Mojave trial is a European first – the first time that a Remotely Piloted Air System of this size has operated to and from an aircraft carrier outside of the United States. The success of this trial heralds a new dawn in how we conduct maritime aviation and is another exciting step in the evolution of the Royal Navy’s Carrier Strike Group into a mixed crewed and uncrewed fighting force.”

Equipping UAS with STOL capability provides greater versatility and allows the aircraft to operate in areas previously deemed unsuitable for UAS operations, including landing onto and taking off from an aircraft carrier. MQ-9B STOL will be capable of carrying the same payloads and conducting the same missions as the SkyGuardian and SeaGuardian, including maritime surveillance, Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), Airborne Early Warning (AEW), and surface strike.

GA-ASI Partners with EDGE to Integrate Smart Weapons onto MQ-9B

Tuesday, November 14th, 2023

GA-ASI and EDGE Will Integrate Range of Smart Weapons Onto SkyGuardian®

DUBAI AIRSHOW – 13 November 2023 – General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), a leading designer and manufacturer of proven, reliable Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) systems, radars, electro-optics, and related mission systems, and EDGE, a world-leading advanced technology group for defence and beyond, announced an agreement today to integrate EDGE smart weapons onto GA-ASI’s MQ-9B SkyGuardian® RPA.

Under the agreement announced at the Dubai Airshow, the two companies will work together to integrate precision-guided munition (PGM) and guided-glide weapon (GGW) solutions from EDGE onto GA-ASI’s MQ-9B SkyGuardian.

“We’re excited to work with EDGE on this initiative,” said GA-ASI President David R. Alexander. “Integrating home-grown capabilities onto our customer platforms is something we’ve done a lot, but we’ve never before integrated a non-NATO weapon system onto one of our RPA platforms.”

The partnership marks the first time that UAE-made smart weapons will be integrated onto a U.S. unmanned platform, signalling a new chapter in U.S.-UAE defence cooperation, and opening the door to further collaboration.

Hamad Al Marar, President of EDGE Group’s Missiles & Weapons cluster, said, “We are proud to be working with General Atomics Aeronautical. The opportunity to integrate our smart weapons on the MQ-9B SkyGuardian will offer the end user multiple dynamic, highly accurate, and cost-effective ground strike solutions. We look forward to working closely with General Atomics Aeronautical on this programme and to enhancing our collaboration in the future.”

The EDGE smart weapons designated for integration include the DESERT STING family of GGWs and THUNDER family of cost-effective PGMs from HALCON, and the AL TARIQ family of modular, mission-proven, all-weather day/night long-range PGMs.

GA-ASI hopes that its work with EDGE will lead to more partnerships within the UAE defence industry in order to integrate domestically developed sensors and weapons onto the MQ-9B for the UAE and other customers.

The UAE Armed Forces currently operate GA-ASI’s Predator XP and are working with GA-ASI and the U.S. Department of Defense to acquire the MQ-9B.

Attendees of the Dubai Airshow can visit GA-ASI at stand 1380 and EDGE and its portfolio of companies at indoor stand 520 and outdoor stand S49 at Dubai World Central.

Elistair Unveils KHRONOS Push-Button, Tethered Drone for Tactical ISR missions

Tuesday, November 14th, 2023

Drone-in-a-box solution designed for operation from vehicles and fixed platforms

PARIS—November 14, 2023—Elistair, a leader in long-endurance, tethered unmanned aircraft systems, announced today the unveiling of KHRONOS, a fully automated tethered drone system designed for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions in challenging, GPS/GNSS-denied and RF-denied environments.

Deployed from a transportable dronebox in under two minutes, KHRONOS can operate from both fixed and mobile platforms with minimal human input, enabling operators on the move their own “pocket watchtower” without a heavy investment in training.

“KHRONOS represents a significant milestone for Elistair,” said company CEO Guilhem de Marliave. “Public safety agencies, border patrol units, military forces and even vehicle integrators have all been looking for a simple, organic, long-endurance ISR asset that can be launched at the push of a button—and now they finally have it.”

Elistair has been developing and delivering tethered drones to customers in more than 70 countries for close to a decade. The 66-pound KHRONOS leverages that experience. It is easily deployed from a dronebox to deliver a continuous, day/night aerial view extending over a 10-kilometer radius for 24 hours a stretch.

In addition to being ruggedized for operation off-road and in poor weather, KHRONOS can operate in both GPS/GNSS-Denied and RF-denied environments, thanks to its advanced positioning system and secured tethered communications. And with its small logistical footprint, and its open API, it can be easily integrated with vehicles.

“The aim behind KHRONOS was clear: we wanted to a tethered drone that’s straightforward to use, adaptable to various scenarios, integrates seamlessly, and is robust in construction for demanding environments,” said Elistair CTO Timothée Penet.

Powered by T-Planner 2, the newest version of Elistair mission software, KHRONOS benefits from the latest intelligent functions, such as target tracking, automated object categorization, and cued camera slewing to points of interests.

Elistair plans to deliver its first KHRONOS systems to customers in January 2024.

DroneShield and Lockheed Martin Collaboration

Monday, November 13th, 2023

• DroneShield and Lockheed Martin Australia collaborate on Agile Shield Program

• DroneShield’s DroneCannon Mk2 wide area non-kinetic effector integrated into Lockheed Martin’s architecture

DroneShield (“DroneShield” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce its collaboration with Lockheed Martin Australia’s Science, Technology, Engineering, Leadership and Research Laboratory (STELaRLab).

As part of this collaboration, DroneCannon Mk2, DroneShield’s wide area non-kinetic effector, has been integrated into Lockheed Martin Australia’s Agile Shield Program.

Agile Shield has been developed under the Next Generation Technologies Fund framework, as part of DST Group’s Counter Improvised Threats Grand Challenge and is initially designed to counter uncrewed aerial systems (C-UAS).

Kevin McDonald, STELaRLab’s Integrated Systems Lead for Agile Shield, commented: “The system brings together a number of Australian sensors and effectors with an open mission architecture to provide a rapid, scalable and flexible response to airborne threats. STELaRLab’s contribution included development of the open mission systems architecture and acting as the prime systems integrator.”

“The addition of proven C-UAS jammers, such as DroneCannon Mk2, is part of Agile Shield’s planned transition from the virtual world to field demonstrations which occurred in October 2023.”

DroneCannon Mk2, DroneShield’s wide area non-kinetic effector

Red McClintock, DroneShield Sales Director, added: “DroneCannon Mk2 is a globally recognised effector, in use both in the eastern-European theatre as well as being selected and recommended by the U.S. DoD for base protection requirements. We are excited to be working with Lockheed Martin and DST Group’s Agile Shield program and are looking forward to growing this business relationship.”