Posts tagged ‘helicopter’

FRIDAY FOTO (September 23, 2022)

ON A (ROTARY) WING AND A PRAYER.

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Corporal Jonathan L. Gonzalez)

A Bell UH-1Y Venom utility helicopter (left) and a Bell AH-1Z Viper attack helicopter from Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron (HMLA) 773, conduct flight operations near the Christ the Redeemer statue at Corcovado Mountain overlooking Rio de Janeiro, Brazil during exercise UNITAS LXIII, on September 12, 2022.

We haven’t focused much on U.S. Southern Command in a while here at 4GWAR, so this photo presents an opportunity to spotlight the work of this regional combatant command based at Doral, Florida near Miami. SOUTHCOM is responsible for defending U.S. security and interests of Latin America south of Mexico, including the waters adjacent to Central and South America and the Caribbean Sea.

Conducted every year since 1960, UNITAS (Latin for “unity’), is the world’s longest-running annual multinational maritime exercise. 4GWAR has been writing about UNITAS since 2015.

HMLA 773, headquartered at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey, is part of the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Forces Reserve in support of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force UNITAS LXIII.

This year Brazil celebrated its bicentennial, a historical milestone commemorating 200 years of the country’s independence.

September 22, 2022 at 11:56 pm Leave a comment

ROBOTS, DROIDS & DRONES: Taiwan Military Shoots Down Drone; U.S. Navy Thwarts Iran Seagoing Drone Capture; Micro Drones for Ukraine

UPDATE: Updates with Taiwan shooting drone

DEFENSE

Taiwan Shoots Down Unidentified Drone

Taiwan says it shot down an unidentified civilian drone Thursday (September 1) in restricted airspace over one of its islands just a few kilometers from mainland China.

The drone was spotted above Lion Islet in the Kinmen County grouping of islands controlled by Taiwan about two and half miles (4 kilometers) from the city of Xiamen, China. Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense said the drone was shot down after warning flares failed to drive it away, CNN reported.

Unidentified drones have been reported in the area for four days in a row but Thursday’s incident was the first time one was shot down by Taiwan. Two days earlier, (Tuesday, August 30), Taiwanese soldiers shot flares at three unidentified drones that flew near Kinmen and fired warning shots at one that re-entered the area.

It is not clear who was flying the drones. China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it was “not aware of the situation” and that it was “pointless for (Taiwan) to exaggerate the tension.”

On Friday (September 2), Taiwan Premier Su Tseng-chang said the drone shoot-down was the most “appropriate” thing to do after repeated warnings. Su added that China should exercise restraint, Reuters reported.

Speaking to reporters, Su said Taiwan had repeatedly issued warnings and “asked them not to encroach on our doorstep.”

Chinese forces have been exercising near Taiwan since early August, following the visit to Taipei, Taiwan’s capital by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — which infuriated Beijing. China views democratically-governed Taiwan as its own territory, despite the strong objections of the government in Taipei.

At least two videos of recent drone trips have circulated widely on Chinese social media, in one of which Taiwanese soldiers were seen throwing stones at the craft.

Su said the videos were made for China’s “propaganda at home,” adding to the anger of Taiwan’s people. China’s foreign ministry dismissed Taiwan’s complaints about drones as nothing “to make a fuss about.”

*** *** ***

Iranian Attempt to Grab U.S. Seagoing Drone Foiled

The U.S. Navy says it prevented an Iranian ship from capturing one of the 5th Fleet’s unmanned surface vessels in international waters of the Arabian Gulf on the night of August 29-30.

U.S. sailors observed an Iranian vessel, identified as the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) support ship Shahid Baziar towing a Saildrone Explorer unmanned surface vessel (USV) in an attempt to detain it. The Navy patrol coastal ship USS Thunderbolt and MH-60S Sea Hawk launched from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 26 in Bahrain responded.

Screenshot of a video showing support ship Shahid Baziar, left, from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy unlawfully towing a  small Saildrone Explorer unmanned surface vessel (USV) in international waters of the Arabian Gulf as U.S. Navy patrol coastal ship USS Thunderbolt approaches in response, August 30, 2022.  (U.S. Navy photo) Note: Sensitive data on the video are blacked out.

The Iranian vessel disconnecting the towing line, releasing the seagoing drone, and departed the area approximately four hours later, without further incident.

“IRGCN’s actions were flagrant, unwarranted and inconsistent with the behavior of a professional maritime force,” said Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces. “U.S. naval forces remain vigilant and will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows while promoting rules-based international order throughout the region.”

Nournews, an Iranian media outlet close to the country’s Supreme National Security Council, reported that the IRGC Navy “impounded” the U.S. vessel to secure safe shipping lanes and decided on its own to release it after briefing the American patrol ship about security and safe navigation, according to the Wall Street Journal, which noted more violent confrontations have recently occurred in recent weeks between U.S. forces and Iranian-backed militias. On August 15, an Iranian-backed militia in central Iraq attacked the U.S. base at al-Tanf, Syria, with two drones that were supplied by Tehran, U.S. officials say. No U.S. soldiers were hurt.

The Saildrone Explorer USV is equipped with sensors, radars and cameras for navigation and data collection. However, this technology is available commercially and does not store sensitive or classified information, the U.S. Navy said.

(U.S. Army photo by Corporal DeAndre Dawkins) Click photo to enlarge image.

Naval Forces Central Command launched the Saildrone Explorer in the Persian Gulf on January 27, following a month-long test period in the Gulf of Aqaba,. The USV is part of Task Force 59, headquartered in Bahrain, which stood up nearly a year ago to test unmanned and contractor-owned vessels in the Middle East. The goal of the task force is to have 100 unmanned platforms, belonging to the U.S. and allies, operating together by the end of 2023, USNI News reported.

Meanwhile, Austal USA and Saildrone Inc. have announced a strategic partnership to build cutting-edge, autonomous uncrewed (unmanned) surface vehicles. See story below in INDUSTRY section.

*** *** ***

Britain Supplying Micro Drones to Ukraine.

Target-spotting micro-drones, will be included in the next weapons package Britain will supply Unkraine, departing UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced during a surprise visit to Kyiv.

Black Hornet micro drone. (U.S. Army photo)

 

The British announcement was light on details, except for saying 850 hand-launched Black Hornet micro-drones, primarily used in urban warfare, are included in the package, Defense News reported August 24. . The micro-drones, made in Norway by American firm Teledyne FLIR, were originally developed by Norwegian company Prox Dynamics, now part of the U.S.-based sensor specialist. The company advertises the drone, which resembles a thin helicopter that can fit in the palm of a hand, for its stealthy operations as it scouts for nearby threats.

Johnson made the announcement on his third visit to Ukraine since the Russian invasion began Feb. 24. Johnson, who was forced from office in July, is effectively a caretaker prime minister while the ruling Conservative Party prepares to elect a new leader in early September.

London’s latest commitment brings the amount given in military and financial aid to more than £2.3 billion since the war began in February.

The Norwegian Defence Ministry, which partnered with Britain on the Black Hornet deal, said Oslo contributed upward of $9 million to the transaction. According to a ministry statement, Norway’s contributions to the British-led fund in support of Ukraine total roughly $41 million.

 

*** *** ***

 

INDUSTRY.

Saildrone Partners with Austal USA

Alabama-based shipbuilder Austal USA and Saildrone Inc. announced they are forming a strategic partnership to build cutting-edge, autonomous uncrewed surface vehicles.

The new partnership combines Saildrone’s uncrewed surface vehicle technology with Austal USA’s advanced manufacturing capabilities. The partnership provides the U.S. Navy and other government customers a cutting-edge solution for maritime domain awareness, hydrographic survey, and other missions requiring persistent wide area coverage, the partners said in an August 30 statement.

The partnership ensures that production of the Saildrone Surveyor will accelerate to meet the rapidly growing demand for the ground-breaking technology. The Surveyor was developed and designed by Saildrone and will be manufactured exclusively by Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama.

The Saildrone Surveyor, at 65 feet (20 meters) in length, is designed specifically for deep ocean mapping and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance applications, both above and below the surface. As with all Saildrone vehicles, the Surveyor is autonomous and uncrewed, offering extreme endurance, reliability and cost-effective operations. With its industry-leading expertise in aluminum shipbuilding, Austal USA is uniquely equipped to fabricate the Surveyor’s aluminum hulls and ensure rapid delivery to the fleet.

*** *** ***

Airbus Zephyr Tests Halted

Testing of Airbus’ long endurance Zephyr drone have been halted suddenly and further flight demonstrations of the solar-powered, uncrewed aircraft have been postponed until 2023, Defense News reports.

Flight tests unexpectedly concluded after completing a record 64 days aloft following an incident at Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona, according to U.S. Army Futures Command.

“Our team is working hard to gather and analyze important data following the unexpected termination of this flight,” Michael Monteleone, the director of the command’s Assured Positioning, Navigation and Timing/Space Cross-Functional Team, said in a statement.

The team launched the aircraft June 15 and it remained flying until August 18 when it “encountered events that led to its unexpected termination,” according to the command. With a wingspan of just over 82 feet and weiging less than 166 pounds, the Zephyr drone shattered its own longevity record for time spent aloft as an uncrewed aircraft system in the process.  No injuries or risk to personnel or other aircraft resulted from the incident.

*** *** ***

Aerovironment Acquires Planck Aerosystems

AeroVironment announced August 13 it has acquired Planck Aerosystems, a small company that develops and supplies technology enabling autonomous operations by aircraft, ground and marine vehicles and vessels.

The transaction “significantly accelerates AeroVironment’s development of advanced autonomy capabilities for the company’s unmanned aircraft systems,” the Virginia-headquartred small and medium-sized drone maker said in a statement.

Planck is a small technology company based in San Diego, California and will be acquired by AeroVironment’s Petaluma-based medium unmanned aircraft systems (MUAS) business segment to focus on integrating its flight autonomy solutions, such as ACE™ (Autonomous Control Engine), into AeroVironment’s offerings to enable safe, autonomous takeoff and landing from moving platforms on land or at sea in GPS-denied environments.

Founded in 2014, Planck has worked closely with customers from the U.S. Department of Defense, security agencies, allied governments and offshore industrials to develop customer-centric unmanned aircraft solutions. Planck’s products include embedded technologies and fully integrated unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and leverage their deep technical expertise in UAS guidance and navigation, autonomy and artificial intelligence.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

August 31, 2022 at 11:38 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (June 24, 2022)

21st CENTURY GUNSLINGER.

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Corporal David Intriago) Click on photo to enlarge image.

Corporal Monica Pomales, a crew chief with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 773’s Detachment A, conducts live fire shooting drills in a UH-1Y Venom utility helicopter during exercise Gunslinger 22 at Smoky Hill Range, Kansas on June 17, 2022.

Gunslinger 22 is a joint Marine Corps exercise with the Kansas Air National Guard designed to increase aircraft control and training for potential real world contingencies. Pomales’ Venom was accompanied by an AH-1Z Viper attack helicopter and both provided close air support and deep air support to the Ground Combat Element at Smoky Hill Range.

HMLA 773 Detachment A, based in New Orleans, is part of the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing, located at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey — a 2009 amalgamation of three military facilities in the Garden State: McGuire Air Force Base, the Army’s Fort Dix and Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst, once the home of the Navy’s rigid airships and non-rigid blimps.

To see more photos of this helicopter live fire drill, click here.

June 24, 2022 at 8:25 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO: Christmas Edition (December 24, 2021)

SEASONS GREETINGS! 

For the Christmas version of the FRIDAY FOTO, we thought we show a range of holiday activities among the troops around the world. Please click on each photo to enlarge the image — and have a happy, safe holiday whichever way you celebrate the season!

The Santa Cause

For one thing, Santa Claus — or one of his lookalike helpers — seems to show up in some of the strangest places this time of year, like the wing of a fighter jet.

(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob Wood)

Santa waves to onlookers during the 48th Fighter Wing Children’s Holiday Party at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, on December 11, 2021. Santa made his grand entrance in an F-15E Strike Eagle assigned to the 494th Fighter Squadron. 

 

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Corporal Antonino Mazzamuto)

A UH-1Y Huey assigned to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 167 (HMLA-167) transports Santa Claus to Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina, for a squadron party on December 16, 2021.

 

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Brandon Roberson)

Attired in a Santa suit, Lieutenant Commander Rob Nelson, assigned to the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), launches a T-45C Goshawk aircraft assigned to Training Air Wing (TW) 1, on December 18, 2021.

The Chief of Naval Air Training is conducting a carrier qualification detachment aboard the carrier. It’s the first opportunity for student naval aviators from Training Air Wings 1 and 2 to launch from and land on an aircraft carrier at sea.

 

Sedate Santas

(U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brianna K. Green)

Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus and Jingle the Elf appear with the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa Brass Quintet Band during a holiday-themed community relations event in Naples, Italy on December 17, 2021.

 

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Kelsey Dornfeld)

U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant Joshua Purrington of the 4th Law Enforcement Battalion talks with a child who just got her present at a Toys for Tots event in McGrath, Alaska, on December 3, 2021.  Marines and Airmen traveled to remote villages of Alaska’s Kuskokwim Valley to support the Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots program.

 

Speaking of Gift Giving

Soldiers from the U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys Religious Support Office check their lists twice as they load gifts for military and South Korean children into a delivery vehicle for Operation Happy Holidays on December 20, 2021.

(Photo courtesy of Chaplain (Maj.) Christian Bang) (Photo Credit: U.S. Army)

 

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Corporal Samwel Tabancay)

Lieutenant General David G. Bellon, commander of Marine Forces Reserve and Marine Forces South, joins a Toys for Tots distribution in New Orleans on December 18, 2021. MARFORRES Marines and Sailors assisted in the distribution of toys to approximately 2,000 families as a part of the annual Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program.

Making Merry

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Miranda Mahoney)

Air Commandos gather around the tree during the annual tree lighting ceremony at Hurlburt Field, a U.S. Air Force facility in Florida on December 3, 2021. The ceremony was virtual in 2020, but due to declining COVID-19 numbers, the event was held in-person again this year.

December 24, 2021 at 1:49 pm 2 comments

FRIDAY FOTO (On Saturday, December 11, 2021)

Impressionistic View.

(U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Lieutenant Katie Tamesis)

Some of the best photos are taken out the back of a military helicopter.

Whatever the Air Force photographer did with her field of focus, it made the view of Fall foliage in Georgia look like the work of a French impressionist.

What we actually have here is a Marine Corps CH-53 “Sea Stallion” helicopter crew member overlooking the Bemiss Drop Zone at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia on November 16, 2021.

Airmen along with Georgia Army National Guard soldiers and Marine Corps helicopter crew members conducted airborne operations training to exchange tactics, techniques and procedures from across three branches of the military and to strengthen joint agile combat employment mission capabilities.

December 11, 2021 at 11:59 pm 1 comment

FRIDAY FOTO (December 3, 2021)

Footloose.

(U.S. Army photo by Staff Sergeant Michael Eaddy)

First reaction to this photo: Wait, what?

Second reaction: What IS that? A holiday clothing drive gone wrong?

Third reaction: Oh, like Soylent Green it’s … People! (Click on photo to enlarge image)

By our count, there are 12 separate feet in the photo, so six Soldiers bunched together?

The caption the Defense Department sent with this photo reads simply: “Soldiers conduct special patrol intersection extraction system training at Fort Campbell, Tenn., Nov. 14, 2021.” It doesn’t explain why these soldiers are tangled together like a bunch of eels.

Apparently, the angle of this photo creates an optical illusion, because the photo below shows what special patrol intersection extraction system (SPIES) training looks like from a distance.

This photo shows Soldiers from 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) perform Special Patrol Insertion/Extraction System (SPIES) training during Operation Lethal Eagle — the first division sized field training exercise for the 101st in over 20 years — on November 7, 2021 at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

Oh, before anyone complains that the first photo was taken at Fort Campbell, KENTUCKY — not Tennessee — it should be noted the huge (164-square miles) fort straddles the border between the Bluegrass State and the Volunteer State.

December 3, 2021 at 2:52 pm Leave a comment

SHAKO: Happy Birthday U.S. Navy

 Still Underway after 246 Years.

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Megan Alexander) Click on image to enlarge photo.

On this day (October 13) in 1775, the Continental Congress voted for two vessels each to be fitted out and armed with 10 carriage guns, a proportional number of swivel guns, and a crew of 80. Lawmakers directed the pair of ships be  sent out on a cruise of three months to intercept transports carrying munitions and stores to the British army in America.

So like the U.S. Army, which the Continental Congress created on June 14, 1775 — months before the Declaration of Independence — the U.S. Navy is older than the country it serves. A point President Joe Biden noted in his birthday greetings to the Navy.

“The founding of the naval service began before our Nation’s independence, when General George Washington wrote a letter to the Continental Congress, asking for properly equipped ships to prevent enemy vessels from bringing supplies to the British Army. That moment marked a turning point in the American Revolution and paved the way for our Nation’s seafaring military might,” Biden wrote — adding “As the United States rises to face the global challenges that will shape our future, the Navy remains what it always has been-ready to meet the moment. Our active duty and Navy Reserve sailors are not only trained to fight, but equipped to provide humanitarian assistance. From disaster relief in devastated areas to assisting refugees and deploying emergency medical units, the work of our Nation’s sailors is vital to combatting the interconnected challenges of our time. Even through the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States Navy delivered lifesaving vaccines across oceans to vulnerable communities around the world.”

.

 

The photo above shows an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter, assigned to the Black Knights of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 4, lifting off the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson. The Sea Hawk was beginning a vertical resupply-at-sea with the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Stockdale, the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain and the Royal Australian Navy fleet replenishment vessel HMAS Sirius on Oct. 10, 2021 in the Indian Ocean (two of which can been seen in the background).

In the foreground of the photo are some of the Vinson’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet attack fighters.

The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group is on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability through alliances and partnerships with nations in the area while serving as a ready-response force in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region, according to the Navy.

*** *** ***

SHAKO is an occasional 4GWAR posting on military history, traditions and culture. For the uninitiated, a shako is the tall, billed headgear worn by many armies from the Napoleonic era to about the time of the American Civil War. It remains a part of the dress, or parade, uniform of several military organizations like the corps of cadets at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York in the photo.

October 13, 2021 at 5:18 pm 1 comment

FRIDAY FOTO (July 9, 2021)

Nope, Not Mount Fuji This Time.

(U.S. Army photo by Captain Kyle Abraham, 16th Combat Aviation Brigade)

A UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter assigned to  2nd Assault Battalion,158th Aviation Regiment of the 16th Combat Aviation Brigade, conducts a reenlistment flight to Whidbey Island, Washington, on June 17, 2021.

The scenic trip was offered to soldiers from 1-2 Stryker Brigade as a reward for reenlisting in the Army. The flight passed by several scenic landmarks including Mount Rainier (above).

When we first saw this photo, we thought it was another lovely image of Japan’s iconic Mount Fuji. We were doubly surprised to learn it was Mount Rainier, which is about 100 miles southeast of Whidbey Island. The one time your 4GWAR editor visited Whidbey Island, back in the early 1990s, it was so raining so hard — not only was Mount Rainier unseeable, we could barely see Whidbey Island.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case now as a record-shattering heat wave continues to grip the Pacific Northwest.

July 9, 2021 at 11:56 am Leave a comment

ROBOTS, DROIDS & DRONES: Navy and Marine Corps Unmanned Vision; Mixed Manned, Unmanned Naval Exercise

DEFENSE.

Navy, Marines’ Unmanned Vision.

The MQ-9 Reaper is an armed, multi-mission, medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aircraft, one of several unmanned systems Navy leaders say help extend the reach and capabilities of the fleet. (U.S. AIR FORCE photo by Sgt. Dennis J. Henry Jr).

The top commanders of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps say the increased deployment of unmanned air and maritime systems will help extend the reach and intelligence capabilities of the Fleet and the Force.

It could also sow uncertainty among peer competitors, like China and Russia, according to SEAPOWER magazine.

The Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Mike Gilday told a recent House Armed Services Committee hearing that in the future, the Navy will field the Fleet in a distributed manner. And that, he said, “will allow us to come at — let’s say China or Russia — at many vectors across many domains.” In other words, the increased number of ships — some with a crew and some being controlled remotely or running autonomously — would force adversaries to spread their resources and be on guard everywhere, all the time.

When the Navy and Marine Corps released their Unmanned Campaign Plan in March, some in Congress said it was light on details. At the June 14 Armed Services hearing, Chairman Adam Smith (D-Washington) asked Gilday and Marine Corps Commandant General David Berger to explain how unmanned systems will help them perform their mission.

With unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), Berger said, the the Marines expect help with intelligence collection, logistics and and command and control, in short, he said the ability to move information laterally within Marine units and back to the Joint Force commander.

The Marines are transitioning to a mixed capability of long-range ship and ground-based unmanned aerial systems (UAS) including the MQ-9 Reaper, (see photo above). “This will significantly expand our ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) capabilities and will enable us to better support the Fleet and the joint force operational commander, including anti-submarine warfare.”

Gilday noted that the Navy had recently completed its largest unmanned exercise on the West Coast, with unmanned undersea, surface and air systems operating with manned surface ships. The Navy also had the first successful refueling of an F/A-18 Super Hornet from an MQ-25 drone. The Navy also saw the third voyage of more than 4,000-miles — from the Gulf Coast, through the Panama Canal to California — by an unmanned surface vessel operating autonomously 98 percent of the time.

To read the whole story, click here.

*** *** ***

After Action Report.

Speaking of that big West Coast exercise with both manned and unmanned vessels and aircraft, the Navy has concluded its after-action review, according to the Office of Naval Research.

Led by the U.S. Pacific Fleet, Unmanned Integrated Battle Problem 21 (IBP21), was held from April 19-26 in San Diego, California.

During IBP21, numerous multi-domain unmanned platforms — including unmanned aerial, surface and underwater vehicles (UAVs, USVs and UUVs) — were put into real-world, “blue-water” environments, working in sync with manned platforms in actual combat drills designed to support Pacific Fleet objectives in the Indo-Pacific region.

“Large-scale exercises such as IBP21 are critical for the Navy and Marine Corps to make the transition to a hybrid manned-unmanned force in the future,” the Chief of Naval Research, Rear Admiral Lorin Selby said. “These demonstrations ensure what works in theory will work in the fleet—in an environment that is messier, dirtier and wetter than a lab. They also allow us to get valuable feedback from the Sailors and Marines themselves,” he added.

The purpose of IBP21 was to explore a variety of questions about how unmanned systems can be incorporated into fleet operations. For example: How can unmanned and manned systems work together effectively in diverse warfighting scenarios? How can you integrate unmanned systems seamlessly into existing platforms? What is the best way to train Sailors and Marines to use such complex, evolving technologies?

So far, according to SEAPOWER, major takeaways from IBP21 include:

Unmanned systems are resilient, enable better beyond-line-of-sight targeting, and improve battlespace awareness and command and control.

They also provide significant advantages in ISR (intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance) and Targeting and Fires capabilities, without creating additional risks to the mission or warfighters. The result—more effective offensive and defensive postures.

*** *** ***

INDUSTRY

From General Atomics

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. completed initial flight tests of a new brushless generator system in May on a company-owned Gray Eagle Extended Range (GE-ER) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS).

The tests at Yuma Proving Grounds in Arizonna, mark an important milestone towards upgrading the GE-ER fleet with generators that will significantly improve reliability and dramatically reduce platform sustainment costs. The new generator also provides electrical power to support expanding mission scenarios for the UAS.

The new generator performed aircraft ground and flight tests for over 44 hours testing up to maximum electrical power output across the full GE-ER flight envelope and at engine power levels from idle up to maximum rated thrust.

The brushless generator is designed as a drop-in replacement for the current alternator to help make the upgrade seamless for maintainers in the field. The brushless design eliminates scheduled depot service for brush replacement every 300 hours on the current alternator, reducing depot, shipping, and spare inventory costs. The new generator system can provide up to 14 kilowatts of power – more than a 50 percent increase over current system – and provide up to 10 kilowatts for sensors and payloads required for flight in a Multi-Domain Operations environment.

***

From Schiebel

Austrian drone manufactuer, Schiebel, says the Finnish Border Guard is once again operating its CAMCOPTER S-100 for icoast guard functions in the Baltic Sea.

The Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) service is offered by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA).
Based at a coast guard station in Hanko, Finland, the CAMCOPTER S-100 is carrying out Coast Guard functions, such as
maritime border surveillance, search and rescue, monitoring and surveillance, ship and port security, vessel traffic monitoring, environmental protection and response, ship casualty assistance — as well as accident and disaster response.

Information collected in the Baltic Sea from the on-board RPAS system is shared with multiple Member States, allowing for a common maritime picture and more comprehensive coordination. The operations will continue until end of July.

Two other CAMCOPTER S-100 operations for EMSA are being carried out in Estonia and Romania for maritime surveillance.

June 24, 2021 at 11:58 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (June 4, 2021)

The Modern Day Marine.

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Corporal Brienna Tuck)

A Marine tests the connectivity of the Networking On-the-Move (NOTM) Airborne communications system during flight operations May 27, 2021 from the USS America, the Navy’s only forward-deployed amphibious assault ship.

The NOTM Family of systems is a Satellite Communications (SATCOM)-based on-the-move, command and control (C2) combat capability for all elements of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF).

A force multiplier on the battlefield, NOTM provides forward and main integrated C2 capabilities for bounding assaults to the edge of the battlespace; commanders are no longer geographically tethered to the COC. The NOTM capability is currently employed both in ground and air platforms, according to the Marine Corps.

You may have heard that the Marine Corps is divesting itself of heavy weapons platforms such as tanks and towed artillery to pay for new investments in cyber space, artificial intelligence and high mobility land and amphibious vehicles. Don’t worry the Marines will still have firepower, but it will be ground-based anti-ship missiles and high mobility rocket systems.

We outlined most of the major changes in this article for SEAPOWER magazine.

“The Marine Corps is redesigning the force for naval expeditionary warfare in actively contested spaces. Marine Corps readiness is focused on building a more lethal force by training for advanced and persisent threats; growing cyberspace activities,” according to Navy-Marine budget documents. “These efforts will help ensure the Marine Corps is prepared to operate inside actively contested maritime spaces in support of fleet and joint force operations,” they add.

The Marine Corps is increasing and maturing yber capabilities through Marine Forces Cyber Command with an expansion of cyber mission forces teams who support operations across the globe. Major information warfare program funding is also planned.

June 4, 2021 at 8:05 pm Leave a comment

Older Posts


Posts

October 2022
M T W T F S S
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

Categories


%d bloggers like this: