Daily Archives: Mar 28, 2012

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    Defexpo India 2012, the country’s biggest-ever land, naval and homeland security systems exhibition, will open today in New Delhi. The biennial event has grown since 2010 and will host 567 exhibitors, up from 425 in 2010. All major public sector companies (PSU and domestic shipyards) are here, along with hundreds of large and small private sector companies – 335 Indian exhibitors in total. The exhibitors will include 232 foreign companies from 32 countries, grouped in several national pavilions; the largest are those of the US, Russia, France, Israel, the UK and Germany.

    India is the world’s largest importer of defense systems. The annual Indian defense budget is currently set at $16 billion, and, with projected annual growth of 15 percent, the total capital market for defense could reach over 100 billion.

    Some of the companies exhibiting here announced new products for the show. Few of these items are included below.

    Among the major exhibitors at the show are the Russian arms export agency Rosoboronexport, launching here a modernization package for the T-90S tank. Another Russian exhibitor KBP is displaying the Kornet-EM guided missile offered in a new low-signature vehicular version, firing anti-tank or thermobaric missiles at ranges of up to 10 km.

    BAE Systems is displaying a range of land systems, including the CV90 light tank and M777 ultra-lightweight howitzer. Both are addressing ongoing procurement programs for a new armored combat vehicle and lightweight artillery systems. The company also displays the BvS10 armored all-terrain vehicle, which can meet evolving requirements for improved mobility of military units deployed along the northeast frontier and the Himalayan range.

    Mk54 torpedo dropped from a Boeing/US Navy P-8I on a recent weapon test. Photo: US Navy

    Raytheon is displaying a range of weapon systems for military and homeland defense. Javelin and the SMAW II Serpent shoulder-launched weapon system are two of the representative systems awaiting procurement decision at the Indian MOD. Raytheon is also discussing the Mk-54 lightweight torpedo as an optional weapon for the Indian Navy P-8I.  The Italian torpedo maker WASS is displaying here a new light torpedo dubbed ‘Flash Black’, offering extended range and speed and better precision over previous models. The new torpedo has a range of 12-mile range and a tops speed of 57-mph speed. The company launched the new development late last year and is expecting to complete development in 30 months time. WAAS’ new torpedo is headed to compete directly with Raytheon’s MK54.

    Elbit Debut the LongView CR portable target acquisition system at Defexpo. Photo: Elbit Systems

    Sagem DS, one of the leading French defense contractors is promoting the Hammer precision-guided weapon, providing the primary land attack weapon on the Rafale, recently selected for the Indian MMRCA. Available in 1000, 500 and 250 weight classes, Hammer can be fitted with GPS, Laser-GPS or IR-GPS guidance. The company is also promoting here the Felin infantry combat suite, along with the different components, including Sword weapon sights and viewers, as well as display systems.

    Elbit Systems’ ElOp is launching the LongView CR long-range observation and target acquisition system. This high-end system combines a continuous zoom FLIR, telescopic daylight cameras, integral eyesafe laser range finder, GPS and magnetic compass. The system weighs only 12.5 kg and mounts on a compact electronic goniometer enabling highly accurate reading of azimuth and elevation data.

    Meprolight displays the latest member of the NOA family of thermal weapon sights – NOA NYX uncooled thermal weapon sight for assault rifles.

    The NOA NYX sight mounted on a Tavor light machine-gun. Photo: Meprolight

    The sight weighs less than 1 Kg, and uses high-resolution microbolometer technology to provide clear and consistent view of targets at an effective combat range. The unit can be used as a hand-held monocular device or fitted to light machine guns, assault rifles, and submachine guns. NOANYX can be fitted on long-range weapons including sharpshooter rifles, detecting man-sized targets at up to 900m. Output can be fed to a remote screen or recording equipment via its “video out” feed. The system stores up to 3 user-configured sighting reticules and requiring a warm-up time of less than 5 seconds, the NOA NYX can operate continuously for 7 hours using 4 “AA” batteries.

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      Organized Crime in the Digital Age

      BAE Systems Detica and The John Grieve Centre have unveiled a major piece of research revealing that 80 per cent of all digital crime now originates from organised crime groups. On and offline crime worlds are converging and perpetrators are now just as likely to be street gangs, drug traffickers or established crime families as those traditionally associated with digital crime such as ID fraudsters or hacking syndicates.

      The Report, ‘Organised Crime in the Digital Age’ examines the nature of criminal organisation in the digital domain, the types of crime being committed and how digital technologies are being deployed, in order to aid the development of new policy and operational responses to tackling digital crime. It has been carried out by criminologist Dr. Michael McGuire of The John Grieve Centre on behalf of BAE Systems Detica, which works extensively with Government and law enforcement to combat cyber crime.

      The report challenges existing assumptions about the make-up of organised crime groups.  Whereas one might expect online crime to be the preserve of the younger  generation, the research reveals that nearly half (43 per cent) of organised digital crime group members are over 35 years of age, whereas only one third (29 per cent) are under 25 and many in fact have only basic IT knowledge. Thanks to off-the-shelf software and the adoption of ‘lower’ technology by criminals – such as pre-pay mobiles – the accessibility and appeal of digital crime has greatly increased.

      These trends suggest that the world has entered a ‘fourth great era’ of organised crime, which began first with the racketeering of the 1920s, followed by the post-World War II black market growth, and thirdly the global drug market expansion of the 1970s and 1980s.  In this new ‘fourth’ era, organized activity combines both on and offline elements, as well as the emergence of disorganized offline groups with a common purpose – such as the UK rioters in 2011 – using digital tools to enable criminal activity: the “age of digital crime”.

      Key findings from ‘Organised Crime in the Digital Age’ include:
      •    More organized digital crime members are over 35 years of age than are under 25 years of age.
      •    Half of groups comprise six individuals or more, with one quarter comprising 11 or more
      •    25 percent of active groups have operated for less than six months
      •    Groups are using digital tools for unethical purposes that serve as an entry-point to offline criminal behaviour, such as incitement to riot or gang member recruitment

      Kenny McKenzie, Head of Law Enforcement at BAE Systems Detica said: “Organised criminal activity has now moved from being an emerging aspect of cyber crime to become a central feature of the digital crime landscape. Our report shows that more and more criminal activities now rely upon the online world and that a significant proportion – 80 per cent –  of the volume of serious crime now occurring online has clear associations with groups which display various levels of collective co-ordination, purpose and capacity… As digital crime continues to grow, increased partnership between law enforcement and technical experts – as well as the private sector – will be critical.”

      Professor John Grieve, founder of the John Grieve Centre for Policing and Community Safety, added: “To tackle the problem of digital crime and intervene successfully, we need to move away from traditional models and embrace this new information about how organised criminals operate in a digital context… The research found evidence of many cases where there has been real success in closing down digital criminal operations.  Growth in the digital economy will inevitably cause an increase in organised digital crime, however this need not be seen as an insurmountable problem.  Rather, it is a predictable problem that – by better understanding the perpetrators and their working methods – we can meet head on.”

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      Preparing for the next phase in the Joint Light Tactical vehicle (JLTV) program, the U.S. Army Tacom Life Cycle Management Command in Warren Michigan gathered six proposals yesterday, for the upcoming 27 month Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase.

      Up to three bidders will be picked for this phase awarded contracts worth up to $65 million for the final element of the development program, leading to the selection of the prime contractor sometime in the summer of 2014. The winner will pocket a multi-year contract worth six billion dollars, production orders spread over the next seven years could call for the delivery of at least 52,500 tactical vehicles worth up to $250,000 each, for the Army and Marine Corps.

      The government plans to award up to three EMD contracts in June of this year. Each contractor will deliver 22 vehicles and other test articles for evaluation. Two JLTV variants will be built under the EMD phase, a Combat Tactical Vehicle that can carry four troops (or 3,500 pounds) and the Combat Support Vehicle that carries two, with additional 1,600 pounds payload (total 5,100 pounds).

      The Oshkosh L-ATV is designed to be light enough for air transportation in a C-130. Photo: Oshkosh defense

      Opening the EMD phase to new bidders, as the Army planned, provided an opportunity for Oshkosh Defense, who waited patiently after losing the previous Technology Demonstration (TD) phase. In the past two years Oshkosh has developed and tested its own version of JLTV, called ‘Light Tactical All-Terrain Vehicle’ (L-ATV), bringing the new design to a maturity level required by the Army. According to Oshkosh the lightweight, air transportable L-ATV offers MRAP-level protection with high off-road mobility – capabilities currently offered by the heavier and larger M-ATV. “Through disciplined engineering and extensive testing, the L-ATV is proved to meet or exceed JLTV requirements”, Oshkosh said in a statement. The vehicle is fitted with the TAK-4i intelligent independent suspension system delivering high performance and agility on and off road, in rough or urban terrain. According to Oshkosh, the vehicle can be equipped with the ProPulse hybrid diesel-electric drive train providing 70 kW of exportable power to save fuel consumption and support deployed units.

      Navistar's new Saratoga, light tactical armored vehicle is now proposed for the JLTV program. Photo: Navistar Defense

      JLTV is becoming the first market test for the Navistar’s new ‘Saratoga’. This lightweight vehicle was designed from baseline to offer flexible, modular growth, supporting different levels of protection and high mobility. The basic version is powered by a MaxxForce 6D V8 diesel developing 340 HP and 660 lb-ft of torque. It is built to withstand ballistic small arms fire, mines and IED blasts, without sacrificing mobility or payload capability. “We made a significant investment in developing the Saratoga on our own nickel because that’s what we do commercially – it is part of our DNA,” said Archie Massicotte, president, Navistar Defense. “The Saratoga is a solid design and now that we have seen the requirements of the JLTV migrate toward our vehicle capabilities, we are in a position to modify the Saratoga to fit those requirements.”

      Sofar the Saratoga has not been part of the JLTV evaluation program. Navistar launched in October after conducting its own automotive and blast testing, Saratoga was originally designed to target a gap in the light tactical vehicle market. It was designed as a flexible platform, derived from an integration strategy that allows the company to rapidly develop new vehicle variants to meet different customer needs while keeping investment costs low.

      The split between Sterling Heights, Michigan BAE Systems and Navistar that created two competing teams was revealed days prior the deadline, but was written on the wall for months. It followed Navistar Defense decision in October last year, to develop its own light tactical vehicle called Saratoga. BAE System remained with the Valanx vehicle developed with its former partner, but without Navistar’s MaxxForce engine, BAE had to shop for another source for an engine. As a result, it has struck a deal with the Ford Company, integrating the commercially proven Power Stroke 6.7-liter turbocharged diesel engine to power the Valanx. The same engine powers many of the Ford truck F-Series Super Duty truck family, used for military, security and specialty vehicles.

      Another division of BAE Systems, based in Sealy Texas, is partnered with Lockheed Martin and Meritor Defense, offering a new family for the JLTV. Lockheed Martin established its JLTV department in 2005 and has been testing the vehicle for several years now, under a company funded testing plan conducted in parallel to the Army-Marine Corps plan. According to Scott Greene, vice president of ground vehicles at Lockheed Martin’s Missiles and Fire Control business, many improvements were implemented following the lessons learned through the TD phase. “These improvements removed hundreds of pounds of weight from our TD design, which was already proven in helicopter lift tests,” said Greene. “With more than 160,000 combined testing miles behind us, we’ve demonstrated our JLTV can reliably meet protection standards of many existing mine-resistant vehicles in combat today. This vehicle is ready to meet our customers’ needs with lower-cost materials at full-rate production.”

      Category B variant of the JLTV was built by Lockheed Matin for the technology Demonstration phase. The vehicle has now been modified to become more affordable and lighter, to meet the current requirements set by the military. Photo: Lockheed Martin

      Throughout 2010 and 2011, the team took lessons learned from JLTV’s extensive testing and applied them to an evolved design. The team accomplished this through digital engineering analysis, virtual design builds, component tests and physical stress testing. “Our EMD design lowers the cost of each vehicle, and not just through economies of scale,” said Kathryn Hasse, JLTV program director at Lockheed Martin. “We have incorporated more affordable materials and reduced exotic metals such as titanium. This was accomplished while maintaining the significant blast protection and vehicle capability already demonstrated.” According to Hasse, the current design proposed for the EMD uses a diesel engine but future configurations could also use alternative propulsion systems such as hybrid diesel-electric systems, if and when they become mature for military use. The core Lockheed Martin-led JLTV team includes the tactical wheeled vehicles team at BAE Systems in Sealy, Texas, complemented by numerous Tier 1 automotive suppliers, including: Cummins Engine, Allison Transmission, Bosch, Meritor Defense, Lotus Engineering, L3 Combat Propulsion Systems and Vehma International of America.

      The joint venture between General Dynamics Land Systems and AM General has also continued to the EMD phase, competing now for an EMD contract. The team offers the Eagle, which uses a Double-V hull design to beef up belly protection from mines and IEDs. According to Mark Roualet, president of General Dynamics Land Systems, the Eagle represents a low risk choice that builds on the company’s heritage of large-scale military production programs.

      AM General is offering the BRV-O, a JLTV developed independently from the Eagle built jointly with General Dynamics for the JLTV program. Photo: AM General

      AM General is also pursuing a unilateral path, offering the ‘Blast Resistant Vehicle Off-Road’ (BRV-O in short). According to AM General, the vehicle meets or exceeds all JLTV program evaluation criteria It in off-road mobility, proven blast and ballistic protection through capsule and modular armor and capability to deploy by land, air and sea with 3,500 pound payload., and surpasses requirements for speed, range and on-board electrical power and stowage. The vehicle has matured through more than 300,000 miles of testing and use of production-stage critical components.

      In addition to the JLTV the US Army is also pursuing a new program to replace the M-113. The vehicle known as Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV), this will most probably be a tracked vehicle, one of the considerations is to use the M2/M3 Bradley chassis or its derivatives to replace the M-113s in the heavy brigades. AMPV is expected to offer better mobility and survivability, compared with the M113 armored personnel carrier. A request for proposals is expected to be issued in early 2013.

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