Lockheed Martin today announced the acquisition of Chandler/May, Inc., a developer and producer of specialized unmanned aerial vehicle systems. The company also developed and produced fully integrated mission critical systems for unmanned aerial systems (UAS). As a subcontractor to AAI, Chandler/May has delivered hundreds of integrated command and control shelters and portable ground control stations in support of U.S. Army UAS programs. They also produced over 2,200 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), including the Desert Hawk UAV, a program for which Chandler/May, Inc. is a supplier to Lockheed Martin. Another system developed by Chandler/May is the ‘stealthy looking’ Fury flying wing UAV, the SharkFin Mission & Flight Control System and Tactical Air Vehicle Control System (TACS) ground control station.
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Lockheed Martin has two main operating divisions focusing on UAS – the Skunk Works, focused on black programs and rapid prototyping and Mission Systems & Sensors (MS2). Officially, Chandler/May will become will become part of MS2 business, ‘a division that has already acquired experience with other unmanned systems, including the K-MAX unmanned helicopter, Desert Hawk UAV, and Persistent Threat Detection System (PTDS) aerostats’, the corporate announcement said. MS2 is also managing the activities of Procerus, UAS avionics specialist acquired in January 2012.
“This acquisition expands our offerings in support of our customers’ increased emphasis on advanced unmanned systems for the C4ISR missions,” said Bob Stevens, Lockheed Martin Chairman and CEO. “This acquisition is consistent with our goal to maintain a portfolio of technologically advanced options that will generate value for both our customers and our shareholders.”
Chandler/May, Inc. is a privately owned company currently operating from Huntsville, Ala, and San Luis Obispo, Calif. “Joining Lockheed Martin is a logical step to expand our current offerings and provides opportunities to reach additional customers.” Jesse May, Chandler/May, Inc. President said. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed and are not material to Lockheed Martin’s results of operations.
The Cyber Security panel taking place in Tel-Aviv this week at the HLS 2012 event is attracting considerable interest on the backdrop of the recent revelations of massive Iranian cyber attacks crippling the networks of Aramco Oil Company in Saudi Arabia. It was one of the most destructive attacks ever on a single company, erasing three quarters of the company’s hard disk drives. The panel addresses the vulnerability of organizations and infrastructures to such attacks, both are regularly targeted by hackers, cyber criminals and terrorists. While the attack on Aramco was directed at its computer network, companies and organizations are also vulnerable to terror attacks against their infrastructure; such attacks have the potential to inflict physical damage just like any other terror attack – creating explosions, hazardous material spills, create flooding or traffic accidents, all that by using untraceable, yet highly effective cyber attacks.
Since the creation of cyberspace and the internet Israeli security experts and scientists have positioned the country at the forefront of cyber defense, developing everything from the basic building blocks of network security, data encryption and information protection to integrated system providing monitoring, simulation and rapid response in the event of cyber attacks. The Israeli government has recently established a national cyber center, with the goals to coordinate the research, development, legislation and preparedness among the academy, private and public sector, to enhance the protection and minimize vulnerability of the country’s commercial, industrial and public sector to hacking, cyber crime and cyber attacks.
Protecting networks and infrastructure is a methodical, comprehensive and expensive process that begins with vulnerability assessment and proceeds with mitigating these vulnerabilities, beginning with the weakest links. Some countermeasures address changes in procedures, while others require implementation of new countermeasures and security systems. This article is highlighting several new cyber-security measures introduced at the Israel Homeland Security exhibition and conference, taking place in Tel Aviv this week.
Threats Kept Out while Data Flows in
Three companies at HLS-2012 are highlighting security measures aimed at infrastructure protection are Arilou, Waterfall and Votiro. Arilou’s products are designed for integration into existing systems, adding additional security to the systems. The company also offers hardware privacy solutions for modern smartphones, disabling possibilities to use the phone camera without permission. Another company focusing on industrial and infrastructure systems is Waterfall Security, providing unidirectional gateways deployed through critical infrastructure networks. Waterfall’s systems support most industrial protocols including solutions and GE OSM remote monitoring platforms, as well as OPC, Modbus, DNP3, ICCP and other industrial protocols.
Votiro is also providing Uni-Directional Links (UDL) for organizational networks. Its UDLs are employed to bridge between networks isolated from one another to maintain high security levels. Such systems enable users to maintain different security levels for different departments in organizations, where some levels are blocked from high security and sensitive networks while maintaining system integrity.
Securing the Privileged Accounts
Cyber-security specialist protecting the network’s most sensitive asset – its ‘privileged accounts’ is Cyber-Ark. Authorized to access to all system resources, these accounts are the primary attack vector for enterprise cyber-assaults. In addition to systems keeping network secure from external attacks, Cyber-Ark considers attacks can also come from the inside, thus adding an internal wall around those premium assets, safeguarding the access and management of such accounts, through identity management.
Opening an organization to the world means data has to move to and from employees. Such data could be infected with viruses, malware and other threats and, therefore, must be ‘sanitized’ before it enters your network. Votiro Secure Data Sanitization Device (SDSD) provides such sanitation, by integrating a hardened operating system, along with physical read-only barriers, embedded anti-virus scanners and zero-day threat cleaning mechanism.
Integrating Mobiles into Secured networks
Mobile smartphones are becoming an indispensable tool for all businesses and organizations are themselves vulnerable to attacks and are used as proxies carrying on malware into the organizational intranet. For many years, high security organizations such as defense, government and critical industries banned smartphones completely, but such action is only delays the unavoidable outcome, and places the unprotected network at risk from stealth attacks. Employing certain security measures on the devices and networks could help opening organizations to smartphones without compromising security. For example, Lacoon’s SpyPhone provides a multi-layered, network and client based protection against advanced mobile threats, preventing mobile malware, and targeted attacks while offering actionable visibility into data leaked by malicious apps. The solution supports all mobile platforms including iOS and Android without rooting or jailbreaking the device.
Another concern is the use of smartphones sensors (audio recording, data recording and camera) for spying, without the User’s knowledge or intention. Mitigating this risk is possible withWise-Sec’s Secured location-based policy enforcement embedded as an app on the mobile device.
Securing Websites with Clouds
The modern rush to ‘the cloud’ is offering hackers and defenders new opportunities for both attack, and defense. In particular, websites can now gain new levels of protection by employing Content Delivery Networks, (CDN) distributing the served files through thousands of servers. Beefed with Foresight-Air security layer, keeping the master website relatively protected and inaccessible to direct attacks. Such systems ensure companies can withstand diverse cyber attacks and continue operating unaffected. Another company, Reblaze is offering a cloud-based web security platform, positioned specifically to protect organizations against DDOS and intrusion. Such defenses dynamically manage services while filtering out requests from suspicious or malicious sources that would otherwise choke the protected network.
Tracking Hostile Behavior
E-commerce and financial systems that do not have the privilege of disconnecting from the Internet must employ special protection measures. The classic risk mitigation systems commonly follow static rules and credit card tracking to identify potential threats. However, these methods are limited in their ability to identify sophisticated, advanced threats. Identifying potential attacks based on behavior, rather than identifying them by known signature could offer a broader solution. Hybrid Telepath is one of the companies following this track. It profiles all behavior characteristics of web users, using advanced Artificial Intelligence algorithms, analyzing behavioral models based on user history profiles and general population behavior. The system learns the business logic of each unique web application, and, while monitoring normal user behavior, can accurately spots suspicious user and various fraud scenarios. Within a couple of days, the system is already capable of producing intuitive alerts based on the acquired knowledge-base.
Defense Update will follow HLS2012 with more reviews this week. Subscribers can also benefit from premium coverage and direct links to company websites. You can subscribe to Defens-Update by following our Subscription Link.
In October 2012 the US Army embarked on an ambitious upgrade of its tactical command and control system, introducing new radios, networking and satellite communications systems to modernize the command and control layers of its infantry brigade combat teams.
The system enabling this service is the Warfighter Information Network – Tactical (WIN-T). WIN-T is the Army’s mobile battlefield network providing mission critical voice, video and data to soldiers. WIN-T Increment 1 is now fully deployed, provides soldiers with high speed, high capacity communications down to battalion level at the quick halt. It is now fully fielded to 210 active duty, reserve and National Guard units. The new WIN-T Increment 2 adds ‘Broadband on the move’ via networking radios, pushing network connectivity further to the company level, integrating situational awareness and enhancing Network Operations (NetOps) for network planning and monitoring.
Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) and its latest incremental upgrade known as Increment 2 (WIN-T Inc 2) are a central part of CS-13. It will also provide all Army units a common networking baseline layer, enabling full connectivity between units utilizing new generation systems (JTRS, AWN2, etc) and those that still rely on legacy systems (SINCGARS etc), allowing each unit to use its equipment with utmost efficiency and capacity.
General Dynamics C4 is currently supplying these sets for the Army under a $346 million contract awarded in October 2012. The first systems were delivered to two brigade combat teams and Division HQs of the 10th Mountain Division following a successful field evaluation during NIE 12.2 earlier this summer. The WIN-T Inc. 2 hub introduces high-speed communications, providing mission critical voice, video and data to support the lower echelons. “WIN-T Increment 2 has shown the value of high-speed communications for commanders who need robust, reliable communications and situational awareness,” said Chris Marzilli, president of General Dynamics C4 Systems. “Commanders can now make faster, more informed decisions using real-time information while moving with their soldiers, rather than being tethered to command posts.”
Eying to sustain the strength of its remaining heavy force, the Army is embarking on upgrading programs to regain the performance levels these combat vehicles were originally designed for. Such Engineering Change Proposals (ECP) currently underway for the M-1 SEP-2, Bradley and M-109 are addressing those Space, Weight and Power-Cooling (SWaP-C) gaps.
An ECP that has already matured into production is the product improvement of the M-109A6Paladin self-propelled artillery system. Under the PALADIN Integrated Management (PIM) program, this self propelled howitzer and its ammunition carrier will receive new chassis standardizing many M-109A6 parts with the Armored Brigade Combat Teams’ Bradley vehicles. Unlike past upgrades, ECP modifications would not result in capability enhancements beyond the level originally planned for each vehicle. The ECP is expected to ‘buy back SWaP’, by redesigning and modernizing certain elements of the vehicles.
PIM mates the main armament and cab structure of the M-109A6 PALADIN with a new chassis comprising newer components, common with the Bradley family of vehicles. The chassis introduces a more powerful powertrain, including a stronger engine (V903 675 horsepower), transmission and steering system, and wider tracks, improving ground pressure for better mobility. The hydraulic turret drive will be replaced with a new electrical drive. Utilizing a 70 kW, 600 Volt converter this system is derivative from the beyond line of sight cannon, one of the few remnant of the Future Combat Systems program. This new drive system will improve reliability, sustainability and survivability. An improved electric ramming system will also be added.
The improved chassis structure provides greater survivability and commonality with existing systems in the Armored Brigade Combat Team, reducing operational sustainment costs by replacing obsolete components. The upgrade also includes integration of a ‘digital backbone’ databus and increased power generation, supporting more advanced computers, communications and C-IED jammers.
The Army currently have 950 M-109A6 sets and, according to plans, 580 will be improved through the PIM program. Currently five modified PIMs and two upgraded Forward Artillery Fire Support Vehicles (FAFSV) are undergoing testing; PIM is slated to begin fielding in late FY17 as part of the Army’s modernization to its self-propelled howitzer fleet.
BAE Systems is supporting the program under a public/private partnership between the Army’s Project Manager-HBCT, Anniston Army Depot and BAE Systems. The PIM production would be performed at Anniston Army Depot, Alabama and BAE Systems facilities in York, Penn.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Sterling Heights, Mich.; Endicott, N.Y.; and Elgin, Okla. In December 2012 the company plans to complete low-rate initial production (LRIP). “BAE Systems’ plan to expand the Elgin facility will mean more jobs for the area as the PIM program provides improved technology for our Army artillery personnel.” said U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) “This announcement means that jobs will be moved to Elgin two to three years sooner than they otherwise would have under the old plan.” Infofe said.
PIM is the first ECP upgrade to enter production. According to BAE Systems, the PIM LRIP award is slated for the third quarter in 2013 and follows the successful design and development work at BAE Systems’ York facility and recent Limited User Tests (LUT) conducted by the company and the Army in Yuma, Ariz. As part of the PIM LRIP program, BAE Systems will focus on the final integration, assembly and test of 72 PIM systems. The LUT was conducted in October 2012 by soldiers from Alpha Battery, 4th Battalion-27th Field Artillery, 1st Armored Division, of Fort Bliss. The test provided proof of the new systems’ suitability, effectiveness and survivability of the platform. According to Lt. Col. Dan Furber, product manager for Self-Propelled Howitzer Systems, the Army will complete the Reliability, Availability, and Maintainability (RAM) growth curve as required prior to the Milestone C Low Rate Initial Production decision scheduled to occur in June 2013. “If the PIM meets expectations the Army will begin Low Rate Initial Production in 2013, with the full production to follow in early 2017,” added Furber.
In September 2012 GDLS was awarded a contract worth $395 million to support the first phase of Engineering Change Proposals (ECP) for the M-1A2 SEPv2 Abrams tank upgrade, the initial phase includes research, development and testing. The value for the first year is around $80 million. “Right now the electrical power is in short supply on the tank.” Said Lt. Col. William Brennan, product manager for the Abrams tank, “The centerpiece of the ECP 1 upgrade will be to restore lost power margin through the integration of a larger generator, improved slip ring, battery management system and a new power generation and distribution system,” he explained.
The work includes miniaturization of electronics, through line replaceable module (LRM)- based electronics architecture and increasing electrical generation capacity, distribution and management. Low-rate initial production (LRIP) of ECP1 upgrades-equipped Abrams tanks is expected to start in 2017 and complete by 2020. Communications and networking upgrades considered under the M-1A2 ECP also include the replacement of SINCGARS type radios with the new JTRS HMS types, better serving high capacity data communications. To distribute this data through the platform, the tank will be equipped with Gigabit-Ethernet databus and new, high capacity slipring connecting the turret to this high-speed network. At the AUSA 2012 exhibition General Dynamics also displayed a new diesel engine proposed for the Abrams tank that would increase its combat range by nearly 50 percent from 205 miles to about 300miles.
The MTU 833 engine and new Allison transmission could reduce the Abrams’ cost per mile by 14% compared with its current turbine-powered engine. “Through the development of an Abrams diesel engine that is significantly more efficient than a turbine, we can reduce the cost per mile, increase the tactical range, lower maintenance costs and reduce the number of fuel and cargo trucks needed,” said Mike Cannon, General Dynamics Land Systems’ senior vice president, Ground Combat Systems.
Eying to sustain the strength of its remaining heavy force, the Army is embarking on upgrading programs to regain the performance levels these combat vehicles were originally designed for. After years of continuous patchworks, applying new armor and electronic equipment to better protect against new threats, most of these platforms have already exceeded their design specs. For example, applique armor and SLAT cages have exceeded the physical envelopes and load margins of vehicles, limiting mobility. Lack of engine power and overloaded electrical supplies are further reducing their performance. In addition to the ECP for the M-1 SEP-2 the Army has also embarked on ECP upgrades for the Bradley and M-109 are addressing those Space, Weight and Power-Cooling (SWaP-C) gaps.
ECPs to be implemented with each of the remaining platforms are expected to ‘buy back SWaP’, by redesigning and modernizing certain elements of the vehicles. Unlike past upgrades, ECP modifications would not result in capability enhancements beyond the level originally planned for each vehicle.
Practicing strategic and tactical mobility is part of the readiness maintenance and qualification of armored formations. One such exercise was conducted in October 2012 last month To practice operations with landing crafts, the Army
The Defense Research and Development Division of the Ministry of Defense successfully completed trials testing the upgraded operational capability of the ‘Iron Dome’ system. In the past few days, the Israel’s Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) has been carrying out a series of intercept trials with the upgraded system where the enhanced system successfully met the design goals. These trials are designed to expand and improve the operational capabilities of the system to face more advanced threats. These trials are part of a wider program to develop and upgrade the ‘Iron Dome’ system. Based on the successful trials, MOD plans to deliver the fifth operational ‘Iron Dome’ battery ‘within weeks’. According to the MOD, this unit will be the first upgraded ‘Iron Dome’ battery in the IAF. Most upgrades will also be retrofitted to the four operational units. The fifth and sixth units are part of the second production batch of four Iron Dome units funded by the US DoD in May 2011.
RAFAEL, the system developer and integrator, has implemented improvements and modifications to operational systems since the first deployments of the systems in March 2011. Software ‘patches’ changes are introduced frequently after combat engagements, implementing necessary improvements where required. More comprehensive software upgrades are also implemented on a periodical basis to keep the system updated. The current ‘Block Upgrade’ enabled the developers to implement more robust upgrades enhancing the system based on more comprehensive and thoroughly tested upgrade cycle. Major contributors to the system’s enhanced engagement capabilities are the improved radar developed by IAI/Elta Systems and battle management system developed by mPrest.
IMDO – also known as ‘Homa’ – is part of the Defense Research and Development Division of the Ministry of Defense, and is responsible for the multi-level missile defense systems. These include the ‘Iron Dome’ counter Rocket, Artillery and Missile (C-RAM) system and ballistic missile interceptor system ‘Arrow 2’, both already operational, and ‘David’s Sling’ (also dubbed ‘Magic Wand’) and ‘Arrow 3’ currently in various phases of developmental testing. Both are scheduled to undergo comprehensive integration testing in the near future.
Fires in combat vehicles can be caused by combat damage (hit by enemy fire, IEDs or a fire bomb thrown at it) or accidentally, by the crew or by malfunction. Regardless of the cause, fire erupting in the engine or fighting compartment can cause significant damage, leading to catastrophic effect if the ammunition begins to explodes. To quickly put out such fires, automatic fire suppression systems are used, employing different methods in each zone – crew compartment, engine, tires, fuel tank, battery or outer envelope. Multi-zone systems are important to minimize subjecting the crew and passengers to toxic fumes of smoke and fire extinguishing materials.
For example, the use of ‘Clean Agent’ that effectively suppress the fire and prevents explosion, but requires rapid evacuation of the crew. Operations in asymmetric warfare often expose vehicles to fire hazards from molotov cocktails or IEDs that do not penetrate the armor. Therefore, having a fire suppression system that mandate the evacuation of the protected vehicle poses an unnecessary risk.
To equip MRAP and other tactical vehicles Nitrogen based (N2) and water-vapour fire suppression are employed to quickly choke out the fire without affecting the human occupants. Alternatively, water mist can be used to suppress fire and keep temperature down, allowing the crew more time to respond.
Particularly effective in protecting security and law enforcement vehicles as well as the military, operating in asymmetric conflict, are fire suppression for vulnerable parts such as fuel tanks and tires. The Israeli company LVT has developed tire fire suppression system combined into AAFS installed in MRAP-type vehicles. LVT has delivered over 3,000 fire suppression systems protecting MaxxPro MRAP vehicles. Typically, such systems equip the crew compartment with fire suppression agents to shield crew, provides outer body protection, against fire bombs and explosives and uses high performance extinguishing agent to protect the tires in case they catch fire. Separated from the crew compartment the engine and Battery compartments are protected by a clean agent fire suppression system. Fuel tank protected against fire caused by Molotov cocktails or IEDs.
Vulnerable elements of the vehicle, such as hydraulics or fuel tanks, require special attention in armor protection. At the recent AUSA 2012 exhibition Hutchinsons’ Rodgard Mobility Solutions unveiled several new systems protecting fuel tanks from small arms fire and shrapnel and punctures caused by artillery and mortar fire, mines or IEDs. For example, the Safetank system seals the damaged tank, maintaining the veicle’s mobility and reducing the risk of sympathetic explosion of ammo and eliminating loss of fuel or the risk of potential ignition of spilled fuel.
Safetank is applied as a coating around the container, protecting against small arms fire of up to 7.62 NATO/AP, 50 cal/12.7mm and 14.5 mm rounds. Moreover, the tank itself can be filled with anti-explosion foam or mesh inserts to minimize risks of electrical short circuits igniting vapor explosions. An outer layer of flame retardant prevents fires from spreading, eliminating overheating of the fuel in the protected container. The use of Safetank eliminates the need to protect fuel tanks with much heavier armor plates, thus saving up to 100 kg per vehicle. It can also protect large tankers transporting up to 5,000 gallons.
Asia Pacific Defense Update November 3, 2012
The November edition is here!
The new issue of Asia pacific Defense Update is here! This digest of 28 articles highlighting recent defense news events from the region is based on the full version (premium content) from Defense Update and other sources, brought to you in a concise, pdf edition you can store on your desktop, read on tablets and smartphones.
This edition, published twice a month, is available to our premium subscribers.
International Armoured Vehicles, the largest show dedicated solely to the armoured vehicles community, is launching a live dynamic vehicle experience at the Long Valley Test Track during the 2013 event, which will take place at the FIVE in Farnborough, UK February 5-8, 2013. The Long Valley Test Track, located in Aldershot, features different terrains and obstacles, such as an ‘alpine track’, sand traps and water obstacles, providing for an enhanced live experience. Open for test track exhibitors and their military guests, the dynamic vehicle experience is designed for vehicle manufacturers to showcase their products to their clients in an “immersion” setting, with each track running a duration of anywhere from 15-30 minutes at a time.
With this new installation, the 2013 International Armoured Vehicles show marks a clear evolution in Defence IQ’s flagship armoured vehicle event. The event is traditionally comprised of a large scale conference of 600+ attendees, combined with a focussed exhibition hall, which annually welcomes 2,100+ visitors from 47 countries.
Quoted in February 2012 in his previous role, Lieutenant General Christopher Michael Deverell, Director Land Materiel, DE&S UK MoD commented,“There are lots of conferences around, but there’s not another one on this sort of scale that is specifically focussed on armoured vehicles, so it fills a very useful niche.”
Running for its 12th time in 2013, International Armoured Vehicles once again offers a high-level and technical programme during the conference, with topics focussing on Survivability, Innovative Armour, Simulation, Maintenance and Industry Requirements. The popular introduction of last year’s G6 Industry Panel sees its return for 2013, with new panellists such as General Dynamics, Iveco, Lockheed Martin, Nexter, Renault and Textron, as well as the addition of the International Industry Leaders Panel (IILP). Much like the G6 Panel, the IILP will feature leaders in the international space, discussing up-and-coming markets of interest to the land defence industry, such as Turkey, Brazil, Russia and the Middle East.
The 2013 show also introduces the Industry Focus Day, which is designed to provide a platform for technical experts from Tier 1 companies to present their current projects, challenges and future capability requirements to members of the military and Tier 2 and 3 groups.
Amongst the prestigious speaker faculty are Lieutenant General David Halverson, Deputy Commander TRADOC, Major General Andrew Sharpe OBE, DG DCDC UK Ministry of Defence and Fleet Admiral Marco Antonio Guimaraes, General Commandant of the Brazilian Marine Corps.
Joining themare over 50 senior government officials and international flag officers from 24 countries, including:
Major General H. R. McMaster, Commanding General Maneuever Center of Excellence, US DoD
Major General Ian Copeland, Director Joint Support Chairn, DE&S, UK MoD
Major General Ruben Dario Alzate Moura, Head of Land – Materiel, Colombian Army
Major General Topply Lubaya, Chief of Staff, Zambian Army
Brigadier General Anders Steffanson, Deputy Commander, Swedish Army
Brigadier General Rajmund Andzejzak, Commander 17th Armoured Division, Polish Army
Additional military speakers will represent international organisations such as the Malaysian DoD, German Army, Danish DoD, French Army, Australian DoD, Italian Armed Forces, and the Indian DRDO.
The Exhibition spans the whole of the FIVE venue, and is set to feature 100 exhibitors from around the world, the International Armoured Vehicles Awards, as well as the Innovation Stage. Featuring direct updates from upcoming vehicle programme requirements from major OEMs, to the SMEs providing the newest and most innovative solutions for today’s capability challenges, the 2013 Innovation Stage provides attendees insight into the future of the armoured vehicles market. Last year’s Innovation Stage offered exhibition guests insight from guest speakers of leading industry such as General Dynamics, Kaller, Thales and Tawazun. The official programme for the Innovation Stage is scheduled for release in early November 2013.
Professionals involved in armoured vehicles are encouraged to register for a free exhibition pass to the 2013 Exhibition (does not include the conference), or to join Defence IQ’s extensive social media community on www.defenceiq.com, LinkedIn group (Armoured Vehicles Networking Group), Twitter (http://twitter.com/IAVehicles) and Facebook.
Interested parties can contact [email protected] for conference pricing options. The event runs from 5-8 February 2013 (Exhibition open from 6-7 February 2013) and is open to defence-related professionals.
Defence IQ is delighted to invite Defence Update members to attend the main conference at a special discount rate of saving 20% off the standard conference price. Email [email protected] or call +44 (0)20 7368 9300 with code IAVs2013_DU for more information.
Offshore Patrol & Security 2013 23rd and 25th April 2013 – Portsmouth, UK
With Hurricane Sandy at the forefront of maritime organisations concerns at the moment, the increase in focus on border enforcement, economic exclusion zone protection and counter-piracy operations on-going, a key event is running next year to discuss how naval forces, coastguard agencies, industry and other relevant organisations can increase cooperation to improve maritime security, humanitarian relief from the sea and international naval cooperation.
Because of this ever-increasing focus, on the 24th April 2013, over 300 delegates will attend the world’s largest maritime security and platform related event in the UK with the aim of deciding upon the next actions to be taken in this ever changing and complex task. Offshore Patrol & Security 2013 will take place at the Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth between the 23rd and 25th April 2013.
The event, Offshore Patrol & Security 2013, which has been running annually for four years, will attract an audience consisting of the most senior and influential naval personnel from every major nation. The delegation will be discussing the very latest issues surrounding all aspects of maritime security including counter-piracy, port protection, economic zone protection and enforcement along with recent technological innovations.
High on the agenda at next year’s meeting will be the continued operations off the coast of Somalia, a topic which has repeatedly been seen in the news over recent months and years. A focus on counter-piracy and counter terrorism in the Middle East and Asia Pacific regions will also be of the upmost priority.
“Offshore Patrol & Security has often been seen as one of the most influential gatherings of key personnel from around the globe that wish to discuss the latest developments in maritime security” said Nathan Martin, Managing Director of the event organizer, Development Network. ” From the overwhelming number of attendees already signed up, we can clearly see that issues surrounding this area are still top of the priority list for many nations.” Martin added, saying the event is often seen as one of the most critical meeting points for nations wishing to decide upon the future of their maritime security policies along with discussion based presentations focusing on key alliance policies such as NATO and the European Union.
Abeking and Rasmussen, a German based shipbuilder will be the lead sponsor for the 2013 event and will discuss the close relationship between navies, coastguard agencies and industry in these tough economic times. Defense Update is proud to be one of the media sponsors of this event.
For more information please contact:
Head of Production
The Development Network
Tel: +44 (0) 1245 707 530
A powerful explosion at the Yarmuk military factory rocked Sudan’s capital before dawn, sending detonating ammunition flying through the air and causing panic, the Sudan official news agency and local media reports said. Thick black smoke covered the sky over the Military Industrial Complex in southern Khartoum. Sudan’s media reported that nearby buildings were damaged by the blast, their roofs blown off and their windows shattered. The effects of the blast suggested a “highly volatile cargo” was at the epicenter of the explosion.
The Sudanese minister who immediately accused Israel of carrying out an aerial strike on a weapons factory near Khartoum apparently knew what he was talking about. Although located inside a strong security perimeter around it, the so-called Yarmuk compound run by the Military Industry Corporation, is well known to Sudanese as Iranian territory, serving as a stopover in weapons smuggling to Hamas Gaza. The minister showed journalists a video of a huge crater next to two destroyed buildings and what appeared to be an unidentified rocket motor lying on the ground. Analysing the explosions and the massive fire which blazed for hours, setting off more fires even days after the attack, it seems that the “factory” must have contained a large amount of explosives and inflammatory substances, indicating military nature. It also seems viable that the target could have been a series of containers stored inside the compound, which were loaded and ready for dispatch.
Witnesses testified to seeing jets fly over the area at dawn should not be reliable, as manned aircraft would not have flown so close to the ground in an attack to be identified. However, the so-called aircraft could have been weaponized unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones performing post-strike battle-damage assessment. Israel has long-range UAV, some of these very large aircraft, but so far the authorities have denied them carrying weapons.
This factory, which is situated inside a military compound near Khartoum and allegedly manufactures various types of rockets and light weapons, was constructed with Iran’s assistance some four years ago in the framework of a cooperation agreement between the two ‘pariah’ states.
Sudan is isolated from the international community due to the genocide in Darfur, and the West has imposed crippling sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program. Both governments have an interest in transferring arms to Hamas in Gaza. In 2009, a convoy carrying weapons in northeastern Sudan was targeted from the air, killing dozens. It was widely believed that Israel carried out the attack on a weapons shipment headed for Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip. Israel never confirmed or denied that.
Sudan is already a well known major hub for al-Qaeda militants and remains a transit for weapon smugglers and African migrant traffickers. Israeli officials believe arms that originate in the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas go through Sudan before crossing Egypt’s lawless Sinai desert and into Gaza through underground tunnels.
In May 2010 the Sudanese newspaper Ray Al-Sha’b reported that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps was operating a secret weapons factory in Sudan to supply weapons to terrorist groups across Africa and the Middle East. It also suggested Iran was cooperating with Sudan to produce nuclear weapons. The Khartoum regime closed the paper immediately and arrested the deputy-editor.
The factory’s name, “Yarmouk,” also alludes to the identity of its Palestinian “clients.” As part of the deal, the Sudanese earned money and apparently received weapons, while the Iranians shortened the supply routes to Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon and perhaps even to Syria, thus decreasing the risk of Israeli attacks on arms convoys – or so they thought at the time.
In 1998, Human Rights Watch published a report based on information from Sudanese opposition organizations which said that the Yarmouk plant was used to store chemical weapons for Iraq. Sudan vehemently denied the allegations.
That year, the United States used cruise missiles to bomb a Khartoum pharmaceutical factory suspected of links to al-Qaeda in the aftermath of the terror group’s bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 people.
The Sudanese regime has a “distinguished pedigree” supporting international terrorism. In the 1990s it gave sanctuary to so many outlaws, the capital, Khartoum, was known as “the Holiday Inn for Terrorists.” Al Qaeda, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Carlos the Jackal all called Khartoum home. It was Khartoum’s five years playing gracious host to Osama bin Laden that earned it US sanctions in 1997.
Moreover, Sudan is a terrorist state in its own right. The same Arab nations condemning Israel this week have been mute in the face of Khartoum’s ruthless suppression of its own Muslim citizens in Darfur since 2003, and thirty years of ethnically cleansing those within its own borders it considers insufficiently enthusiastic about its version of Islamism.
Should the Sudanese minister’s claim that four Israeli warplanes bombed the arms factory be reliable, then this was an impressive display of the IDF’s long strategic arm. The Israeli Air Force already proved 27 years ago that it can successfully attack targets located over 1,500 kilometers away. In 1985 Israeli jets bombed the PLO headquarters in Tunis, but the fact that the target was situated near the coast helped Israeli forces approach it undetected. Khartoum, on the other hand, is located deep inside Sudanese territory and is surrounded by numerous radar facilities.
The Sudanese minister said Israeli planes used electronic countermeasures to avoid detection by Sudanese air defenses, but experts say they could have flown over “dead areas” where they could not be detected by radars. In any case, the Sudanese cannot prove Israel attacked the arms factory.
However, if Israeli jets did carry out the strike, it means it took place some 1,600 kilometers from Israel, nearly the same distance between central Israel and the uranium enrichment plants in Iran – one near the city of Kashan (“Natanz”) and the other near Qom (“Fordo”). Therefore, the attack, if it was carried out by Israel, also sent a strong message to Tehran.
The Satellite Sentinel Project, an American monitoring group said on Saturday that satellite images of the aftermath of the Wednesday explosion suggested the site was hit by an airstrike. The images released by the Satellite Sentinel Project to the Associated Press showed at least six 52-foot (16-meter) wide craters at the compound. The Israeli EROS-B imagery confirms these facts with higher resolution images, (displayed above). The EROS_B images also indicate at least four ‘near misses’ which may have caused some of the fires that erupted around the compound.
Until now the Iranians did not take Israel’s threats seriously. They did not believe Israel had the ability to attack its nuclear installations or that the Israeli government would have the courage to risk losing dozens of pilots and planes. But now, after the attack in Sudan and the bombing of a Syrian reactor in 2007, which foreign media attributed to Israel, the Iranians may reassess Netanyahu and Barak’s seriousness when they declare that “all options are on the table.”
There is no doubt that the explosions at the Sudanese arms factory have given elements in Khartoum, Gaza and Tehran something to think about.