NATO Defense Update

1624

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  • NAVWAR Deployment at War Jun 14, 2024NAVWAR Deployment at War
    The conflict in Ukraine has served as a real-world laboratory for NAVWAR tactics and technologies. Both Russian and Ukrainian forces extensively deployed a variety of jammers and spoofers, demonstrating the critical role of electronic warfare in modern conflict. Overall, the performance of US-delivered GPS-guided weaponry, such as the Excalibur 155mm artillery rounds, M31 Guided MLRS rockets, and JDAM GPS-guided bombs, has been degraded since their initial successful introduction by the Ukrainian forces. Apparently, the Russians gradually developed EW countermeasures against those threats. Due to operational security considerations, the absence of countermeasures, such as the SAASM anti-spoofing and M-Code anti-jam support for these weapons, may have degraded their resilience, facing an extensive and sophisticated Russian EW. Other weapon systems, such as the Storm Shadow and SCALP cruise missiles, fared better over time as they rely on multiple navigation means and have fared better in prolonged combat. During the 2023 summer counteroffensive, Ukraine used tens of thousands of small drones to strike Russian positions and vehicles, many of which failed to launch due to the extensive jamming employed by the Russians. This required the Ukrainians to disable many GNSS-based automation and degrade their drones to rely on visual navigation and control, which is also vulnerable to jamming and comm-loss. Such systems have impacted military operations and civilian sectors, underscoring the dual-use dilemma inherent in NAVWAR. Both sides currently use Counter-drone and GNSS jammers in the Russo-Ukraine conflict. Some Russian armored vehicles employ the Volnorez EW system, using two emitters positioned in the front of the turret; the system covers 360 degrees and is designed to engage FPV attack drones. The system covers a range of 900 to 2000 MHz and disrupts drone signals at distances exceeding 600 meters. However, based on captured systems studies, Volnorez’s lack of continuous coverage may compromise its combat effectiveness. Other ...
  • NAVWAR Jammers Jun 14, 2024NAVWAR Jammers
    Low-cost jammers are widely accessible and offer a basic but effective means of disrupting GNSS signals. Drivers who want to prevent their bosses from constantly tracking delivery trucks use such devices. They emit radio frequency (RF) noise or signals on the same frequencies used by GNSS satellites, overwhelming the receiver’s ability to discern the legitimate satellite signal. Their affordability and simplicity make them a common choice for non-state actors and less technologically advanced militaries. In a counter-UAS role, GPS denial often uses broadband jamming and datalink disruption as part of a comprehensive EW capability. The Australia-based DroneShield company, one of the pioneers in this field, has recently announced the introduction of GNSS disruption targeted to a specific area. Military users often opt for dedicated EW assets to engage radio-electronic signals at the GNSS frequencies (lower and upper L bands). Some systems employ signal generators to defeat specific threats, such as drones and GPS-guided weapons, while others disrupt GNSS signals, creating a ‘defensive bubble’ around important assets and targets, thus reducing the probability of successful attack by guided weapons. Some of these systems are mounted on vehicles, enabling the relocation of assets, while others are fixed in specific positions. A typical relocatable system that blocks GNSS signals at longer distances is the Russian R30Zh Zhitel, which can jam satellite and cellular phone communications from 100 MHz to 2,000 MHz frequency bands, covering all GNSS frequencies. Zhitel has an effective radius of 25 km against cellular phones and longer against GNSS. Denial of GNSS signals over a wide area requires a more powerful or distributed array of emitters. Two Russian systems are known to be capable of delivering GNSS jamming over a large area. The Pole 21E system consists of jammers placed on cell towers. Multiple elements of this type can be integrated into a ...
  • Defensive NAVWAR Jun 14, 2024Defensive NAVWAR
    By using countermeasures against NAVWAR threats, Assured Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (APNT) is achieved. These countermeasures are as varied and sophisticated as the offensive capabilities they aim to neutralize. Nations and corporations worldwide have invested in technologies designed to detect, mitigate, and adapt to GNSS disruption and spoofing. Signal-behavior monitoring represents an important method of assessing the integrity of PNT systems at the system or unit level. By observing PNT signals for behavior such as dropouts, discontinuities, unusual signal fluctuations, data bit changes, or other anomalies, this technique can detect a potential failure or false manipulation of the source, indicate the system to revert to a ‘safe mode’, use of countermeasures, or act against the perpetrator. A common combination provides navigation resilience using an inertial measurement unit (IMU) with a GNSS receiver. By correlating the GNSS position with the IMU data, the navigation system compares the position intervals reported by the GNSS subsystem with the relative position determined by directional accelerations and time measured by the IMU relative to the previous GNSS interval. Trusted timing standards are also part of such combined sensor systems, assessing the integrity of PNT signals. By correlating the information provided by the different sensors and an integral atomic clock, all the sensors must agree on the location and timing solution. If one sensor disagrees with the others, that sensor may be considered suspect, either for failure or compromise. While this method is immune to external interference, it is susceptible to position measurement inaccuracies (also known as ‘drift’) proportional to the distance and time traveled. Adding Artificial Intelligence sensor fusion to the system enhances the system’s processing capabilities, primarily in an environment where satellite signals are obstructed or challenged, such as indoors or in urban areas. GPS/INS systems are common in most aviation and naval systems and are ...
  • Integrated Solutions – The Future of NAVWAR Defense Jun 14, 2024Integrated Solutions - The Future of NAVWAR Defense
    Image-Based Navigation Vision technologies promise an alternative for some GNSS-dependent navigation applications, with image-based solutions capable of accurately positioning without reliance on satellite signals. Such a system is the AeroGuardian NOCTA developed by Asio Technologies. As a vision-based system, it provides a jam-proof navigation solution that can operate with or without GNSS input based on visual mapping of the terrain in which it operates. This self-contained system provides the host system with position and navigation data based on a terrain map that any surveillance can prepare means available to the user. It can be integrated with any drone and operate with or without other navigation systems. This combat-tested solution is especially suited for environments where GNSS signals are compromised, jammed, or unavailable. The US company Scientific Systems has developed ImageNav, a non-GPS precision navigation software library that uses inertial measurement information to match EO/IR video images captured by an onboard camera against stored geo-registered digital terrain elevation data (DTED) to determine the precise location of the carrying platform in real-time. ImageNav uses time-synchronized camera imagery up to 1024×1024 pixels in size at up to 30 frames per second. ImageNav can be integrated with Space, Weight, and Power (SWAP) challenged applications such as loitering weapons, launched effects, guided weapons, and UAS, where it can be implemented as a software library, a stand-alone processor board, or a self-contained hardware payload. Artificial Intelligence AI algorithms can ingest data of attack patterns and learn over time, so they become more advanced in protecting PNT systems. By analyzing interference and spoofing attack patterns, AI can help develop predictive models to counteract these threats or dynamically adjust to ensure the integrity of PNT data. For this purpose, the US Department of Homeland Security released the Epsilon algorithm in 2021. Epsilon provides spoofing detection functions to existing receivers as a software ...
  • Understanding Navigation Warfare (NAVWAR) Jun 14, 2024Understanding Navigation Warfare (NAVWAR)
    A comprehensive study on Navigation Warfare (NAVWAR) that delves into navigation technologies, countermeasure techniques, their application in the war in Ukraine, A-PNT ECCM techniques, and future trends.
  • ASCALON Gun Marks New Milestone in Firing Series Jun 10, 2024ASCALON Gun Marks New Milestone in Firing Series
    KNDS recently completed a test firing series with the 140mm ASCALON gun, demonstrating the applicability of the new gun design for current and future main combat systems, including the Main Ground Combat System (MGCS). During the tests series company personnel demonstrated an easy and quick gun caliber change, replacing a 120mm barrel with the 140mm in less than one hour. KNDS presents the ASCALON cannon and its ammunition as a mature solution n. The three-year firing campaign that began in May 2024 has shown the excellent capacities of the ASCALON in the 140 and 120mm barrels, as well as its APFSDS rounds maturity. SInce it began, the system was fired several hundreds of times from gun mounts in 120 and 140mm barrels. These tests are scheduled to continue through 2025. The next important step is firing tests from a Main Battle Tank (MBT) in 2025. ASCALON delivers performance levels that current technologies do not offer while offering a significant growth potential. The system KNDS designed ASCALON with an open architecture to serve as a basis for cooperative development of a combat gun platform within the framework of the Franco-German MGCS program, laying the foundations for the future standard of European tank gun and ammunition.
  • Kongsberg Teams with MBDA, Diehl to Develop a Supersonic Anti-Ship Missile May 13, 2024Kongsberg Teams with MBDA, Diehl to Develop a Supersonic Anti-Ship Missile
    Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace teams with German partners Diehl Defence and MBDA Deutschland to develop the Tyrfing, an advanced Super-Sonic Strike Missile (3SM). The new missile is expected to replace the Naval Strike Missile deployed on Norwegian naval vessels beginning in 2035. Induction with the German Navy is expected to follow. The project became a collaborative program in 2021, with public endorsement by the two governments. Germany is expected to announce its plans of commissioning the new missile this year. Kongsberg’s teaming with two German companies seems to be a step in this direction. The Norwegian government announced this initiative in November 2023, and the industry team essential for the success of this project has now entered a partnership agreement. “I am so impressed with this team’s depth and capabilities. I look forward to cooperating with Diehl and MBDA Deutschland and combining our teams’ knowledge and expertise to develop 3SM for both nations,” said Eirik Lie, President of Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace. This partnership, led by KONGSBERG, combines the strengths of the three companies and brings together decades of missile development experience to create this highly advanced, long-distance, maneuverable supersonic strike missile for Norwegian, German, and Allied customers in the future. The team will work closely with the Norwegian and German Defence Forces and their national research organizations to define and develop a highly advanced long-range strike capability to meet future surface threats. According to Thomas Gottschild, Managing Director of MBDA Deutschland, the importance of stand-off weapons was demonstrated in the past two years and is crucial for credible deterrence and defence. Joining forces between our companies will strengthen the Norwegian, German, and European armed forces, improving the defense of our home nations.” “We will develop a game changer with 3SM that none of us could develop on our own.” Helmut Rauch, CEO of ...
  • X-GUARD RT™ – New Towed Decoy from RAFAEL May 10, 2024X-GUARD RT™ - New Towed Decoy from RAFAEL
    RAFAEL announces the launch of the X-Guard RT, the latest addition to its X-Guard family of reusable towed EW decoys for fighter aircraft, cargo planes, early warning and intelligence platforms, patrol aircraft, special missions platforms, and more. According to a company official, the new towed decoy was developed in response to the lessons learned from recent conflicts, with air forces facing advanced and diverse Integrated Air Defense Systems (IADS) effective over long ranges, lack of intelligence on threats, and extended periods of lacking air dominance. The new towed decoy operates independently of the platform’s ECM system, thus enabling aircraft that previously operated far from perceived threats and, therefore, lacked self-protection to add effective CM using the X-Guard RT towed decoy. “We have overcome the great aero-mechanical challenges of making this unique towed EW system reusable, making it an affordable protection for most platforms.” The X-Guard family boasts several key features enabling unique and effective protection for aerial platforms. As a towed EW decoy retractable during flight, it is reusable and a cost-effective solution that enables users to integrate more advanced techniques. Featuring extremely high transmission power and wide spatial coverage, the X-Guard offers exceptional EW protection capabilities. With minimal limitations on aircraft maneuverability, X-Guard RT supports a broad flight envelope, maintaining operational flexibility without degradation of in-flight performance. Unlike previous generations and EW common decoys that rely on the aircraft’s EW systems for signal receiving and processing and use the decoy to transmit signals remotely of the aircraft, X-Guard RT operates independently, using an Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) for receive and transmit with signal processing on board, without requiring support from the aircraft ECM. Operating across a wide frequency range with advanced Digital Radio Frequency Memory (DRFM) techniques, the decoy can match the transmitted signals to match the hostile radar and mimic ...
  • Elbit Systems Introduces a New Tactical UAS: the Hermes 650 Spark Feb 21, 2024Elbit Systems Introduces a New Tactical UAS: the Hermes 650 Spark
    Elbit Systems has rolled out the Hermes 650 Spark, the latest addition to its Hermes family of Uncrewed Aerial Systems (UAS). Spark is designed to be the contemporary successor to the long-serving Hermes 450, aiming to modernize UAS fleets that currently consist of mixed 450/900 models or are exclusively equipped with the 450 variants.