Bulgaria Defense Update

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  • Israel’s Indoor Surveillance and Attack Drones Jun 19, 2024Israel's Indoor Surveillance and Attack Drones
    Operating drones low above ground and in complex terrain represents unique challenges, as most drone controls are limited to line of sight and uninterrupted satellite-based navigation. To endure in a GNSS-contested environment and operate indoors or underground, standard drones would not operate in such conditions. The drone platforms specially designed for subterranean or indoor environments require unique networking, sensing, navigation, and controls to enable such operations. Since these missions are complex and the drones are small, they are used in mission-specific roles such as autonomous mappers, FPV-operated lead elements, and armed effectors.
  • AFV Situational Awareness in the Urban Battlespace Jun 19, 2024AFV Situational Awareness in the Urban Battlespace
    Armored fighting vehicles face other challenges when operating in urban combat. They are exposed to snipers or anti-tank teams operating from elevated positions on rooftops or accessing underground shafts too close for the crew to respond. In these conditions, technology must augment situational awareness, allowing the crew or defensive systems to focus on the most relevant threat. These capabilities are already operational with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). 360° armor protection is a must, and several companies are addressing this requirement with new protection systems. Active protection systems, like Rafael’s Trophy and Elbit Systems’ Iron-Fist, combine radar and Electro-optical sensors, high-performance processors, and different effectors, from explosively formed projectiles through blasts to lasers to destroy incoming projectiles. The latest enhancements introduced with these systems include dual-sensor capability (radar+EO) and top attack engagements being considered by the developers of both systems. However, APS adds considerable weight to the vehicle and requires a substantial base armor for optimal function. Other systems include passive systems, like the Hedgehog top-side and flexFence counter-RPG armor, added to the base armor. Both are offered by Plasan. These ‘statistical protection’ means can reduce the probability of penetration by up to 80 percent compared to base armor. Another essential is peripheral vision. Unfortunately, transparent armor provides such capabilities at a substantial weight penalty. Nevertheless, modern vehicles require transparent armor as base armor to ensure situational awareness, driving, and crew performance. Such systems are provided by OSG. Imco, a supplier of electrical and electronic systems for AFVs, offers a Situational Awareness Video System (SAVS Ai) that provides 360° surveillance and protection for combat vehicles. and transforms situational awareness and decision-making capabilities. The system integrates cameras, sensors, an advanced video matrix, an AI application for real-time sensor data analysis, and multiple user displays, enabling commanders and crew members to maintain complete situational awareness in all ...
  • Dismounted Situational Awareness in the Urban Battlespace Jun 19, 2024Dismounted Situational Awareness in the Urban Battlespace
    Historically, military forces favored open terrain to avoid the defender’s advantages in urban and complex environments. This article explores the critical importance of advanced situational awareness in urban battlespaces, highlighting several innovations that enable dismounted forces to navigate and respond effectively, ensuring mission success and minimizing collateral damage.
  • BAE Systems Showcases the MCWS Turret on AMPV Jun 17, 2024BAE Systems Showcases the MCWS Turret on AMPV
    BAE Systems’ fourth Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) prototype is being showcased at Eurosatory this week. Configured with a common top plate, also known as the External Mission Equipment Package (ExMEP), the prototype showcases the vehicle’s ability to integrate capabilities and equipment packages internationally. The new turret uses Oshkosh / Rafael MCWS turret selected by the US Army for the Stryker. BAE Systems has also introduced Elbit Systems UT30 gun turret, Patria’s Nemo mortar turret and Moog Reconfigurable Integrated-weapons Platform (RIwP) for the CUAS variant.
  • TDW Expands Counter-mobility Capability with PARM NextGen Jun 17, 2024TDW Expands Counter-mobility Capability with PARM NextGen
    TDW is introducing an improved weapon fitted with an RF datalink, which enables remote control over a longer distance (4 km). The remote control is used to arm or disarm the mine, enabling friendly forces to move along roads that are covered by PARM weapons.
  • RENK Unveils ATREX Hybrid Transmission System Jun 17, 2024RENK Unveils ATREX Hybrid Transmission System
    RENK Group AG unveiled the ATREX transmission system at Eurosatory 2024, designed for main battle tanks. ATREX combines traditional transmission technology with modern innovations to improve fuel efficiency, digitalization, and autonomous driving. Key features include an electro-mechanical steering system, Silent Watch, Silent Manoeuvring, and Sprint Boost for tactical advantages.
  • 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 ...