Israel's Elbit Systems announced yesterday that it was awarded contracts from an Asian country in a total amount of approximately $85 million.
A pilot of the Royal Thai Air Force preparing for a mission in an upgraded F-5T, wearing a DASH helmet. Note the Python IV missile on the wingtip.
Israel’s Elbit Systems announced yesterday that it was awarded contracts from an Asian country in a total amount of approximately $85 million; the majority of the amount will be for an avionic upgrade of F-5 aircraft, to be performed over a three year period. The balance is for the supply of electro-optic and communications systems.
While the name of the customer air force was not mentioned, Asian media sources have indicated the program is a follow-on phase of the F-5E Tigris – the modernized version of the Northrop F-5E operated with 211 squadron of the Royal Thai Air Force. Elbit Systems has already performed a modernization of part of the Thai F-5E fleet, and the current contract is likely to follow-on introducing complimentary capabilities that were not included in the original program that was limited by funding cuts.
“We are proud to have been selected to perform this aircraft upgrade program, building on our vast know-how and experience in F-5 avionics modernization projects.” Bezhalel (Butzi) Machlis, President and CEO of Elbit Systems commented, ”Asia-Pacific is a very important market for Elbit Systems, and we are pleased to be awarded further programs in the region, which programs benefit from the synergies across the various parts of our organization. We have witnessed a growing demand for upgrades of this nature, and we trust that further customers will follow, benefiting from a mature aircraft upgraded with market leading technologies”.
Elbit Systems has performed various F-5 upgrades in the past. The most comprehensive plan is the ongoing F-5EM/FM in Brazil, where 46 aircraft have been upgraded with SELEX Grifo F radars, INS/GPS-based navigation, Python IV and Derby air-to-air missiles, advanced electronic warfare systems, targeting pods etc. The program also extended the aircraft life span for 15 years. Among the avionics upgrades were mission computers, advanced glass cockpits featuring 3-color displays, DASH IV Helmet mounted display sight, weapon delivery and navigation systems, etc.
Under the F-5T Tigris program launched in 2003 Elbit Systems performed upgrades to 12 single seat and two twin-seat F-5E/F fighters. The Thai configuration is similar to the Brazilian, differing in the type of radar used – as the F-5T uses the Israeli Elta ELM2032. The aircraft were also equipped with Rafael’s Python IV missiles and are likely carrying Litening targeting pods on ground attack missions.
RTAF planned to upgrade 31 aircraft operated by 701 and 211 squadrons, but lack of funds reduced the amount to 15. With the introduction of JAS-39 Gripen with 701 squadron, the F-5T now operational only with 211 squadron are to remain in service at RTAF Airbase in Ubon, least until the early 2020.
Thailand is one of the last remaining air forces in Asia operating the F-5 jet fighter. Once considered the mainstay of the South Vietnamese, South Korean, Singapore and Taiwan air forces, these fighters are now being retired, replaced with versions of locally produced fighter/trainers such as AIDC (a locally built F-5 variant) in Taiwan and F/A-50 in South Korea. Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam are also maintaining some F-5Es in storage but the operational capability of these aircraft is unknown. In Singapore, the F-5s were replaced mostly with F-16s and F-15SG, leaving few of the aircraft to be used for operational training.
The Brazilian Air Force has upgraded 46 Tiger II fighters into the F-5EM configuration, armed with Sidewinder and Derby missiles.
This configuration shows the F-5EM armed with Python IV and Derby missiles.
Bell Helicopter and Sikorsky Aircraft displayed at AUSA 2014 full size models of the future rotary wing platforms they are proposing for the US Army.
Bell has unveiled a full scale model of the next generation tilt-rotot – V280 Valor. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update
The main difference between the V-22 and V280 designs is the absence of engine rotation in the Valor, where only the rotors are rotated up or down. The nacelles will be built by IAI, which yesterday has joined the industry team building the future tilt-rotor aircraft. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update:
Bell unveiled here a full-scale model of its V-280 Valor, the next generation in tiltrotor aircraft the US Army is considering as a future UH-60 Black Hawk replacement for the 2030. Larger than the current UH-60 Black Hawk, but smaller than the V-22 Osprey Bell and Boeing have supplied the Marine Corps and SOCOM, V-280 represents a third-generation tiltrotor aircraft designed for the Joint Multi-Role demonstrator and Future Vertical Lift programs.
Unlike the V-22, where the entire engine and rotor are rotated up for takeoff, landing and hovering, the V-280 is designed with rotating rotors, maintaining the two engines in fixed positions on the win tips.
The V-tail showing the V280 team sign. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update
The V-280 Valor will be able to fly twice the range of current helicopters, cruising at 280 knots it will cover a combat range of 500 to 800 nautical miles, enabling ground forces to control much larger areas of operation. The V-280 will be able to fly 14 troop transport missions, medical evacuation, carry supplies and deliver loads more effectively using two sling loads and large six-foot wide doors.
Bell has gathered a team to build and fly test the Valor demonstrator. The company is in the detailed design phase of the V-280’s development, and the aircraft is expected to be ready for flight testing in September 2017.
Along with the assault transport tilt rotor aircraft offered to the Army, the Valor team is also suggesting an attack variant equipped with internally carried missiles, including side launching common launchers. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update
The attack version of the Valor could be deployed with weapons tubes launching sideways or to the rear, similar to aircraft gunships, as well as forward launched guided missiles. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update
The MCT30 turret from Kongsberg mounted on the Bradley Fighting Vehicle. As a remote controlled turret the overhead installation frees much needed space in the protected fighting compartment, while leaving the commander and gunner adequate operating space below. The turret is accessible from the hull and the gun can be reloaded manually if required; the turret could also have a hatch to enable the vehicle commander to lok out if necessary.
The turret mounts the XM-813 automatic gun from ATK, a linkless, automatic dual feed system that can fire two types of rounds. The gun was developed for the Future Combat Systems (FCS) program and was considered for fielding with the GCV. The canon is interchangable with either 30 or 40mm barrels, having only six caliber-specific parts to replace.
While the 30mm family already has four ammunition types – HE-Incindiary, practice, HE with delay/impact fuse and HE airburst with time setting adjustment. In, the 40 mm family has only two – HE/airburst and APFSDS. ATK is in theprocess of migrating all types to both calibers.
The MCT30 turret has also been installed on a Doube V Hull Striker (DVH). It is seen here applied with Tarian anti-RPG nets.
As the US Army is assessing future technologies that could maintain or increase the Brigade Combat Team's (BCT) overmatch, improve operational capability and reducing the logistical tail required for continued operation, BAE Systems presented at AUSA its vision of the Army's future technological thrust
A view from the past, provides a look into the future. BAE Systems developed this 70 ton hybrid-electric powered vehicle for the U.S. Army Ground Combat Vehicle; after the GCV program was cancelled the company has utilized the vehicle to demonstrate how the same platform could turn into a 40 ton combat vehicle, using next generation technologies that are already available today. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update
BAE systems is displaying at AUSA the prototype it has built for the cancelled Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) program few years ago. In its current incarnation as technology demonstrator, this impressive vehicle has reduced weight, trading off the large and heavy armored turret for a surrogate unmanned turret based on the company’s Mk 38 B2 unmanned turret (a U.S. version of Rafael’s Typhoon) augmented with a high power laser weapon. At a weight of about 40 tons the vehicle will be powered by a single 6R 890 turbocharged diesel engine developing over 600 kW of power at 4250 RPM, this engine is charging a high capacity Li-ion battery that has been tested and proven safe and reliable for military use.
BAE systems displayed at AUSA some of the innovations it is recommending the US Army could include in it’s Force 2025 Vision. The platform on display is the vehicle BAE developed for the cancelled US Army Ground Combat Vehicle program. The vehicle on displayed was stripped of its original turret, carrying the Company’s Mk 38 remote weapon station BAE is producing with Israel’s RAFAEL for the U.S. Navy. The white module on the right side of the turret represents a high power laser weapon that can be operated by the vehicle, relying on the vehicle’s powerful hybrid propulsion drive system. The laser unit comes with integral target acquisition and beam director while the turret mounts a 25 chain gun and uses the Toplite EO system for ISR and target acquisition. Photo: Tamir Eshel, Defense-Update
This engine, developed by MTU provides constant charging for the hybrid drive. Two engines were necessary to drive enough power for the 70 ton GCV, but a more modest 49 ton future vehicle will require only one such engine, delivering enough power for propulsion, systems and the laser weapon. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update
This high capacity Lithium ion battery pack is storing the electrical energy to power two drive engines. This power source feeds all electronic systems on board, and it also packs enough energy for bursts to drive the high energy laser weapon. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update
Force 2025 Vision
In 2014 the US Army began the process of development and refinement of the view of how Army forces will be shaped in 2025 and beyond. Entitled Force 2025, the Army is discussing force employment; science and technology and human performance optimization; and force design. In force employment the Army defined how decentralized, distributed, and integrated operations will be conducted 10 years from now.
For the next decade the Army plans to reshape, optimise its combat units into Brigade Combat Team 2025, equipped and trained to increase their expeditionary capability these units will be globally responsive, downsized and manpower and vehicles, these elements will also be tailored to best perform as part of joint task forces in specific areas.
The vehicle is driven by two electrical engines running on AC current provided by the li-ion battery through the distribution unit seen on the right. The advantages of electrical propulsion is there is no need to run the engines when the vehicle is idle, while power bursts are managed through the regulator, when needed for performance, therefore running the diesel charger at optimal speed for maximum fuel economy. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update
Among the contingencies they will be prepared for will be homeland defense, counter-proliferation operations and ability to counter advanced threats.
To meet these goals combat elements of 2025 must maintain overmatch of any opponent, forces should be modernised in mobility, protection and firepower, providing improved lethality, longer range precision and reduced footprint, size and power consumption.
Integration of robotics, particularly in manned-unmanned operations is considered a priority, as also the extension of range, particularly with aviation assets. Regardless of robotics advancements, optimisation of combat systems will also address human performance – in cognitive load engineering and performance enhancement.
Currently, TRADOC is working with Science and Technology stakeholders to identify additional technologies that can mature and be fielded to BCTs by 2025 to set the conditions that will fundamentally change the way the Army fights in the far-term.
Such technologies are assessed by their ability to maintain or increase overmatch, increase the unit’s capability above the current level and improve the unit’s self sustainability in expeditionary deployment, reducing the logistical tail required for continued operation.
This driver’s position displayed at BAE Future Technology Demonstrator for the Army Force 2025 Vision at AUSA 2014 shows the drivers’ display consoles, proving 120 degrees coverage, in addition, live images from side and rear cameras provide 360 vision to the driver and commander. direct vision blocks augment this indirect view with periscope vision. Five blocks are positioned just below the raised hatch line, providing 180 degrees coverage. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update
Visual Profiler, developed by Video Inform and operationally deployed for automatic analysis of aerial images can scan large image databases, real-time or historic, to detect targets of interest. This example shows the systems spotting pick up truck shapes vehicles using automatic detection. The system can further recognize even finer details, such as specific distinguishable details such as color, make, and unique, distinctive characteristics through automatic processing. Photo: Video Inform.
Video Inform is introducing an advanced target detection and acquisition capability at the AUSA 2014 event, unveiling the ‘Visual Profiler’, a cutting-edge cognitive vision technology extracting intelligence information from aerial or satellite imagery. The system can be used as a stand-alone solution or as an add-on to an existing Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and imagery management system.
The Visual Profiler is empowered by a proprietary visual search engine developed by the company, providing automatic detection and profiling of targets from aerial or satellite images in real time. This capability enables the rapid delivery of intelligence information to forces in the field, thus shortening the sensor-to-shooter cycle. Unlimited by the number of target-object definition and profiling objects, the Visual Profiler can be trained to recognize specific vehicles, infrastructure and foundations. A unique interactive and intuitive user feedback mechanism continuously trains and improves the level of precision, further adapting the system for the user’s needs.
“Our Visual Profiler represents a novel approach to image understanding.” said According to Yoram Sagher, CEO, “Based on a unique cognitive vision and profiling methodology, we have tried to imitate the human object recognition process, and to achieve breakthrough performance. The solution provides extremely rapid results,enabling the delivery of intelligence data to the battlefield in real time, thus impacting the outcome while the battle is actually underway.” According to Sagher, the system has been adopted by a leading Air Force, and has received high praise.”
The system has spotted a water tank on a pickup tuck, ready to transport. Although the typical target (water tank) is mounted on roofs, the system can be taught to detect those targets even in non standard situations, thus highlighting anomalies to analysts. Photo: VideoInform (from screen).
The combination of two target types is demonstrated here, indicating specific vehicle types and their cargo.
Roboteam has introduced new systems designed to assist dismounted forces in inspection and security of urban and complex areas, using networked robotic, unmanned and unattended systems.
Roboteam unveiled at AUSA a persistent, unattended surveillance unit that provides 360 degree surveillance of a location of interest, ensuring a site inspected to be safe remained clean of hostile activity. The system integrates multiple sensors of different disciplines, with wireless communications and adequate power to remain persistent over an entire mission duration.
Roboteam has introduced new systems designed to assist dismounted forces in inspection and security of urban and complex areas, using networked robotic, unmanned and unattended systems. In addition the company unveiled the TacSA command and control system it is developing, enabling small units to link multiple sources of video, imagery, situational sensors, intelligence and operational information and share this information accross multiple users in the group.
The system can stream up to 4 video channels simultaneously, providing a complete live picture of the operational area in a server-less system using a distributed network with no single point of failure.
The Tactical Situational Awareness (TacSA) system was developed in partnership with the Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office (CTTSO) for several Department of Justice and Special Operations Forces users, to meet the challenges of reliable tactical situational awareness while connecting and managing multiple dismounted forces, first responders, and systems working in the same area.
TacSA’s capabilities include real-time geo-location tracking of all operators, as well as the accessibility of the program to all users – who can all communicate with each other, and individually view ISR feeds. Users can instantly send on-map annotations, capture and share chats, pictures, and files, as well as navigation and reference points. The system also supports information sharing, including live video feed, to be shared immediately among all users, thus removing communication delays. Tailored for Roboteam’s ROCU 5 personal handheld controller – the TacSA is also configured to operate on other smart platform running Windows and Android operating systems.
Roboteam also displayed this version of MTGR robot adapted to inspect confined spaces in search for IEDs. Photo: Tamir Eshel, Defense-Update.
The TacSA system works on a secure, closed, self-healing, server-less mesh network that is ideal for operating in any environment – from open desert to complex subterranean locations.
According to Shahar Abuhazira, CEO of ROBOTEAM North America, “the unique advantage of the new system is in its delivery of a complete and live picture of the arena – supporting up to four different video channels simultaneously. This capability provides unprecedented situational awareness to forces operating in the arena”.
The TacSA is seen here shows full situational display on a large screen, and a subset or full display shared via wireless radio link with tactical users on a ROCU 5 hand held device. It can also operate on any Android smart device. Photo: Tamir Eshel, Defense-Update
Lightweight, mobile C-RAM radars are providing enhanced situational visibility, force protection to modern tactical forces
RADA’s new MHR radar was deployed operationally during Israel’s recent conflict with Gaza, during Operation Protective Edge.
‘Hybrid Warfare’ insurgency rely on the integration of advanced capabilities (precision effects, command, control and coordination) while negating the military forces’ superiority in Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance. By denying the military the ISR producing target locations for standoff precision attacks, insurgents force a superior military power to strip out of most of its advantages, to fight the insurgents in high attrition, close-in battles, which would take a toll in time, casualties, financial cost and morale.
Facing such hybrid warfare, modern military forces are relying on small and agile elements of military or special forces to carry our the fight. These teams are often providing the coordination and target acquisition elements controlling and guiding powerful, precision effects delivered from stand-off distance by aerial or fire support. When regular combat units that are required to fight in such hybrid warfare they must be equipped with the tactical means improving their capabilities to operate in terms of uncertainty and quickly respond to surprise attacks.
New technologies are key to achieving tactical superiority, by improving force protection, regaining the manoeuvring capability necessary to generate the ‘friction’ that would draw insurgents to respond and fight, thus giving away their main advantage – stealth and surprise. Taking advantage of such ‘friction’ tactics require adequate sensors and intelligence, providing the combat forces at the lowest combat echelons with real-time situational awareness, through the use of advanced sensors, and reliable networking enabling rapid and accurate response to defeat the threats, using smart and precise weapon systems, deployed with the forward most elements and controlled by those units.
Airborne and forward deployed sensors were considered a must for such tactics, but they require complex coordination and assured air supremacy which cannot be guaranteed everywhere. While EO sensors offer an excellent capability detecting visible targets, they are quite limited in persistently covering large areas to provide early warning on incoming attacks. Radars are providing these services much more effectively, but in the past, analog-only radars could carry out those tasks one by one, as often they were tailored for specific tasks.
Air surveillance radars, even those designed to detect and track fast jets or helicopters at low altitude are not well equipped to detect small, slow flying targets such as drones, ultralight aircraft (ULA) or gliders. In contrast, ground surveillance radars, designed to detect personnel or vehicles on the ground are not capable of alerting on enemy direct or indirect fire coming at them. These services are provided by yet another type of radar – Counter-Rocket, Artillery and Mortars (C-RAM) radars, that provide effective early warning from such attacks, but are often quite bulky and heavy, require complex networking to distribute early warning on imminent attacks, and are often useless protecting tactical units attacked from close range by mortars or direct fire.
With digital, phased arrays becoming smaller and lighter, ‘multi-mission’ radars are reaching the field – Elta’s Multi Mission Radar (MMR), Giraffe AMB from SAAB and Northrop Grumman’s G/ATOR are all examples of tactical radars that are powerful and capable of supporting combat forces from a stand-off distance. To be affordable these systems utilise common, commercial off the shelf (COTS) hardware enabling the military to deploy such systems at corps and division level, and in support of contingency operations.
Their multi-mission capability is derived by advanced signal-processing and algorithms enabling automated performance. As relatively large systems, these assets are often deployed on trucks, positioned at stationary sites to support the division area of responsibility.
While those assets are providing essential support for the division level, there is still a need for similar support provided integrally to the tactical level, particularly when operating in complex terrain where line of sight and other obstacle impair the coverage by stand-off sensors. These capabilities are now becoming available, with the appearance of radars for the manoeuvre forces.
Such tactical radars operated as an organic asset with the combat element are required to deliver threat warning in real time, enabling the troops to take cover, evade the attack or respond with effective counterstrike. To support these functions the system should be able to detect direct fire and ballistic threats, calculate the location of the source of fire and projected impact point, determining the relevance to the protected units. These radars are designed to operate on the move, and perform a multitude of missions automatically, exclusively by software control.
Israel’s defense electronics manufacturer RADA has developed a full line of such ‘manoeuvre radars’ comprising of two basic families: the Compact Hemispheric Radars (CHR) and Multi-mission Hemispheric Radars (MHR) Families. As a manoeuvre tactical radar, the CHR can be used for vehicle active protection, while some of the MHR variants provide ground based air defense, supporting VSHORAD missiles, and providing C-RAM early warning for mobile forces. Operating in static deployments MHR provides short range C-RAM alerts, conduct perimeter security applications or be used as a sectorial gap filler. Both families are based on identical, interchangeable subsystems, thus simplifying support and reducing cost.
Employing modern Active Electronically Scanned Array – AESA antennae technology, these radars provide extremely fast volume coverage performing target search, classification and tracking. Innovative angular measurements techniques are used to overcome the small antenna size, along with Pulse-Doppler processing, and digital, adaptive beam forming, enabling a single radar to monitor a wide range of threat velocities.
By electronically stirring multiple beams the radar performs track while scan over a full hemispheric coverage, including very high elevations angles, required for ballistic trajectory calculations of typical RAM targets. It also provides real-time range and angle measurement required to support APS.
These software controlled radars are offering beam forming to control the spatial coverage, order of beams and their waveform, to tailor the radar for multiple missions either as a dedicated system or an ‘all in one’ sensor, interleaving several missions over certain periods of time. Switching between missions can be programmable, predefined, upon real-time events or manual.
AeroVironment, Inc. announced today (NASDAQ:AVAV) the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has selected the company and its industry team to follow its successful phase I concept design effort with a phase II preliminary design for the Tactically Exploited Reconnaissance Node (TERN). The 12-month, $19 million phase II effort seeks to conclude with subscale flight demonstrations prior to a planned phase III award decision.
DARPA and the U.S. Office of Naval Research envision a new concept of operations using smaller ships as mobile launch and recovery sites for medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UAS. Tern aims to make it much easier, quicker and less expensive for the Navy and Marine Corps to deploy persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and strike capabilities almost anywhere in the world.
AeroVironment selected industry partners with uniquely relevant experience and capabilities for the Tern program, including large aircraft avionics, ship integration and propulsion expertise. Advanced technologies form the basis of the team’s unique approach to realizing DARPA’s program objectives.
“Our team represents the best combination of relevant expertise and technology leadership to make Tern a reality,” said Roy Minson, AeroVironment senior vice president and general manager of its UAS business segment. “Our innovative approach to achieving DARPA’s objectives for Tern holds the promise of an entirely new category of unmanned aircraft system that could operate more quickly and effectively by deploying from smaller naval vessels for longer, more distant missions. We look forward to demonstrating this new capability to help protect our naval forces and those of our allies affordably and effectively.”
Polaris Defense is unveiling at AUSA a new all-terrain vehicle developed and produced for SOCOM. The DAGOR offers extreme off-road terrain at full payload. The vehicle curb weight is less than 4,500lbs to maximize aircraft operational range. The width of DAGOR allows rapid loading into the CH-47 Chinook platform without modification and the weight allows it to be sling loaded under the UH-60 Black Hawk.
The DAGOR uses a readily available commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) driveline, controls and components streamlining mechanic and operator training. The diesel/JP8 COTS engine was selected for its combination of power, weight and size. The open design of the cargo bed maximizes loading space, flexibility and access for mission-essential equipment. Photo: Polaris Defense
Polaris Defense, is introducing the DAGOR, a new ultra-light, high mobility vehicle at the upcoming AUSA exhibition in Washington next week. According to Polaris, the vehicle is now in production for several Special Operation Forces (SOF) customers, following a contract award. The DAGOR was designed, tested and moved to production in less than two years. “DAGOR is under contract with elements of U.S. SOCOM and international SOF customers,” said Rich Haddad, Polaris Defense General Manager. The vehicle has completed government durability testing and is certified for CH-47 Chinook Internal Air Transport (IAT), air drop, and UH-60 Black Hawk Sling Load.
“The DAGOR was engineered to meet a very demanding set of light-mobility needs for our customer,” said Jed Leonard, manager of Advanced Mobility Platforms, and Polaris Defense. “It provides the optimal balance of rapid air transportability, payload and advanced mobility. The design offers our customers a modular, light-weight platform to support a variety of expeditionary missions.”
DAGOR can carry 3,250 lbs of payload or a 9-man infantry squad. Photo: Polaris
DAGOR can carry a full 9-man infantry squad at a higher rate of speed over terrain usually traveled on foot. Photo: Polaris
The DAGOR offers extreme off-road terrain at full payload. The vehicle curb weight is less than 4,500lbs to maximize aircraft operational range. The width of DAGOR allows rapid loading into the CH-47 Chinook platform without modification and the weight allows it to be sling loaded under the UH-60 Black Hawk. The vehicle has completed government durability testing and is certified for CH-47 Chinook Internal Air Transport (IAT), air drop, and UH-60 Black Hawk Sling Load.
“DAGOR is larger than our previous offerings like the MRZR and MV850, and represents a step up in size for Polaris and in payload for our customers. DAGOR highlights Polaris Defense’s ability to fill an urgent need, with an affordable purpose-built MILCOTS solution that can be maintained anywhere with a COTS supply chain.”
The purpose-built vehicle is designed with trophy truck-inspired suspension to carry 3,250 lbs of payload or a 9-man infantry squad at a higher rate of speed over terrain usually traveled on foot. This allows the warfighter to move quickly to the objective with mission-critical equipment.
DAGOR’s unique design allows for ease of operation, maintenance and sustainment in support of combat operations. The vehicle uses a readily available commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) driveline, controls and components streamlining mechanic and operator training. The diesel/JP8 COTS engine was selected for its combination of power, weight and size. The open design of the cargo bed maximizes loading space, flexibility and access for mission-essential equipment.
The DAGOR offers extreme off-road terrain at full payload. The vehicle curb weight is less than 4,500lbs to maximize aircraft operational range. Photo: Polaris
Polaris designed the DAGOR to accommodate the cargo bays of the most common tactical air transporters, including the CH-47 Chinook helicopter. Photo: Polaris
The FBI is seeking information about the identity of an English-speaking individual seen in a propaganda video released in September by the group calling itself the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL
The FBI is also seeking information about the identity of an English-speaking individual seen in a propaganda video released in September by the group calling itself the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL.
The threat of U.S. citizens traveling overseas to fight alongside terrorist groups is not new. Two years ago, a Chicago man was imprisoned for planning to travel to Somalia in 2010 to join al Shabaab. Last year, an Albanian man living in Brooklyn was sentenced to 15 years for attempting to travel to Pakistan to engage in violent jihad. Last month, a New York man pled guilty to attempting to travel to Yemen in 2012 to support al Qaeda. On Saturday, a 19-year-old Chicago man was arrested for allegedly attempting to travel overseas to join ISIL.
The outreach campaign also highlighted similarities in foreign traveler recruitment efforts to those employed by gangs
Earlier this year, the FBI’s Minneapolis Division launched a campaign to raise awareness in communities and law enforcement circles about the foreign traveler threat. Minneapolis created a unique tip line and distributed business cards to community leaders asking for information about anyone who might be planning travel—or had already traveled—to a foreign country for armed combat.
The outreach campaign also highlighted similarities in foreign traveler recruitment efforts to those employed by gangs, which adulterate themes like fraternity and a greater purpose to sell themselves to disaffected individuals.
“These homegrown violent extremists are troubled souls who are seeking meaning in some misguided way,” Director Comey said during an interview aired Sunday on the 60 Minutes news program. “And so they come across the propaganda and they become radicalized on their own independent study, and they’re also able to equip themselves with training again on the Internet, and then engage in jihad after emerging from their basement.”
ISIL has released several videos in recent months showing the beheadings of American, French, and English journalists and aid workers. The speaker—and executioner—in those videos has a British accent and authorities have said they now know his identity. The propaganda video highlighted today features a fluent English speaker and appears to be a highly stylized recruitment tool designed to lure Westerners to ISIL’s cause.
The FBI is asking for the public’s help identifying individuals who have traveled – or are planning to travel – overseas to engage in combat alongside terrorist organizations. FBI Director James Comey has said about a dozen Americans are known to be fighting in Syria with ISIL.
“We need the public’s assistance in identifying U.S. persons going to fight overseas with terrorist groups or who are returning home from fighting overseas,” said Michael Steinbach, assistant director of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division.
More specifically, the FBI is seeking information about the identity of an English-speaking individual and others seen in a propaganda video released last month by the group calling itself the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL. The bureau released an edited video clip that includes the speaker’s voice with clear pronunciation and accent in English and Arabic.
In the video, a man whose face is obscured by a mask alternates seamlessly between English and Arabic in pro-ISIL pronouncements intended to appeal to a Western audience. Dressed in desert camouflage and wearing a shoulder holster, the masked man can be seen standing in front of purported prisoners as they dig their own graves and then later presiding over their executions.
The 55-minute video was released on September 19. In releasing a segment from the video, the FBI hopes someone might recognize the man through his voice and appearance. In the segment, the faces of purported prisoners are obscured and their executions are not shown.
“We’re hoping that someone might recognize this individual and provide us with key pieces of information,” Steinbach said. “No piece of information is too small.” The FBI believe the subject in the video has what is believed to be a North American accent.
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