The drone attack on the Russian Navy's main Black Sea port of Sevastopol on 28 October represents a new phase in the modern drone war. According to Russian MOD, the attack involved nine unmanned aerial vehicles and seven unmanned strike boats. The Russians admit damage to one of their vessels and to one of the port barriers.
General Robotics' new SHARK Remotely Controlled Weapon Station (RCWS) addresses the need for SOF to operate their weapons on small boats, moving at high speed and agility. Designed to be mounted on smaller boats and handle recoil loads with less weight and energy, SHARK is optimized for manned and unmanned fast boats.
Elbit Systems has received a contract valued at $120 million to supply Hermes 900 Maritime Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and training capabilities to the Royal Thai Navy. The contract will be performed over three years.
Among many types of loitering missiles and attack drones displayed by the Houthis at the recent parade in Sanaa was the local version of the Iranian Shahed 136 - the Wa'id, new models of Samad and Qhasef, loitering missiles, Rased weaponized mini-drones, VTOL variant of Mersad-2, and the Masir hexacopter weaponized drone that was also demonstrated in formation flight.
Israel's Air & Space Force (IAF) has recently reactivated the 144th squadron at Hatzor air force base, a new unit destined to operate the Orbiter 4 Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) under a new multi-domain force sharing IAF, ground, and intelligence forces assets. These platforms will provide the aerial layer of Israel's Defense Forces (IDF) 'Storm Clouds' program.
Today, Chinese aerospace company ALIT unveiled a new type of loitering weapon at the Thailand Defense and Security 2022 exhibition. The canister-launched version on show in Bangkok has a larger and heavier warhead. The ALIT display at D&S2022 outlines two versions of the weapon. The FH901 has a takeoff weight of 9 kg and carries a warhead of 3.5 kg.
The Israel Ministry of Defense will begin testing a Medium Robotic Combat Vehicle (M-RCV) developed by the Ministry's Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D), the Tank and APC Directorate, and the Israeli defense industries. The robotic combat vehicle will be unveiled today at Elbit Systems' pavilion at the Eurosatory Defense and Security Exhibition. Field testing are scheduled to begin in 2023, testing the robotic vehicle in representative scenarios.
A new platform developed by Plasan may provide a solution for some of those needs. At Eurosatory 2022 Plasan showcases the All-Terrain Electric Mission Module (ATeMM), which provides an array of services to enhance the autonomy of tactical units, particularly in load carrying, electrical supply, and robotics operations. In fact, ATeMM is positioned to provide a mobility and autonomy ‘multitool’ that comes in handy in numerous use cases.
The Israeli UAV maker Aeronautics is introducing its Orbiter 4 Small Tactical Unmanned Aerial System (STUAS) modified into a Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) platform. The VTOL system comprises a kit that can be added to any Orbiter 4, enabling users to operate the drones without ground support (pneumatic launcher, parachute, and airbags). The VTOL kit includes four electrically driven rotors mounted on booms attached under the wings, which also have batteries to drive those rotors. The new attachment enables users to launch and retrieve the Orbiter 4 with a full payload from any flat surface. The kit can be used with any Orbiter 4, including operational aircraft that would need minor adjustments to the wing.
General Robotics is introducing at Eurosatory 2022 a new version of its PITBULL RCWS equipped with Smart-AI features. With the new AI-driven capabilities, armored vehicles and unmanned platforms substantially improve situational awareness, response rate, and firepower.
Aircraft and helicopters on both sides used flares extensively but lacked the capacity to face the dense MANPADS on long sorties over the enemy area. Some Russian helicopters were also equipped with electro-optic jammer countermeasures, but these did not prevent losses.
Switzerland's defense ministry (ArmaSwiss) has announced that the first two Elbit Systems Hermes 900HFE drones have been delivered to Emmen airfield last week. Two ground stations, communications, logistics, and maintenance equipment were also delivered with the drones. The Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (D-11 and D-14) have already been assembled and they will undergo a functional check before the first flight tests in mid-year.
General Atomics-Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) began the first installation of factory upgrades to a Gray Eagle-Extended Range (GE-ER) Unmanned Aircraft System to enhance its capabilities to support Multi-Domain Operations (MDO). Under the current program, the U.S. Army-funded program includes two aircraft. Flight tests and qualifications will start later this year.
The Directorate of Defense R&D (DDR&D) in the Ministry of Defense together with the US Department of Defense Irregular Warfare Technical Support Directorate (IWTSD) and the Merage Institute, will hold a first-of-its-kind competition – the Mobile Standoff Autonomous Indoor Capabilities Challenge in short: the “MoSAIC”. The competition will incorporate operating commercial robots and drones in an urban setting, in the city of Yeruham, simulating the challenges on the future battlefield.