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Russia – Ukraine War 2022 – Air Support Turns to Unmanned Assets

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.

US Army Upgrades Gray Eagle to Support Multi-Domain Operations

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. 

Switzerland Takes Delivery of the First Hermes 900HFE

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.

Rheinmetall Introduces Skyranger 30 HEL – a Hybrid Air Defense Vehicle with Missiles, Gun and Laser

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Rheinmetall Defense has introduced another variant of its Skyranger air defense weapon system, the Skyranger 30 HEL - a mobile, hybrid solution mounting the company's 30mm AHEAD with a laser onboard. As a hybrid solution, the Skyranger 30 HEL is designed to thwart the full range of current and future airborne threats. The interplay of a 30mm automatic cannon, guided missiles, and a high-energy laser (HEL) results in a mix of effectors unique in this combination. The Skyranger HEL was presented in public for the first time at a counter-drone event held last year by the Swiss procurement agency armasuisse in Bure, Switzerland.

Unmanned Turrets for Armored Vehicles

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New Armored Fighting Vehicles (AFV) are equipped with turrets that not only mount the main weapon systems but add many new features, including optronics, battle management, active protection, guided missiles, and drones. Our podcast discusses the trends and future of such systems.

Multi-Drones Provide Situational Air Picture for Joint Multi-Domain Ops

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General Atomics has recently conducted a flight demonstration of two Avenger unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), each equipped with Lockheed Martin’s Legion Pod IRST21, an Infra-Red Search & Track pod designed to detect aerial targets at long range, without using radar.

Israel’s Iron Beam Lasers to Augment Iron Dome in the Lower Tier

Israel's 'Iron Beam' high-power laser air and missile defense system is moving forward, following today's IMOD decision to add hundreds of millions NIS to fund the full-scale development. More investment will be allocated for production and fielding. of the high-power laser system designed to intercept rockets, mortars, and UAVs. According to Rafael's CEO, Maj. Gen. (Res.) Yoav Har-Even, “the ‘Iron Beam’ system, is the most powerful laser system of its kind in the world."

Israeli Drone and Robotics Companies Team to Introduce a Flying EOD Robot

Heven Drones, a fast-growing Israeli drone technology company, has unveiled at ISDEF 2022 an integrated robotic solution combining an aerial multirotor and unmanned ground vehicle for land and air operation. The solution was jointly developed by Heven Drones and Roboteam, an Israeli tactical ground robotic systems provider. The companies began working on the project responding to a specific requirement for defense and homeland security applications raised by a customer. They are now exploring additional use cases for land and air robots to maximize efficiency in other applications.

Iran Unveils a Loitering Torpedo in the Service of the IRGC

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have added a batch of new ‘loitering torpedoes’ developed by Iran’s defense industries. The new weapons were unveiled yesterday during a ceremony at Bandar Abas naval base, a large naval base located at the straits of Hormoz. The new weapon that seems to be a hybrid of unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV) and a guided torpedo, enables the guards to direct covert attacks at enemy naval bases, ships, and offshore facilities.

Drone Developers Invited to Meet the IMOD Urban Indoor Challenge

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.

Gambit – an Air-Launched Drone for Manned-Unmanned Teaming

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), introduced today an 'Autonomous Collaborative Platform' (ACP) called Gambit. “Gambit will usher in a new era, where UAS work collaboratively with manned aircraft to detect, identify and target adversaries at range and scale across the battlespace.” GA-ASI President David R. Alexander said.

Skylock Debuts the Sky Interceptor – Counter-Drone Rocket at UMEX

Israel’s C-UAS expert Skylock has unveiled at the UMEX exhibition in Dubai this week a new rocket-shaped hard-kill drone inhibitor countermeasure called Sky Interceptor, that can disable hostile drones at a range of 1,100 m’. A booster-extended range version can reach up to 3 km.

Drones Weaponised with a Smart Shooter – Killers from Above

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Fire control systems expert SMART SHOOTER, introduced today the SMASH Dragon application for armed drones. The new system employs an advanced remotely controlled robotic weapon payload that fits on different drones or other unmanned aerial platforms. The system successfully completed live firing tests and is currently under advanced stages of development.

US Navy to test powerful, mobile laser weapon against drones

A compact yet powerful laser weapon developed by Raytheon will soon be integrated on a HMMWV, to demonstrate its ability to defeat enemy drones, as part of the enhancement of current US Marine Corps ground-based air-defense capabilities.

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