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N° 44 • March/April 2019

MAGAZINE European Defence Review Land-based medium-range air defence systems Unmanned Air Support for naval Operations A view to naval command and control


D E F E N S E . M O B I L I T Y . S Y S T E M S

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I S S U E N° 44 2019

Publisher: Joseph Roukoz Editor-in-chief: Paolo Valpolini Aviation & Space Editor: David Oliver Naval Editor: Luca Peruzzi European Defence Review (EDR) is published by European Defence Publishing SAS

An operator of the 4th Air Defence Regiment, Italian Army, at work on the console of the SAMP/T. © P. Valpolini

www.edrmagazine.eu

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Land-based medium-range air defence systems

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Latin America: evolving threats and requirements in the land domain

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Unmanned Air Support for Naval Operations

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A view to naval command and control

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Paramount Group’s Global Reach

By Luca Peruzzi

By Paolo Valpolini

By David Oliver

By Luca Peruzzi

By David Oliver

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The OCCAR agency and Eurosam consortium are expected to complete the Preliminary Design Review for key elements of the SAMP/T Block 1 NT (New Technology) medium-range air defense and missile (ADM) system in Q2 2019. © Luca Peruzzi

The Firing Control Unit (FCU) of the SAMP/T system is to be upgraded to cope with new air threats and enhance NATO interoperability. © Paolo Valpolini

Land-based medium-range air defence systems By Luca Peruzzi The proliferation of new combat multirole aircraft equipped with stand-off weapon systems, stealth manned and unmanned platforms and weapon systems, cruise and ballistic missiles, battlefield drones and hybrid threats in a dense electromagnetic jammed environment, pushed a number of nations around the world, from Europe to Middle-East and Asia, to look to new ground-based medium-range air defence and missile (AMD) systems.

The SAMP/T Block 1NT

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n late January 2019, the OCCAR international defense co-operative program managing agency, on behalf of French and Italian MoDs, announced that the Eurosam consortium is expected to complete the Preliminary Design Review for key elements of the SAMP/T Block 1 NT (New Technology) medium-range air defense and missile (ADM) system in Q2 2019. A further development of the Aster 30 missile family of effectors, the Block 1NT is designed to improve the capabilities of both Italian and French

SAMP/T ADM systems to respond to evolving threats, in particular theatre ballistic missiles. Developed and produced by the Eurosam consortium, including Thales and MBDA, the SAMP/T land variant of the FSAF (Famille de missiles SolAir Futurs) ADM family, the first with anti-tactical ballistic missile (ATBM) capabilities developed and produced by the European industry, is in service with the French Air Force and the Italian Army, as well as the Republic of Singapore’s Air Force. At the heart of the FSAF is the Aster 15/30 family of effectors which forms the basis also of EDR | March/April 2019

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The Aster 30 Block 1NT will enable engagement of medium-range ballistic missiles with range of up to 1500 km, which could be equipped with separable warheads. © MBDA

Each of the launching unit of SAMP/T will be able to fire both the Aster 30 Block 1 and Block 1NT munitions in salvo to enhance electronic countermeasures capabilities. © MBDA

the sea-based PAAMS (Principal Anti Air Missile System) in service with French, UK and Italian navies, in addition to other international customers. The SAMP/T missile system has been conceived to provide omni-directional, low-to-medium altitude coverage, multiple and simultaneous engagement against a range of demanding threats, including ballistic missiles. The two European services’ SAMP/T batteries (also called fire units) are based on an engagement and fire control section centred on the Thales Arabel multifunction radar (MRI), with its power-generation module (MGE), the engagement control module (ME), a battery command module (MC) and the launch section. The latter is structured on four launch vehicles (MLT) with 8 ready-to-fire missiles each (the system is capable to manage up to six launchers) and up to two missile-reloading vehicles (MRT) with different high-mobility vehicles. Manned by a 16 operators baseline personnel component, the Italian Army SAMP/T batteries also includes a command module (CM), providing a range of functions, including mission planning, such as the batteries distribution to provide the best air defence coverage, higher-echelon commands and platform interoperability, real-time diagnostics, maintenance and logistic support. 6

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Based on the Thales multifunctional Arabel X-band 360° radar with the latest generation IFF module and counter-jamming capabilities, with a 150 km cued-surveillance coverage, and the capability to simultaneously engage 10 targets with 16 missiles in flight thanks to the uplink radar module, the SAMP/T is equipped with the Aster 30 Block 1, which in addition to 50G+ manoeuvring and well over 100 km range is capable to engage short-range tactical ballistic missiles with a range up to 600 km, information being provided by an external early warning sensor to cue the Arabel organic radar. To further develop the land-based and seabased FSAF/PAAMS versions’ capabilities and provide in-service support, in December 2016, the French, Italian and UK representatives signed an amendment to the Sustainment & Enhancement (S&E) Phase of the FSAF-PAAMS programme, which not only declared the entry of Italy into the development of the ASTER 30 Block 1NT ammunition and the SAMP/T system modernisation programmes, but also integrated all three nations (FR, IT & UK) into the Mid Life Upgrade (MLU) and extension programme for the existing Aster 15 and Aster 30 Munitions. This will primarily increase the capability of the SAMP/T


system and, in the future, of the sea-based PAAMS system against ballistic missile threats, as well as maintain the SAMP/T and PAAMS systems as the leading European medium range surface to air missile systems and anti-tactical ballistic missile capability. After the successful completion of the PDR (Preliminary Design Review) for the SAMP/T Block 1NT system of systems at the end of 2018, OCCAR has launched the PDR of the specific elements of the SAMP/T including the fire control unit (FCU), the Ground Launcher System and the new Aster 30 Block 1NT munition, with the latter already started. The munition development programme is to be completed in order to begin deliveries to France in 2023. The new Aster 30 Block 1NT missile developed by MBDA will have the Ku-band active radar seeker replaced by a new Ka-band seeker being developed by Thales, along with a new onboard mission computer. Thales in cooperation with MBDA, is also responsible for the development of the FCU comprising the C2 Engagement Module and the Arabel radar, which will provide enhanced capabilities against new and evolving threats as well as improved operability with NATO. The SAMP/T modernisation contract doesn’t include enhancements to the Arabel 3D phased array multifunction radar but OCCAR has contracted an initial study within the contract to address the evolution of the radar capability. Both French and Italian MoDs and industries have solutions, including the Thales Ground Fire family and the Leonardo Kronos Grand (Land) HP (High Power). The launcher is also being upgraded to operate the new Aster 30 Block 1NT. The latter retains the same characteristics including mass, length, two-stage propulsion, proximity fuse, blast fragmentation warhead and PIF/PAF divert and attitude control system, of the Aster 30 Block 1. The Ka-band seeker will deliver improved detection range, angular resolution and precision, enabling the Block 1NT interceptor to engage faster, manoeuvring, medium range ballistic missile threats with a range of up to 1500 km and threats with separable warheads. The new munition will provide improved kill probability against longer

range ballistic threats over larger defended areas, as well as improved performances against air breathing and missiles with reduced cross section and higher interception speed. The SAMP/T Block 1NT also includes the development and qualification of a new generation telemetry unit as well as other improvements to the communication and identification enhancements, including latest IFF and datalink 16 overthe horizon capabilities.

EMADS

The MBDA’s CAMM and CAMM ER differs mainly for the length, modified aerodynamics, propulsion package and weight, allowing the use of the same scalable launcher. © MBDA

MBDA’s Enhanced Modular Air Defence Solutions (EMADS) offers land-based forces a rapidly deployable point and area defence system to protect mobile and static high-value assets. Capable to operate as a stand-alone unit or integrated within a battlespace network with third party target information, allowing the system to engage targets that are non-line-ofsight from the local sensors, the EMDAS utilizes the Common Anti-air Modular Missile (CAMM) family of air-defence missiles, including both the shorter-range CAMM and the CAMM ER (Extended Range) munitions. The CAMM family offers operational advantages and reduces procurement, logistic and lifetime management costs compared to different air-defence systems networked solutions. Building on the proven dynamics of the tail-controlled ASRAAM airframe and derived rocket motor propulsion system, the Mach 2.5+ CAMM offers a maximum range in excess of 25 km and uses active radar homing (supported by mid-course guidance updates) to deliver a robust all-weather engagement EDR | March/April 2019

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The MBDA’s CAMM ER features a new more powerful rocket motor developed by Italy’s Avio company, allowing for a 40 km plus range. © Luca Peruzzi

capability. With a 3.2 meters length, a 166 mm diameter and a 99 kg launch weight, the CAMM features a “soft vertical launch”, whereby the missile is ejected “cold” from its launch canister prior to the main motor ignition. A gas-powered piston propels the missile away from the launch canister before thrusting it in the direction of flight when the main rocket motor ignites. The latter feature allows the system to be used in urban settings or woodland clearings with minimum launch signature. It is equipped with a softwaredriven radar seeker, an advanced fusing package giving high probability of kill against a wide set of threats, and a dual-band low-probabilityof-intercept system, which provides two-way communications between the missile and the firing control unit (uplinked messages being sent via a dedicated transmitter group). Allowing for operations with modern 3-D surveillance radars for target indication and intercept point prediction without the need for fire control radars and illuminators, the CAMM is a true 360° air defence system with a high rate of fire against multiple simultaneous targets. Derived from the CAMM, of which it maintains a high communality of components, the CAMM-ER differs for a 8

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tailored aerodynamic configuration and an increased length of 4.2 meters and weight of 160 kg, due to a more potent rocket motor developed and produced by Italy’s Avio company, which provides for a range in excess of 40 km. Both the CAMM and CAMM-ER use the same scalable vertical launcher, eight of which equip each firing unit, allowing for multiple simultaneous engagements with both munitions. The CAMM is already under production and forms the basis of both Land Ceptor and Sea Ceptor air-defence systems for respectively the UK’s British Army and Royal Navy. The Land Ceptor is expected to come into service as part of the wider Sky Sabre air defence system including the Saab Giraffe radar and the Rafael Battlespace Management Command, Control, Compute, Communicate and Inform (BMC4I) system, in the early 2020s. The CAMM-ER has been selected by the Italian MoD as the effector replacement of MBDA’s Aspide SAM for both Italian Air Force’s Spada and Army’s Skyguard GBAD systems, to be equipped respectively with Rheinmetall Italia X-TAR 3 D and Leonardo Kronos 3D land radars. Launched as an MBDA internally funded programme, the development, test, qualification and production programme contract requires only the approval by the Italian Parliament. The Land Ceptor is expected to come into service as part of the wider Sky Sabre air defence system including the Saab Giraffe radar and the Rafael BMC4I system, in the early 2020s. © UK MoD


A Patriot live firing campaign on the Greek test range of Crete. The GBAD system is subjected to a number of upgrading program to keep with evolving operational scenarios and threats. © US DoD

Patriot Raytheon’s Patriot user community has grown to 16 countries in 2018 with the addition of new European customers including Romania, Poland and Sweden. Despite having entered service in 1984, the current configuration is vastly changed and subjected to further hardware and software upgrades to keep the weapon system at the forefront of the air defence arena. To counter the near-term threats, the US Army is in the process of delivering the latest Patriot software build, called Post Deployment Build-8 (PDB-8), having reached initial operational capability in December 2017, to both its units and the worldwide Patriot customer base. The PDB-8 leverages on the latest “Configuration-3+” standard hardware modernization improvements in the radar and battle management command, control, communication, computers, and intelligence (MC4I) areas. A Patriot battery in the latest mentioned standard includes the AN/MPQ65 radar set (RS), the M903 Launch Stations (LSs), the AN/MSQ-104 Engagement Control Station (ECS), and several supporting systems including the communication relay, antenna masts and electric power plant groups. The PDB8 leverages on the new Patriot Modern Man Station (MMS), the Radar Digital Processor (RDP) and the Modern Adjunct Processor (MAP) and addresses previous software releases limitations, introducing advanced electronic counter-counter measures (AECCM), enhancements to IFF mode 5 operations, improvements in upper tier debris mitigation capabilities, improved high altitude

discrimination, Patriot/THAAD/BMD, TADIL-J engagement coordination enhancements, radar loading/false track mitigation improvements and additional capability exploitation of PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancements (MSE) interceptor. The new radar digital processor (RDP) introduces a ruggedized commercial off-the-shelf processor, which adds digital track via missile (TVM) guidance and increases the system reliability with an overall 40% improvement, in addition to life cycle cost savings and growth capability. The Modern Adjunct Processor (MAP) provides 50% additional processing throughput to address the evolving threats, while the Modern Man Station (MMS) enhancement for the Engagement Control Station (ECS) includes the introduction of

The Patriot radar is expected to be replaced with a new generation system under the Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor (LTAMDS) programme launched in November 2018. © US DoD

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entering into service. The US Army has launched the Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor (LTAMDS) programme in November 2018 to procure a new radar capable of increased range and power with 360° simultaneous detection and tracking expected to be requested. Raytheon and Lockheed Martin are among the contenders for a winning bidder decision in 2020 and an initial operational capability in Q4 2022. The Patriot batteries can fire the latest MIM-104 series missiles interceptors including the MIM-104E Patriot Advanced Capability 2 (PAC-2) Guidance Enhanced Missile – Tactical Ballistic Missile (GEM-T), its primary mission being to defeat air-breathing The Patriot can fire both the PAC-2 GEM-T with primary mission to defeat air-breathing targets including cruise missiles, and targets including cruise missiles, and the MIM-104F PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) to the MIM-104F PAC-3 Missile Segment engage ballistic missile threats, the latter here depicted. © JSDF Enhancement (MSE) to engage ballistic two high-resolution colour touchscreen displays missile threats. To keep-to-date the GEM-T with touch panels for each of the operators’ munitions, Raytheon is testing a GaN solid-state stations, significantly improving human machine transmitter that increases reliability and reduces interface and system reliability. Leveraging the missile activation time to seconds. Together new MMS interface is the Warfighter Machine with Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, Interface (WMI), which represents a huge Raytheon is also offering the SkyCeptor as a revolution compared to older 2D monochrome lower cost munition to fill the low-end of the interface. The new interface displays the air-defence capability spectrum. The SkyCeptor operating environment in a 3D image that can be is based on the Stunner interceptor used in the rapidly reconfigured and manipulated to display Israeli David’s Sling system, also jointly developed required information for the operator, improving by the two companies. situation awareness and reducing his response time. The WMI is to be fielded from mid-2020 to Falcon US systems and is being discussed with different During IDEX/NAVDEX 2019, Lockheed Martin, international customers. Raytheon and the US Diehl and Saab unveiled a collaboration on the Army have worked on, and introduced in limited new Falcon ground-based air defence (GBAD) numbers, the Dismounted Patriot Information Cosystem. Presented as a system providing short and ordination Central (D-PICC) in 2017. The current medium-range air protection against current and ICC which directs the battery-level ECS station emerging threats, the Falcon integrates Diehl’s identification and engagement activity has a 40 km range Infra-Red Imaging (IIR) System Tail/ large footprint being based on two-trucks, which Thrust Vector-Controlled (IRIS-T) SLM interceptor reduces its deployability. The D-PICC comprises and vertical launcher, Saab’s 360-degree seven flight cases which can be packed in a rotating AESA X-band Giraffe 4A radar through standard quarter-ton tactical utility vehicle. Lockheed Martin’s flexible SkyKeeper command However, the most important improvement and control battle manager (CCBM). Falcon’s to be introduced in the future is a new 360° open architecture allows the system to easily AESA radar to replace the current with limited be integrated into any air operations center. coverage, equipping Patriot batteries since its 10

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Lockheed Martin, Diehl and Saab companies unveiled a collaboration on the new Falcon ground-based air defence (GBAD) system during IDEX/ NADEX 2019. © Luca Peruzzi

The Falcon integrates Diehl’s 40 km-range InfraRed Imaging (IIR) IRIS-T SLM interceptor and vertical launcher, Saab’s 360° rotating AESA X-band Giraffe 4A radar and Lockheed Martin’s flexible SkyKeeper command and control battle manager (CCBM). © Luca Peruzzi

According to initial information released by the industrial team, the baseline battery is made of a Lockheed Martin-developed SkyKeeper CCBM, a Saab’s Giraffe 4A, and three launcher units, all installed on high-mobility trucks. Each vertical launcher unit is equipped with eight Diehl IRIS-T SLM missile canisters. However, the SkyKeeper CCBM can control more launchers. The Falcon is capable to track over 800 targets and prosecute eight simultaneous omnidirectional engagements per launcher, for a total of 24 targets. The Diehl IRIS-T SLM is a highly maneuverable interceptor fired from a 360-degree vertical launcher with the ability to engage multiple targets simultaneously in all weather conditions even at short distance (less than 1 km according to the industrial team). The Saab Giraffe 4A AESA radar offers high discrimination capabilities and leverages gallium nitrate (GaN) technology to detect and track both fixed and rotary-wing aircraft and drones, while simultaneously featuring an Automatic Sense & Warn functionality. Lockheed Martin’s SkyKeeper CCBM gives commanders unparalleled situational awareness with real-time early warning of incoming threats and optimized engagement solutions for critical decision making, the industrial team said. The Falcon is being promoted in the UAE to replace the Hawk GBAD system as well as in the Middle East and European region.

Land-based Barak 8 AMD In September 2017, the Indian state-owned Bharat Dynamics Limited company received a contract from the Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to supply the MR-SAM (Medium-Range Surface-to-Air Missile) to the Indian Army, in partnership with other state-owned and private defence Indian companies. This follows the Indian DRDO and Israeli’s company Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) joint development contract signed in 2007 for a Long-Range Surface to Air Missile (LRSAM) system to-day known as Barak 8, for the Indian and Israeli Navy, and the 2009 acquisition contract with IAI for both a naval and ground-based longrange air and missile defence (AMD) system, the latter indicated as the medium-range version or MR-SAM. IAI describes the Barak 8 AMD, as an advanced all-weather day/night system capable of multiple simultaneous engagements in complex scenarios, providing a 360-degrees defence against a wide variety of airborne platforms and munitions from short to medium range. The landbased version is centred on the naval Barak 8 AMD system which was described as including a unique battle management, command, control, EDR | March/April 2019

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The IAI/DRDO developed MR-SAM GBAD system fire unit is based on a compact but advanced combat management system, launchers with 8 vertical cells capable of single and salvo fire modes, the multifunction Elta LB-MF-STAR EL/M-2248 radar and missiles re-loaders. © IAI

communication and intelligence centre (BMC4I), a missile interceptor and a Land-Based MultiFunction Surveillance, Track & Guidance Radar (LB-MF-STAR). Developed in collaboration with Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, the Barak 8 interceptor missile is vertically launched

During the boost and mid-course guidance phases, the MR-SAM will use an integral two-way data link to receive guidance cues from the multifunction radar and provides kill assessment, while in the terminal phase it is guided by an active phased-array radar. The MR-SAM is expected to be delivered from 2020. © Paolo Valpolini

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from a mobile ground launcher and equipped with a dual pulsed propulsion system, while its advanced seeker provides all-weather, day/ night engagements in complex saturation scenarios. The AESA LB-MF-STAR EL/M-2248 radar, produced by ELTA Systems, IAI’s group and wholly owned subsidiary, would support air defence missions and guide AMD weapon systems. Additional requirements include the capability to deliver an accurate, high quality arena situation picture and extract low radar cross-section (RCS) targets even in the toughest environmental conditions. According to released images, each fire unit, based on high-mobility vehicles, comes with a compact but advanced combat management system, three launchers with 8 vertical cells capable of single and salvo fire modes, the multifunction radar, missiles re-loaders and mobile power suppliers. With a reported range out to 70 km, the MR-SAM high agility will be maintained through a tungsten jetvane system for thrust vector control provided as the dual-pulse rocket motor system by Indian DRDO. Electronics and other essential components are however provided by Israeli and Indian companies. During the boost and midcourse guidance phases, the MR-SAM will use an integral two-way data link to receive guidance cues from the multifunction radar and provides kill assessment, while in the terminal phase it is guided by an advanced system based on an active phased-array radar. The MR-SAM is expected to be delivered from 2020.


In service or ordered by 10 nations, the NASAMS is offered with the Extended Range (ER) version of the Raytheon AIM120 missile, pushing the AMD capabilities in the medium-range segment. © Kongsberg

NASAMS Although the Kongsberg/Raytheon NASAMS (National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System) has gained significant export success on the international market with nine countries including Australia, Finland, Indonesia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Oman, Spain, the United States and India in addition to Norway, having selected or deployed the system in the current configuration using the surface-launched version of the Raytheon AIM-120 missile, the NASAMS is also being offered with the Extended Range (ER) version of the same missile, pushing the AMD capabilities in the medium-range segment. Although designed as a complementary surface-launched interceptor for NASAMS, the AMRAAM-ER

marries the front end (radar homing section and warhead) of an AIM-120C-7 AMRAAM with the back end (rocket motor and control section) of the RIM-162 ESSM. According to Raytheon, the AMRAAM-ER cinematic improvement provides approximately a 50% greater range, and approximately a 70% increased altitude over the AIM-120, along with a higher peak velocity and expanded “no escape” zone. The industrial team has successfully demonstrated the AMRAAM-ER capabilities and integration with the NASAMS (requiring canister, missile launcher and minor modifications at the missile interface unit, Fire Distribution Centre) in a live firing campaign in 2016, offering so-far the system on the international market.

Designed as a complementary surface-launched interceptor for NASAMS, the AMRAAM-ER marries the front end (radar homing section and warhead) of an AIM-120C-7 AMRAAM with the back end (rocket motor and control section) of the RIM-162 ESSM. © Raytheon

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Brazil acquired surplus Leopard 1A1 MBTs in the late 1990s and A5 models in the mid-2000’s; rumours of the possible acquisition of more modern tanks circulated in early 2019. Š Brazilian Army

Latin America: evolving threats and requirements in the land domain By Paolo Valpolini While inter-nation tensions in Latin America are probably at a low, with some exceptions, the nations of that continent face other types of violence, usually inducted by illegal trafficking, mostly drugs. Tension also comes from deep inequalities in the societies, which lead to the spread of riots and disorders. The changing of political leadership in some of the countries, notably Brazil, may lead to increased internal tensions, while in Colombia the settlement of the previous confrontation between the FARC organised terrorist formation and the past government might become weaker.

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quipping Latin American land forces must thus consider all this, as they are often called to deal with drug trafficking issues as well as with public order ones, while a level of conventional military capability has to be maintained to face both guerrilla or conventional type threats. Moreover, for a matter of national prestige, many of the region’s nations provide contingents to United Nation missions, the one in Haiti being just one example, thus

equipment fitted for that type of activity must also be part of their inventories. Armoured vehicles, from main battle tanks to wheeled armoured infantry fighting vehicles, down to light armoured vehicles with a good degree of antimine/anti-IED protection are needed, indirect fire being also high on the whish list of some countries. While in the past some nations had local producers capable to fulfil

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The M113 is the tracked APC in service with Brazil; of the over 500 vehicles more than two thirds were upgraded to the M113BR standard. © Brazilian Army

their needs in terms of armoured vehicles of all types, nowadays that capacity has been reduced, as the reduced tension among nations, which led to the need of a reduced number of vehicles especially of some types, does not make it cost effective to develop local solutions. That said, cooperation with foreign OEMs led to creating local production facilities capable to produce or assemble co-designed or foreign designed vehicles, as well as providing MRO services. Even with a deep financial crisis hitting the country, Brazil remains the top defence spender among Latin American countries. The Exército Brasileiro is definitely one of those very much involved in public order duties, operations known as GLO (Garantia da Lei e da Ordem); assets In the mid-1990’s Brazil exploited the end of the Cold War to acquire second-hand MBTs from the USA, and has now in line around 90 M60A3 tanks. © Brazilian Army

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deployed vary very much according to the type of threat, and range from unarmoured jeeps to wheeled or tracked armoured vehicles. Iveco do Brasil is busy in producing the Guarani 6x6, also known as VBTP-MR (Viatura Blindada Transporte de Pessoal - Média de Rodas). The plan is to produce 1,033 vehicles in APC and IFV versions, 35 fitted with Elbit Systems UT30 (although the latest Mk2 version might be adopted on most of those vehicles), 275 with the Remax RCWS produced by Ares of Brazil, and 723 fitted with Platt’s MR550 Bi-Metal Shielded Ring Mount. The remaining 547 will be split among Command Post (150), Communications (76), Mortar Carrier (127), Ambulance (190) and NBC reconnaissance (4) versions. Originally the target was for 2,044 vehicles, however due to financial constraints the An infantry company equipped with the Guarani 6x6 at the end of an exercise; nearly 350 vehicles have been delivered, yearly production being between 40 and 60 vehicles. © Brazilian Army


Brazilian Army Logistic Command signed in 2017 a framework contract for the aforementioned 1,580 VBBT-MR, worth around 6 billion Reais, firm orders having already overcome the 400 mark. Some 340 Guarani have already been delivered, production rate being between 40 and 60 per year, deliveries ending by 2035, and have seen action in some GLO operations. The same applies to the M113 tracked APCs, a first batch of 150 followed by a second of 236 having been upgraded to the M113AQ2 Mk1 standard at the 5th Army Depot in Curitiba with the support of BAE Systems. Brazil is also receiving surplus materiel from the United States, the package including 12 M113A2 and four M88A1 recovery vehicles as well as 34 M577A2 command posts vehicles.

with a 105 mm gun, aimed at replacing the EE-9 Cascavel 6x6, the Guarani being considered the replacement for the EE-11 Urutu 6x6. An 8x8 version of the Guarani has been considered, but apparently the programme is on hold; Brazil asked a quotation for a simplified Centauro 2 armed with the 105 mm gun and fitted with Elbit Systems sensors, but nothing materialised so far. A study on a possible upgrade of the EE-9 was launched, announced in Army Bulletin n.48 dated 1st December 2017, aiming at delaying the acquisition of an 8x8. Requirements included the replacement of the whole powerpack, brake, cooling, pneumatic and electric systems; the turret must be fitted with automated functions and with night vision systems, the electric system allowing to operate the turret and armament even with the engine off. A prototype has not appeared Besides those established programmes, two yet; which decisions will be taken by the new major might emerge soon. One has been around Government are still to be seen. Remaining in for some time, the requirement being for an the wheeled vehicles field, the Brazilian Army 8x8 armoured vehicle fitted with a turret armed requirement for a light 4x4 armoured vehicle was to be fulfilled by Iveco DV following the selection of the The Brazilian Army has launched a plan to modernise its field artillery, LMV; an order for a first batch M109A5 having been donated by the US while other SP howitzers of the of 186 vehicles, 154 of them to same type have been upgraded by BAE Systems to the A5+ configuration. Š Photo Brazilian Army be assembled in Brazil, should be the precursor of further batches leading up to the 1,500 required vehicles, however the signature has not yet materialised. In the mean time Brazil is receiving a small batch of surplus Italian Army LMVs following an agreement with the Agenzia Industrie Difesa. These vehicles, a few dozen, are taken from the refurbishment Brazilian Astros rocket launcher programme launched by the pictured during firing; the recent Italian Army to bring back to Astros II Mk3M can used guided rockets as well as the AV-TM 300 full capability its Lince 4x4 tactical missile. Š Brazilian Army heavily worn out in overseas deployments, vehicles of the very first versions seeing some mechanical items replaced by those adopted in the Lince 1A version. Brazilian security forces seem also interested

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by Iveco’s 4x4 vehicle, however only for a small number of them. Moving to heavier vehicles, the Brazilian Army currently fields two types of main battle tanks, both armed with the 105 mm rifled gun, the Leopard 1, in the A1 (126) and A5 (220) versions, and some 91 M60A3 TTS. In early 2019 a rumour came from the Brazilian military about a bid for the acquisition of a new MBT. According to information available the US is offering 130 M1 Abrams; these are the very first Abrams deployed by the US Army, the first reached Europe in 1983, and are fitted with L7 105 mm rifled gun, which would allow Brazil to maintain the same calibre. The other potential contender is the German Leopard 2, the version depending on the budget available. While the US proposal is for tanks mothballed since the late 1980s, that coming from Germany, even looking at second hand vehicles, remains for a more modern tank, armed with a 120 mm smoothbore gun, a good point in terms of penetration but a minus in terms of standardisation, as it would oblige Brazil to shift to a wholly new calibre. How much new contenders might joint the fray remains to be seen. One of KMW’s strong points is the presence of KMW do Brazil, the facility created by the German company to ensure MRO services both to its Leopard 1 MBTs and Gepard artillery air-defence self-propelled guns. The Brazilian Army is also involved in a complete reshuffling of its artillery systems, under the SAC (Sistema de Artilharia de Campana)

programme. According to an Army document, the two Armoured Brigade self-propelled artillery battalions will receive each 16 M109A5+ BR; compared to the A5 version these will be fitted with a muzzle velocity radar, a remotely actuated travel lock, a Kearfott inertial and GPS navigation systems, a digital fire direction system, digital radios and a new intercom. The upgrade is being done by BAE Systems in the USA at its Anniston and York facilities; delivery was scheduled for March 2019, but it may move to the right by two-three months. The howitzers will be fitted with the Gênesis V digital field artillery system, developed by Imbel, which will be installed on all Brazilian Army artillery systems. As for divisional artillery battalions, these will field M109A5s, the USA having donated 60 such systems, the first firings in Brasilian hands having taken place in April 2018, as well as 40 M992A2 Field Artillery Ammunition Support Vehicles, all undergoing a thorough maintenance cycle at the 5th Army Depot in Curitiba. The artillery modernisation programme also includes the replacement of towed 105 and 155 mm artillery systems currently in service; although no firm decisions seems to have been taken, rumours about the adoption of US surplus M198 155/39 mm and L118/119 105 mm towed howitzers have been around. This does not however exclude other possible choices, such as that of the M-71 from Elbit, another 39 calibre howitzer, the election of President Bolsonaro having led to a considerable rapprochement between Brasilia and Tel Aviv. Brazil is also upgrading its artillery rocket assets

This picture shows Colombian LAV III 8x8 armoured personnel carriers on the move; known as Gladiators, these vehicles are used both for national duties as well as in UN deployments. © Photo Colombian Army

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under the Astros 2020 programme, armoured cabs being added as well as new C4I systems, the new Astros II Mk3M being able to employ the AV-SS 40G guided rocket and the AV-TM 300 tactical missile developed by Avibras. Second in terms of defence spending in the subcontinent, Colombia is not only developing its military apparatus but is also strongly developing its defence industry, although most in the naval and aviation fields. Involved in the recent past in a long war against the FARC, using anti-guerrilla tactics, the Colombian Army is definitely not based on heavy armour, its most modern armoured vehicles being the 50 LAV III acquired from GDLS, known as Gladiator, EE-9 Cascavels of Brazilian origin providing some direct fire support with their 90 mm gun. The only tracked APC currently in service is the M113, while the E-11 Urutu operates together with the Cascavel. Textron Commandos upgrade is considered, a new turret known as T30 Myolnir, armed with a 30 mm Mk 44 Bushmaster and Spike missiles being under development by Thor of Colombia to increase their effectiveness. This said, considering the tension in the area and the equipment in service with the potential enemy, Venezuela, which in the recent past acquired mostly from Russia a considerable amount of modern heavy assets, Bogota is considering the acquisition of main battle tanks, tracked infantry fighting vehicles and related support vehicles, although no firm requirements have materialised yet. The same is true for air defence as well as for self-propelled artillery, a wheeled solution being among possible choices, Nexter looking with interest to this possible bid with its Caesar, competitors being possibly coming from Israel. Beside the need to secure its border with Venezuela, the Colombian Army remains committed in the control of the national territory as well as in contributing to UN missions. The increasing role of the military in the Venezuelan society, linked to the hardening of the Maduro leadership against increasing opposition, led to considerable defence spending mostly in Russia, western equipment acquired in the previous

century being slowly phased out. This is true both for tanks, armoured vehicles and artillery. While writing this article the situation in the country is tense, with the leader of the legislature, Juan Guaidó, declaring himself acting president, while Maduro is refusing international aid, the border with Brazil having been closed in mid February while the President is considering closing also that with Colombia. How the situation will evolve will dictate the future of the Venezuelan Armed Forces, and of its land component, which has however received in the recent past sufficient assets to be well equipped for the coming years, independently from what will happen at the political level. Hit by a deep financial crisis around the turn of the millennium, Argentina’s military suffered the consequent lack of funding, which did not allow not only replacing ageing equipment but even upgrading or maintaining it at a proper level. In the mid 2010 the country seemed to recover, however a further loss of value of the Argentinean Peso in mid 2018, marking a further crisis, led the government to launch drastic cuts in public spending.

An Oto Melara Mod.56 105/14 pack howitzer is readied by its crew; Argentina’s only self-propelled systems are mortars and rocket launchers. © Argentinean Army

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some upgrade, all those vehicles having been developed with Germany and based on Marder automotive components. Other systems such as the SK-105 Kürassier tank destroyer, brought to the A2 standard, are still in service, while the main APC in use is the M113 in the A2 version, together with specialised Command Post and Carrier versions.

A battery of Citer L33 howitzers ready to fire; locally developed and built in the mid 1970’s this 155/33 mm gun should have been replaced by a 45 calibre artillery system which has been however produced in small numbers. © Argentinean Army

How much this new situation will allow the Army to carry out any of the planned programmes remains to be seen. The main one was aimed at revamping the TAM medium tank operational capabilities. A prototype was shown in early 2016; known as TAM 2IP, the upgrade was provided by Elbit Systems and then Israel Military Industries, the latter being now IMI Systems and having been taken over by Elbit Systems itself, and included an add-on armour kit, a new fire control system and new sights. A previous upgrade programme to the TAM 2C standard was suspended for financial reasons, and to date the new programme has not yet started. It should be carried out on about one third of the 230 TAMs, while some more 160 VCTP infantry fighting vehicles also need

One of the most widespread armoured personnel carriers, the ubiquitous M113, is in service in numbers in the Argentinean Army, which mechanised infantry also fields the VCTP, the IFV derivative of the TAM. © Argentinean Army

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As for wheeled armoured vehicles, Argentina acquired 4 Norinco WZ-551 6x6 APCs to be used in Haiti as part of its national contingent; although their performances were not fully satisfying, in 2015 the Argentinean MoD finalised

A column of SK105A2 Kurassier; this tank destroyer of Austrian origin operates alongside the TAM, the medium tank derived from the German Marder chassis, which awaits to be submitted to an upgrade programme. © Argentinean Army

an order with Norinco of China for 110 VN 1 8x8 Amphibious armoured vehicles to be armed with a 12.7 mm machine gun. These were to be assembled under license by Tandanor shipyards, however the contract was never activated due to the lack of funds. The acquisition of those 8x8 vehicles was launched in order to form an infantry mechanised unit based on wheels that would take part in the “Cruz del Sur” combined peace force with Chile, the latter having in service the Piranha 8x8. If and when the acquisition of the VN 1 will take place remains a question mark. In the end, Argentina acquisitions in the recent past were limited to some small calibre weapons, Carl Gustaf recoilless guns, 77 such systems having been acquired in late 2017, and logistic vehicles, apart from some systems, such as the 18 RBS 70 acquired from Saab to improve the air defence coverage of the G20 meeting that took place in Buenos Aires on 30 November-1 December 2018, China having donated 4 Dongfeng CSK131 light protected vehicles and some other equipment to


Chile is definitely the Latin American nation which fields the most modern tanks, although their Leopard 2A4 might soon be submitted to an update programme. © Chilean Army

improve the meeting security. The acquisition of a new assault rifle might also have been shelved, the units currently receiving modernised FN FALs, although only a portion of the existing rifles will be upgraded.

Leopard 2. As for wheeled armoured vehicles, Chile built in the 1980s under license Piranhas in the 6x6 and 8x8 configurations. For over 10 years a plan for acquiring some 300 add-on vehicles has been postponed, the requirement remaining; according to Chilean military sources different options are being considered, either acquiring new vehicles, the Brazilian VBTP-MR Guarani being a possible solution, or looking at the second-hand market, numerous Piranha being available. Similar vehicles might also be needed by the Cuerpo de Infantería de Marina, the Naval Infantry, which also lacks amphibious tracked A Chilean Army Marder pictured during a parade; Chile acquired numerous second-hand tanks, IFVs and APCs from Central European countries at the end of the Cold War. © Chilean Army

Among Latin America countries Chile is definitely the one that took advantage the most of the end of the Cold War in Europe that led many nations to make a first cut in their armour inventory following the signature of the CFE (Conventional armed Forces in Europe) treaty, and then to further reduce their tanks and armoured formations, freeing numerous vehicles on the second-hand market. The acquisition of MBTs, first Leopard

The Guarani in action with the Brazilian Army; the vehicle is now fully operational and is being used by numerous units. © Brazilian Army

1A5s and then Leopard 2A4s, from Germany, and of IFVs from Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium, respectively Marder 1A3s and AIFVs/ YPR-765s, led the Chilean Army to switch from wheels to tracks. As these vehicles are ageing, upgrade programmes are envisaged, Rheinmetall and RUAG being the possible contenders for the

vehicles to carry out tactical landing operations. Until now the Navy invested most of its funds in purely naval issues, its Infantry still awaiting to improve its equipment, its vehicles inventory being mostly unarmoured, with the exception of some ageing Scorpions tracked reconnaissance vehicles of British origin. As for artillery, the Army fields modern tracked self-propelled artillery with 155/39 mm ordnance and modernised rocket launchers of Israeli origin, as towed artillery of the same calibre. As for 105 mm artillery, the Army is equipped with old M101 howitzers of US origin and Mod.56 105/14 pack howitzers acquired in Italy; these are provided to light formations, but it is not clear how much modernising light artillery is a priority for the Chilean Army. On the other hand the Naval Infantry recently acquired 16 South Korean KH-178 105/38 mm guns, its indirect fire capability needs being thus satisfied. EDR | March/April 2019

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A LAV II belonging to the Peruvian Naval Infantry ready to undergo a live firing exercise; the Peruvian Army is currently looking for an 8x8 vehicle, budget considerations being the issue that will lead the choice. Š Peruvian Army

With the type of threat considerably modified, its main effort being now supporting the fight against drug smuggling and potential terrorist threats, as well as supporting the population in case of national emergencies, in the recent past the Peruvian Army has invested mostly in unprotected mobility assets, such as 8x8 trucks and 4x4 utility vehicles. Its armoured inventory is mostly made of tanks and APCs dating from the 1960s, however there is apparently no major push for upgrading or replacing them, the same seeming true for its artillery which is also quite old. EDR Magazine understands that a requirement for a low tier 8x8 vehicle was put

The tracked forces of the Bolivian Army field the Kurassier tank destroyer of Austrian origin and the M113 armoured personnel carrier. Š Bolivian Army

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forward by the Army, the Naval Infantry having acquired 32 General Dynamics Land Systems LAV II 8x8 in 2015. According to information available the Army is looking for a 20+ tonnes vehicle, the Pandur 8x8 built in the Czech Republic and the first generation Patria AMV being apparently two of the contenders, other companies being ready to join, a LAV II option allowing to have common logistics with the Naval Infantry. A draft requirement was provided but no RfP has yet been issued. As for missions and recent investments, considerations are similar for the Bolivian Army, which recent adds-on have been provided by China as military aid packages falling under a technical-military cooperation agreement signed between the two countries in 2011, and revamped in 2016 following the visit of Bolivian President to Beijing. Among the systems received were 10 6.5 tonnes Tiger 4x4 light armoured vehicles, capable to carry a two-man crew and eight dismounts, which can be used either for patrol duties in country or to equip Bolivian contingents engaged in UN operations. Ecuador mostly focused its acquisitions on Air Force and Navy assets, and even those of the Army were mostly aimed at improving helicopter capabilities. Following the acquisition of Leopard


Bolivian EE-9 Cascavel on the move; these are used by reconnaissance forces. Bolivia is mostly focusing on counter-narcotics, counter-terrorism and relief operations. © Bolivian Army

1 tanks from Chile in the late 2000s, in the mid 2010s it acquired a package of equipment from China, mostly logistic vehicles. Its personnel carriers are ageing as well as its artillery, and the mix of small numbers of different types from different sources does not help logistics. How much the decreasing defence spending will allow modernising land forces remains to be seen. The awaited delivery of 25 M41s of US origin from Brazil says all about the current status of the small Uruguayan Army, as these are replacing M24 Chaffee still in service, 1950s equipment replacing WW II tanks. Most of the equipment in service dates from the 1950-60s, the exception being the Piranha 6x6 vehicles, of which over 100 are in service, mostly used by Uruguayan contingents serving with the United Nations.

The situation in Paraguay is quite similar, its inventory also being outdated, the upgrade of EE-11 Urutu APCs and EE-9 Cascavel armoured cars planned for the late 2000s having been postponed due to lack of financial resources. The Paraguayan Army looks with interest to the Brazilian Guarani 6x6, but here too it has to overcome the economic hurdle. Beside its involvement in UN missions, Paraguay must also deal with the internal threat represented by the EPP (Ejército del Pueblo Paraguayo, the Paraguayan People’s Army), a counterinsurgency fight being on since 2005 mainly in northeastern Paraguay along the border with Brazil. As for the remaining nations of the Latin American sub-continent their military relevance is scarce as they maintain mostly small defence forces.

The EE-11 Urutu 6x6 armoured personnel carrier is still in use in the Brazilian Army, awaiting to be replaced by the Guarani. © Brazilian Army

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Unmanned Air Support for Naval Operations By David Oliver

A US Navy unmanned MQ-8B Fire Scout on board the littoral combat ship USS Coronado patrolling the South China Sea. Š US Navy

While land-based unmanned aerial systems (UAS) have been used in operations since the Vietnam War, it is only recently that ship-based UAS have been accepted as an essential force multiplying for naval forces.

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he United States Navy took the lead when it selected the Northrop Grumman Fire Scout as the winner of its VTOL Tactical UAV competition in 2000. Based on a modified Schweizer 333 light helicopter airframe, the protracted development of the initial RQ-8A Fire Scout for the US Navy led to an enhanced version with a four-blade rotor, and a payload of FLIR EO/IR camera / laser designator and targeting system, Coastal

Battlefield Mine and reconnaissance System mine detector and armed with Hellfire missiles. The US Navy had a requirement for 36 air vehicles but it was not until 2012 that the US Navy MQ-9B was deployed operationally. However, due to performance limits, the US Navy’s focus has shifted to the development of the MQ-8C based on the larger Bell 407 single-turbine light helicopter. EDR | March/April 2019

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The Bell 407-based Northrop Grumman unmanned MQ-8C Fire Scout now entering service with the US Navy. © US Navy

Northrop Grumman will build five MQ-8C Fire Scouts in addition to 14 on order for operation from destroyers and other surface warships under the terms of a $55.1 million US Navy contract announced on 30 January 2019. The MQ-8C will complement the manned MH-60 helicopter by extending the range and endurance of ship-based operations. It will provide situational awareness and precision target support with its ability to detect, identify, track, and potentially engage threats at extended ranges while supporting maritime requirements across the range of military operations. The MQ-8C has and endurance of 8 hours on station, a range of 150 nautical miles with a maximum payload of 1,360 kg. The Japan Maritime Self Defence Force has expressed an interest in the Fire Scout and the Republic of China Navy has been evaluating the MQ-8B. The Taiwan Defence Ministry’s Department of Strategic Planning is reported to be interested in an armed variant of the Fire Scout and tests of air dropped sonobuoys have been recently conducted by Northrop Grumman from the larger MQ-8C to support maritime surveillance and 26

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mine warfare operations. Taiwan would be the first export country for the MQ-8B. However, the footprint of the MQ-8C is too large for many naval ships and smaller VTOL unmanned platforms such as the Austrian Schiebel Camcopter S-100 and the Swedish Skeldar are making and impact of the naval UAV market. Designed by Saab, the 3.2 meters long Skeldar is produced by its partner company UMS of

The Saab/UMS Skeldar has undertaken trials with the Swedish Navy’s stealthy Visby-class corvettes. © Saab


Switzerland. Although not yet operated by the Swedish Navy despite lengthy trials on the Visbyclass corvettes, the NATO-compliant VTOL UAV powered by the German Hirth heavy fuel Skeldar V-200B is scheduled to be deployed from the German Navy Class 130 Corvette by the end of 2019. The procurement includes a Skeldar V-200 UAS consisting of two UAVs as sensor carriers, integration of the system into the Class 130 corvette, a spare parts package and training of ship-borne operators and maintenance personnel. A longtime partner Saab as part of OCEAN2020 operational naval military exercises, the most important project related to the European Defence Agency (EDA) initiative, demonstrations of the Skeldar V-200 are also scheduled in the Mediterranean Sea in 2019, co-ordinated by the Italian Navy, and in 2020 in the Baltic Sea, conducted by the Swedish Navy. In the same class as Skeldar, the 3.1 meters long Schiebel Camcopter S-100 VTOL UAV has been in production for more than a decade and is in service with several Middle East air forces. Over the years it has demonstrated

its maritime capabilities with more than ten navies worldwide. In June 2017 it successfully completed qualification flights for the French Navy when the S-100 performed from the deck of the BPC Dixmude, the newest of the French Navy’s three Mistral class amphibious assault ships. The French fleet is currently undergoing a modernisation process within which Schiebel participates in flight trials in order to confirm the Ship Helicopter Operating Limits (SHOL). During the flight demonstrations in the Western Mediterranean the UAV conducted around 30 takeoffs and landings within a total of 15 flight hours during day and night. A L3 Wescam MX-10 multisensor imaging system was used to transmit daylight and infrared data and throughout the trials the system was operated independently by the French Navy CEPA/10s crew. A year later it undertook trials with the Belgian Navy to develop a successful concept of operations for the use of the UAS in support of search and rescue (SAR) as well as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions. For the demonstration flights, the Camcopter S-100 was equipped with the MX-10 and the

The Royal Australian Navy has awarded Schiebel a three-years contract for evaluating the Camcopter S-100. Š Schiebel

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Overwatch Imaging PT-8 Oceanwatch, as well as an automatic identification system (AIS) receiver and a rescue drop box. The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Fleet Air Arm is set to develop manned-unmanned teaming (MUM-T) operations with a fleet of new Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk helicopters and unmanned aerial systems (UAS). In June 2015 the RAN evaluated a Schiebel Camcopter S-100 VTOL UAV with three mission payloads, the Selex ES Sage ESM, the Pico SAR radar and the L-3 Wescam MX-10. The S-100 was flown offshore Nowra Air Base in New South Wales. In February 2016 the RAN released an international Request for Tender (RfT) for a UAS capability. Under the directive of the Navy Minor Project (NMP) 1942 to procure a VTOL Maritime Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System Interim Capability (MTUAS- IC), the RAN sought a platform for shipborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR). At the end of 2017 the RAN awarded Schiebel a contract for the supply of its Camcopter S-100 System with delivery scheduled for mid-2017 and three years of follow-on Contractor Logistics Support. The UAV will be used for trials and

evaluation activities under the RAN Minor Project 1942. Schiebel selected the Canadian company CarteNav Solutions’ AIMS-ISR software for its Australian Camcopter S-100 contract that provides an enhanced sensor management capability with an intuitive and flexible user interface for the UAS payload operator. The mission system software will be integrated into the Camcopter S-100’s Ground Control Station (GCS) and will provide the ability to cross-cue sensors to various targets, as well as providing mission planning and mission review capabilities. In a comprehensive series of tests, a JP-5 (NATO F-44) heavy fuel powered Camcopter S-100 demonstrated an operational range of up to 60 nautical miles as well as altitudes above 3,000 meters. Following collaboration with the Austrian company Schiebel in 2011, the Russian company OAO Gorizont (Horizon) has been building the Schiebel Camcopter S-100 under license for the Russian market. Based in Rostov-on-Don, Horizon manufactures electrical and optical equipment, navigation radar modules and systems and equipment for monitoring land, coastal and marine environments. The Horizon Air S-100s are demonstrated to potential customers at its

The Camcopter S-100 built by the Russian company Horizon Air will be deployed on Russian Navy next generation icebreakers. © David Oliver

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The Radar MMS GSV-37 Breeze VTOL UAV has been evaluated by the Russian Navy and the company is developing an advanced BPV-500. © Radar MMS

Cape Ultrish test site on the shores of the Black Sea located some 50 km north of Gelendzhik. The company is offering potential customers the option of equipping it with its own EO/IR sensors and radar payloads. Russian license-built version of the S-100 has also been evaluated by the Russian Coast Guard and successfully tested aboard the Russian Border Guard of the Federal Security Service (FSS) patrol vessel Rubin. After trials carried out on the icebreaker Captain Sorokin in the Baltic Sea, the Horizon Air S-100 was selected to operate from Russia Navy’s new generation icebreaker, Viktor Chernomyrdin. The Russian research and development company Radar MMS is also developing a small unmanned helicopter, the GSV-37 Breeze, for the Russian Navy. The Breeze is designed for providing search and rescue, patrol and security, and counterterrorism support. The MTOW of the UAV is 35kg, and it has an endurance of 90 minutes operating up to 1,000 meters. The Russian Navy has a requirement for shipbased UAS which is being addressed by a number of advanced UAV projects. The Fazan is a VTOL tail-sitting air vehicle to fulfil a number of urgent military tasks including reconnaissance and surveillance, as well as vertical replenishment (VERTREP) missions. The MTOW of the Fazan will be up to 500 kg with a 60 kg payload. The cruising

speed is predicted to about 350 km/h, a range of 1,000 km and an endurance of 6 hours. The Russian Navy Commander-in-Chief’s directorate has revealed that a modular UAS is being developed for its Project 22160 corvettes and is now being prepared for trials. The system includes two co-axial Radar MMS BPV-500 VTOL air vehicles. With an MTOW of 500 kg the 5 meters-long air vehicle can carry a 150 kg payload over a range of 320 km and 5.5 hour endurance. Equipped with an optronic sensor system and SAR/MTI radar, the system is designed for aerial monitoring of large areas, including for on-ice reconnaissance, support of search and rescue operations, surveillance and anti-terrorist missions. Over time, UAVs may be armed with missiles and bombs, which will enable them to perform combat duties. The BPV-500’s co-axial design ensures high hovering accuracy, making it less vulnerable to cross winds which is essential in landing on to a small ship. The air vehicles and their equipment, including the operator’s workstation, can be accommodated in one or two standard cargo containers placed on deck of a ship. VTOL UAS are coming to prominence with China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy. Although none have entered service, several are in development including one designed by a helicopter research and development institute

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China’s Beijing Zhonghangzi Technology (AVIC) TD330 is developing a range of VTOL UAVs for shipboard operations. © David Oliver

in Jingdezhen, owned by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC). The AV500W is a Fire Scout size VTOL UAV with a cruising speed of 170 km/h, and a maximum endurance of 8 hours when configured and lightly loaded for ISR missions which is reduced to four hours when the UAV is fully armed. The air vehicle was earlier specified to offer an operating radius of 200 km via line-of-sight (LOS) command protocols, with a service ceiling of 5.000 meters. The AV500 has a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 500 kg and a payload of 190 kg that can include sensors and air-to-ground missiles. The AV500 can also be developed into a maritime version that meets the navy’s shipboard demands. AVIC revealed that the baseline AW500 had undergone trials off Nan’ao Island in the Guangdong province in 2016 to demonstrate that the air vehicle is capable of performing automatic take-off and landing manoeuvres from the helicopter deck of a civilian maritime patrol ship in wind conditions of up to 10 m/s, while being able to operate normally in 17 m/s winds. 30

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Meanwhile, the privately owned Beijing Zhonghangzi Technology (BZT) has developed a family of multirole co-axial rotor VTOL UAVs for military applications including the TD220 and T333. The company introduced the TD220 platform in 2016 which is 2.5 meters long, 0.5 meters wide, and 1.8 meters high, with a rotor diameter of 4 m. The air vehicle has a MTOW of 300 kg and can carry a maximum payload of 100 kg along with 50 litres of fuel, which enables it to stay aloft for up to 5 hours. Powered by a gasoline engine of undisclosed type, it has a maximum speed of 100 km/h and a ceiling of just over 4.000 meters, while its operational radius extends to 100 km. In contrast, the T333 has a MTOW of 3,000 kg with a length, width, and height of 5.4 meters, 3.3 meters, and 3.325 meters, respectively, and features a rotor diameter of 11.5 meters. The larger platform has an operational radius in excess of 400 km and can carry up to 1,500 kg in stores, although endurance can be extended to 30 hours with a 200 kg payload. It is has a maximum speed is 300 km/h with a service ceiling of 5.000 meters.


A view to naval command and control By Luca Peruzzi

The new Baseline 2 TACTICOS configuration has been introduced for the first time on Damen SIGMA corvettes for Indonesian Navy. © Damen

Worldwide navies and industries are involved in technological, human-machine interaction and physical space management innovations in the command management system (CMS) domain, as well as in providing advanced network-centric warfare and decision support capabilities with reduced crews and younger generations’ different attitude to technology and training challenges, further complicated by reduced acquisition and running budgets.

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he The Mexican Navy is the latest of more than thirty navies that has selected the Thales Nederland-developed Tacticos CMS for its Long-Range Ocean Patrol vessel based on Damen Sigma 10514 platform. The latter employs the latest Baseline 2 version of Tactics CMS, which introduces the new MOC Mk 4 multi-function console (MFC) infrastructure designed to ensure clear lines of vision in the operations rooms/CIC and equipped with a large

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30-inch high resolution display, a new workfloworiented human-computer interface (HMI) that offers improved decision support to the operator, and the provision of a multi-screen “collaboration wall” on the ops room bulkhead. Moving to a new products-oriented enterprise model, Thales is releasing software updates every six months to introduce new functions and /or additional integrations. The Baseline 2 version also introduces a complete training environment to be


The new Thales Nederland Baseline 2 iteration of TACTICOS CMS, introduced the new MOC Mk 4 multi-function console (MFC) with new workflow-oriented human-computer interface (HMI) and the provision of a multi-screen ‘collaboration wall’. © F. Dekker-Branbuilders/Thales

Leonardo has developed for Italian Navy’s new generation CMS a multi-function console with a single 43-inch high-definition, multicolour, touchscreen display with a lightweight carbon-fibre structure. © Luca Peruzzi

created onboard the host platform to support skills training and full command team tactical training. The Tacticos CMS has also been developed by Thales as a mission management solution for Maritime Security Operations (MSO). Working with the Netherlands DMO/JIVC/SATS software development organisation, Thales has created a suite of application modules optimised to support MSO-type operations. The new capability has been firstly adopted by the Tacticos Baseline 2 system fitted to two Damen-built Arialah-class 67 meters offshore patrol vessels delivered to the UAE Critical Infrastructure and Coastal Protection Agency by Abu Dhabi Ship Building (ADSB). The new “Baseline 2” innovation can be applied to each of the seven Thales scalable suites, starting from Tacticos 100 for littoral security operations to Tacticos 1000 for high-intensity multi-warfare military operations with additional theatre missile defence capability. The Saab Combat Systems and C4I solutions is continuing to enhance its family of 9LV CMS for both surface and submarine platforms with more than 230 systems delivered worldwide. Among main customers including the Swedish Navy, the latest 9LV iteration and its subsystems became the standard CMS for Royal Australian Navy’s platforms including the two new Canberra-class LHDs and future two replenishment ships in addition to the recently modernized Anzac frigates under the ASMD (Anti-Ship Missile Defence) mid-life upgrading programme. Moreover, Saab Australia has been selected to contribute to the new combat system being developed for the RAN’s new Hunter-class frigates under SEA 5000 programme and based on Lockheed Martin Aegis

system to provide a tactical interface for specific Australian systems. Saab has also partnered with Damen to be shortlisted for the Brazilian Navy’s Tamandaré-class corvette programme while it is participating together with BMT in a corvette tender in Colombia and being shortlisted together with other two competitors for the combat system selection related to the Finnish MoD’s Squadron 2020 corvette procurement programme. Better teamwork and collective understanding in the operational rooms are, among other improvements, at the heart of Saab latest 9LV CMS iteration product family. Saab is leaning towards a “classroom” layout with consoles arranged to face an extended video display system on the bulkhead and the senior commander team staff back on elevated stations to control the whole picture for combat-oriented vessels, while for less-sophisticated and complex operations-oriented platforms such as OPVs, Saab is looking for co-locating the bridge and CIC functions. Saab has moved toward a realtime warfighting solution where the operator wants all relevant information available on single EDR | March/April 2019

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large display, the company’s latest 9LV CMS iteration using a compact design featuring a 30inch large high definition display and a 15-inch table-mounted touch-screen input device. Leonardo’s state-of-the-art CMS solution is the ATHENA (Architecture & Technologies Handling Electronic Naval Applications) system, based on a fully redundant modular and scalable architecture that can be customized to fit specific customer need. To satisfy future operations requirements, the Italian Navy assigned to Leonardo (jointly with Fincantieri, where Leonardo is the combat system integrator and supplier) the development, integration and supply of a fourth-generation CMS and a new combat bridge. Designed as a cross-platform product with an open architecture and common software and hardware modules capable to satisfy the needs of combatant and support vessels, the new CMS is based on a Common Source Library (CSL) that contains all Computer Software Component Items (CSCI) and the system’s configuration files, allowing to have a single installable and configurable CMS. The latter is also characterized by industrial blade processing units packed into very compact racks (C3E, Combat Common Computing Environment) and fully remote processing architecture for the MFC. Built in lightweight carbon fibreglass, it features a single 43-inch high-definition multi-colour touch-screen display with intuitive

The current generation of Leonardo ATHENA CMS, which pedigree evolves from FREMM and other Italian Navy’s combatant vessels. © Leonardo

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and transversal HMI. In addition to a newly developed multi-touch tactical table and mission wall displays, the Italian Navy requested a new “combat bridge”. Centred on an aeronauticalderived side-by-side cockpit accommodating the two ship-pilot stations sided by four single-screen MFCs stations in addition to the commanding officer multiple-displays station, the new “combat bridge” allows the six-personnel team (plus Captain) to conduct ship navigation, operations and self-defence within 25 NM. Supplied in the latest iteration to international customers, including the UAE, Lithuania, Algeria and soon Qatar, the ATHENA CMS family has been enriched with Italian Navy’s latest CMS hardware and software capabilities to be customised according to customer requirements, with export enhancements towards M-DLP multi-data links system (Link 11, 22, 16 and VMF) as well as advanced AAW (Anti-Air Warfare) functionalities to provide BMD (Ballistic Missiles Defence) capabilities. Thanks to its open and scalable architecture, and developed for the French Navy’s multi-mission frigates programme (FREMM), Naval Groupdesigned SETIS CMS has found application on Gowind family corvette programmes (Egyptian and Malaysian navies) and a further enhanced version has been selected by French DGA to equip the future 4,250 tons full load Frégate de

The latest generation SETIS CMS has been developed by Naval Group for FREMM frigates for French Navy and export market. The new scalable and open architecture CMS found application also on smaller Gowind corvettes. © Naval Group


Naval Group developed for Gowind corvettes the Panoramic Sensor and Intelligent Module (PSIM) which incorporates the integrated mast with its various sensors as well as the Operational Centre with SETIS CMS and its associated technical rooms. © Naval Group

Taille Intermédiaire (FTI) and export Belh@rra twin platform, both developed by DCNS with Thales and other French companies involvement. Modular and multi-mission by design, the SETIS CMS is built on open architecture standards and intuitive and an adaptable human-machine interface, offering a wide range of reusable functional components, ready to match customer needs. Built to address current and emerging threats, according to Naval Group the SETIS integrates force multipliers such as unmanned systems directly operated from the CMS and is fully interoperable and networked operations capable with all NATO standards data links in addition to cyber-defence modules to secure

communications and information systems. Naval Group has further evolved the SETIS suite for the French Navy’s FTI programme, introducing remote processing and new generation combat information centre layout with multi-touch tactical table and mission wall displays. To fulfil Naval Forces’ support vessel and Coast Guards’ requirements, Naval Group is offering the scalable, open architecture and unmanned systems operations qualified Polaris CMS, which in addition to Mistral amphibious and OPV, has been selected to equip the new Logistic Support Ship (LSS) for French Navy. Developed for the Spanish Navy by Navantia Sistemas, the systems division within Navantia, the SCOMBA (Sistema de COMbate de los Buques de la Armada) CMS is being developed in a new generation system for the F 110 multirole frigate combat system, which programme has recently received green light from the Spanish Government in advance to a contract to be awarded later in 2019. The evolved SCOMBA will see the integration of USN/Lockheed Martin Aegis System elements based on the missile firecontrol loop working with the new S-band radar being developed together with the US group and the Standard SM-2 missile system elements (VLS Mk 41, AAW/Fire Control directors and missile), as well as new capabilities and technologies such as Link-22 and VMF tactical data link, new-generation navigation system, C2 Systems and cybersecurity, organic helicopter and unmanned vehicle integration, reduced crew operation, hardware and software evolution, new

BAE Systems provides Royal Navys’ CMS systems, represented by the Outfit DNA(2) and the CMS-1 system. A new generation of CMS and combat system is under development by BAE Systems. © Crown Copyright 2016

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design track manager and additional training capabilities. Called CATIZ for the export market and incorporating new functionalities to meet other navies’ requirements, a new generation customised variant of the SCOMBA CMS will be developed by the recently-established SANNI joint-venture between Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) and Navantia group for equipping the new five Alfa 3000-based project corvettes under development and construction by the same Spanish group for the Royal Saudi Naval Forces.

The F125-type frigates and its Atlas Elektronik ACNS CMS, are designed for conflict prevention, crisis management and intervention/stabilization operations in the international arena. © Bundeswehr

Being the only supplier and integrator of CMSs for the UK Royal Navy’s surface and sub-surface fleet, including both the Outfit DNA(2) and the CMS-1 system, the Naval Combat Systems team of BAE Systems Maritime is leading the efforts to expand the application of shared computer

In addition to be the CMS in operation on the Freedom variant LCS, the Lockheed Martindeveloped COMBATSS-21 has been selected to be installed on the Future Frigate. © US Navy

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environment (SCE) as a common core processing infrastructure for Royal Navy (RN) surface ship combat systems. In the meantime, BAE Systems has unveiled the work on the new generation INTeGEN naval combat system and the INTeACT combat management system solutions which, even if undisclosed, are expected to introduce artificial intelligence for decision support, autonomous system and advanced HMI. As part of a UK Royal Navy’s wider drive towards a common core combat system across the fleet to replace diverse system designs, the UK MoD is widening the “shared computer environment” (SCE), which introduces common processing and a more open system, facilitating technology refreshing and system updates. These activities will also help de-risking the introduction on board Type 26 frigates. The shared infrastructure concept will be further advanced on this platform, as it will have a large computational farm capable of sharing applications and capabilities, according to BAE Systems. The SCE technology insertion is also planned to be applied to CMS-1-equipped and new platforms, including Type 45 destroyers and Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers in the Royal Navy and abroad. Developed for conflict prevention, crisis management and intervention/stabilization operations in the international arena, the new F125-type frigate today under delivery to the German Navy are able to provide sustained presence in the deployment region (24 months away from base maintenance facilities) and power projection by rapidly-deployed embarked special forces, long-range (100 km),


The Havelsan GENESIS (Gemi Integre Savas Idare Sistemi) open architecture CMS in current and future iterations is at the heart of Turkish Navy’s ships combat system. © Turkish Naval Forces Command

high-precision land attack with Vulcano 127 mm gun, full and separate embarked task force command and control facilities in addition to comprehensive asymmetric warfare self-defence suite. Atlas Elektronik ANCS (Atlas Naval Combat System) CMS matches and manages the expanded mission profile of the F125-type platforms. The high degree of automation and the user-centred operating concept of ANCS make it possible to fulfil complex tasks with a low personnel requirement. Its distributed architecture is the primary basis for the necessary redundancies and degradation capabilities, in order to achieve the high level of combat survivability requested for the F125 frigate. Network centric warfare capabilities are ensured by the Atlas Elektronik Tactical Data Link System (ADLiS), supporting the transmission, reception and forwarding of tactical information over diverse data links (11, 16, 22 as well as Simple). Among recent Atlas Elektronik combat management achievement, a customized version is applied to the Meko 200 frigate in service with the Algerian National Navy, while the system has been short-listed with other two competitors for the final phase of the combat system programme for the Finnish MoD’s Squadron 2020 programme to provide the new Pohjanmaa-class corvettes for the Navy. The COMBATSS-21 (COmponent-Based TotalShip System-21st Century) CMS developed by Lockheed Martin has become the standard US

Navy system for medium-size combatant ships such as the US Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and the Future Frigate Guided (FFGX) programme vessels, after Lockheed Martin has been selected in 2016 as the overall combat systems integrator for the programme winner platform. The contract awarded to Lockheed Martin includes the hardware and software development, integration and delivery of combat systems for the first two frigates, along with technical data packages to support an eventual back fit effort for Austal’s Independence-variant LCS. The COMBATSS-21 will also equip the four Multi-Mission Surface Combatant Ship’s (MMSC) version of the Lockheed Martin/Marinette Marine LCS for the Royal Saudi Naval Forces. Built from the Aegis Common Source Library (CSL), the COMBATSS-21 shares a pedigree with the Aegis Baseline 9 software developed for the Aegis cruiser and destroyer US Navy and Allied fleets, allowing surface combatants to rapidly and affordably integrate new capabilities across the fleet. The Canadian arm of Lockheed Martin has developed the CMS 330 CMS, which is in service or has been selected as the combat system heart for current and future Royal Canadian Navy’s (RCN) frontline and support vessels including the next-generation Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) frigates programme recently awarded to Lockheed Martin Canada Type 26 GCS team, the New Zealand Navy’s ANZAC and Chilean Navy’s Type 23 frigates upgrade programmes and has

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been short-listed with other two competitors for the final phase of the combat system programme for the Finnish MoD’s Squadron 2020 programme. Based on the GENESIS (Gemi Integre Savas Idare Sistemi) open architecture CMS, developed initially by the Turkish Naval Forces Command and then migrated to Havelsan for further development and production, the same system provided by the Turkish electronic defence group found application in a new tailored version in the MILGEM programme to develop the indigenous 2,000 tons multirole Ada-class corvettes, where Havelsan is the main system integrator and largest local sub-contractor together with Aselsan and other Turkish defence companies. Evolved versions with network centric warfare capabilities and other weapon and electronic system integration will equip the Istanbul-class frigate (previously MILGEM-G) as well as the new Turkish LPD-class, and have found export success with Pakistan for the delivery of four MILGEM Ada-class type corvettes under a technology transfer and joint production programme. Both Israel’s Elbit Systems and IAI groups developed CMS projects, with Elbit Systems having supplied its ENTCS-2000 system to both the Israeli Navy (Saar 5 corvettes) and internationally to upgrade the two Venezuelan Navy Lupo-class frigates. The ENTCS-2000 is based on an open, reliable, fully distributed architecture and COTS

building blocks. IAI’s CMS provides a Common Tactical Picture and Threat Evaluation to support all levels of decision-making processes and control resource allocation for engagements. Modular and open architecture allows incorporation of different sensor types, while supporting various weapons and other systems, in all types of attack and defense missions. With more than 25 years of C2 experience, Danish Terma group supplies the mission proven C-Flex Command & Control system to Navies and Coast Guards around the world. C-Flex provides a common intuitive user interface with full Situational Awareness (SA) to improve and secure fast decision-making by commanders. C-Flex integrates all types of sensors, self-protection, weapon and communication systems into one easy-to-operate system. Under a contract awarded by the Danish Defence Acquistion and Logistics organization (DALO), Terma is providing advisory and study support within the Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) and Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) domains related to Danish Government’s decision to upgrade at least one of the Iver Huitfeldt-class frigates equipped with C-Flex to a BMD sensor and offer this capability to the NATO BMD system. C-Flex is a modular and scalable C2 system fully integrated out of the box, with all C-Series products: C-Search (SCANTER), C-Fire, C-Link, C-Raid and C-Guard (SKWS), and with easy integration of third-party equipment.

Equipped with Terma C-Flex CMS, the Iver Huitfeldt-class frigates will offer true IAMD capability, delivering outstanding situational awareness for both AAW and BMD missions at the same time. © Danish MoD

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The Paramount Group designed Mbombe 8x8 and 6x6 armoured personnel carriers built by Kazakhstan Paramount Engineering. © KPE

Paramount Group’s Global Reach By David Oliver The Paramount Group is a South Africa-based global defence and aerospace company, operating in countries in the Middle East, South America and Africa. Since its inception in 1994, Paramount has built strong relationships with governments and government agencies in over 30 countries around the world. The company has pioneered a portable manufacturing model that enables in-country manufacturing, the transfer of technology and skills and the creation of local job opportunities. It is now one of only a few defence companies that can offer its customers extensive capabilities across the land, sea and market sectors.

On the ground In the land warfare domain it has developed a family of wheeled armoured vehicles including the 6x6 and the larger 8x8 Mbombe, both employing an innovative form of construction to give high levels of protection, while keeping profile to a minimum. It utilises a “conventional” or “in-line” automotive driveline configuration, positioning the powerpack at the front of the vehicle and along its centre line. This configuration results in far greater efficiency in terms of the transfer of power from the powerpack to the wheels, as the loss of power associated with a second transfer gearbox necessary for “unconventional” drivelines, such as with side-engined vehicles, is eliminated.

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Its joint venture Kazakhstan Paramount Engineering (KPE) produces advanced MRAP vehicles, such as the Arlan 4×4 based on the Marauder, Nomad 4×4 based on the Maverick, and Barys 6×6 and Barys 8×8, winterised versions of the Mbombe, in the country. The latest batch of Arlan 4x4s delivered to the Kazakh Ministry of Defence (MoD) in late 2018 have an integrated chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) protection system as well as a new heating system. KPE claim that the local content in the Arlan’s production had 70 percent of local ranging from radios to remote-controlled weapons stations (RCWSs) installed on the vehicles. At IDEX 2019 Paramount introduced the new Mbombe 4x4, with a 13.3 tonnes kerb weight


The KPE Arlan 4x4 developed from the Paramount Group Marauder combat vehicle has been delivered to the Kazakh Armed Forces. © KPE

and a 2.7 tonnes payload; 70% of its components are taken from the Mbombe family of vehicles. A monocoque vehicle, it has Level 4 ballistic and Level 4a/b mine protection. On day one of the exhibition the UAE announced the acquisition of four such vehicles for initial testing.

In the air The commitment behind the partnership includes the exploration of KPE manufacturing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and naval vehicle production, serving as examples of expanding upon a portable manufacturing model that has transformed KPE into a dynamic success story. Paramount Aerospace has developed a completely new light attack aircraft, the self-funded Advanced High Performance Reconnaissance Light Aircraft (AHRLAC) which is the result of a four-year development project with its then partner company, Aerosud. Paramount claims that AHRLAC is the first light aircraft designed from the ground up to fulfil the dual Counter Insurgency/Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (COIN/ISR) roles since the Vietnam-era North American Rockwell OV-10 Bronco, that offers a highly flexible form of “clipon-clip-off” payload systems enabling it to be transformed quickly between operational roles. It has an endurance of seven to 10 hours, making it the ideal solution for patrolling large land areas,

borders and coastlines. AHRLAC flew for the first time from Wonderboom Airport north of Pretoria in August 2014. The high-wing, twin boom tandem two-seat design, fitted with Martin-Baker Mk 17 ejection seats, is powered by a 708 kW (950 shp) PT6A-66 turboprop driving a three-blade pusher propeller in a pusher configuration, has a top speed 504 km/h (313 mph) it has a maximum range on internal fuel of 2,159 km (1,323 mile) and an endurance of 7.5 hours. The installation and systems testing of nosemounted sensors tested on the AHRLAC include the Airbus Argos II HD Airborne Observation System and the Thales Avni thermal reconnaissance system. The COIN/ISR variant, named Mwari, is armed with an internal 20 mm cannon and its 800 kg (1,760 lb) payload carried on six underwing hard points includes bombs, rockets, laser guided munitions and anti-tank and AAMs. Paramount Group acquired Aerosud in 2014 and the AHRLAC entered production in early 2018 with the construction of a purpose-built factory in the Wonderboom Airport complex that has an initial capacity of producing two aircraft a month. Paramount has two lead customers for the aircraft, but their identity is yet to be confirmed. Mission

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systems testing is continuing and the company claims that international sales efforts and interest in the Mwari are extremely encouraging.

The Paramount Group acquired the South African Air Force Mirage F1AZ fleet, some of which were sold on to the Gabon Air Force. © Paramount Group

training capability through its acquisition of four former French Air Force two-seat Mirage F1B aircraft. Brian Greyling, CEO of Paramount Aerospace Systems said: “One of the most important trends in today’s military aviation market is the increasing utilisation of legacy aircraft for adversary training by air forces. The new acquisition of the Mirage F1 aircraft will inject additional ‘top gun’ capability into Paramount Group’s advanced pilot training programmes. Paramount Aerospace Systems is now recognised as the only privately-owned aerospace company in the world that is capable of offering military type aircraft training from ab initio to supersonic fighter capability.”

The Mirage F1 is back Paramount Aerospace Systems, a subsidiary of the Paramount Group, has become the prime contractor for the maintenance, repair and modernisation of recently retired Dassault Mirage F1 supersonic multi-role fighter aircraft. Paramount Group acquired the entire South African Air Force (SAAF) Mirage F1AZ fleet, along with engines, spares, simulators and training aids. The Mirage F1 represented an ideal solution for low cost supersonic fighter capability, and Paramount thus offers a complete air-power package, with full training and technical support for the aircraft. Paramount Aerospace Systems has been supporting a number of African air forces, including those of the Republic of Congo and Gabon in the acquisition, training, maintenance and technical operation of former SAAF Mirage F1AZ fighter aircraft for many years. In this context, Paramount also operates a fighter aircraft pilot training academy in South Africa, the only of its kind on the African continent. The Paramount Aviation Academy allows students to train within a military environment and according to military doctrine throughout. In October 2017 the group announced a significant enhancement of its pilot

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Paramount Group’s first aircraft design, the Advanced High Performance Reconnaissance Light Aircraft (AHRLAC) first flew in August 2014. © Paramount Group

Ivor Ichikowitz, founder and CEO of Paramount Group said: “The global economic slowdown has reduced the defence budgets of most countries in the world resulting in cuts across many defence sectors including aircraft, naval vessels and military vehicles. Such budgetary constraints are driving the decrease in procurement of new military aircraft, helicopters and UAVs and place huge emphasis on more affordable solutions such as maintenance, repair and modernisation of existing equipment and the associated training requirements.” In April 2018 Draken International, a major USbased provider of adversary air services, signed an


agreement with Paramount Aerospace Systems for the overhaul and on-going engineering support of its recently acquired fleet of Mirage F1M aircraft from the Spanish Air Force.

the extensive depth of F1 experience and knowledge that Paramount brings to the table. We are especially confident given Paramount’s experience modernising the same Mirage F1 jets we now own when they were in prior Spanish Air Force service”, said Jared Isaacman, CEO of Draken International.

Developing partnerships

The armed variant of the AHRLAC, is being marketed by Boeing Global Services in the United States as the Bronco II. © Paramount Group

Draken acquired 22 single-seat and two-seat F1M fighter aircraft in an effort to enhance adversary services for its United States Department of Defense (DoD) and allied nation customers. With the completion of the procurement phase, the former Spanish Mirage F1Ms are undergoing reassembly, restoration and airworthiness certification by Paramount Aerospace Systems at Draken’s Lakeland, Florida maintenance facility. “We are looking forward to working with one of the few companies in the world that possesses

In May 2018 Boeing announced its subsidiary Aviall’s would play a leadership role in supply chain management for the production of the Advanced High-Performance Reconnaissance Light Aircraft (AHRLAC), developed by Paramount Group. Aviall will support supply chain procurement and management for AHRLAC production, including AHRLAC’s militarised variant, the Mwari for international customers and Bronco II in the United States and will also be responsible to secure and scale the US production and sustainment supply chain to meet US acquisition requirements. “This industry partnership provides not only a specialized aircraft that meets the U.S. customer’s unique mission needs but does so at a fraction of the procurement and lifecycle cost of aircraft with similar mission applications and capabilities,” said Eric Strafel, Aviall president and CEO. The two-crew Bronco II is being

A 17 m Sentinel Patrol Vessel built by Paramount Maritime Division at its Cape Town shipyard. © Paramount Group

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marketed by Aviall as a precision-strike and command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C41SR) aircraft. “The strengthening of our relationship with Boeing Global Services is a key milestone in the introduction of Bronco II into the US market,” said Ivor Ichikowitz. “Aviall will help the programme scale rapidly in production, as well as help reduce operating costs to the lowest levels ever experienced in an aircraft of this type. Our collaboration with Boeing leverages the strong and diverse design and mission capabilities of both companies to produce and sustain an aircraft for the US and other NATO markets.” To increase its international footprint, Paramount Group signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Argentinian state-owned company FAdeA in July 2018. The MoU creates the basis for closer cooperation and innovation of new technologies that will support the development of defence capabilities and industrial capacity of both countries, and provide long-term economic benefits, while strengthening regional peace and security.

Going maritime Another Paramount Group subsidiary is Paramount Maritime, whose CEO James Fisher

explained the company’s activities. “There are two parts to Paramount Maritime, one focussed on defence maritime market sector and the other on commercial sector. On the naval side of the business, Paramount Maritime offers the manufacture, maintenance and refurbish of state-of-the-art multi-role vessels, light strike craft, river and off-shore patrol vessels and rapid intervention vessels in a number of lengths. Its 85 meters Frontier off-shore patrol vessel for example, is one of its largest designs and can operate a helicopter off its rear deck.” Within Paramount Maritime Division there are two companies, Nautic Africa, which was acquired by the Paramount Group in 2012 and Veecraft Marine taken over in 2014. At the end of 2017 the Maritime Division built a new facility in Cape Town for the production of aluminium hull highspeed vessels ranging in size from 9 to 90 meters for anti-piracy, illegal poaching control, on-shore and offshore territorial waters patrol, and the maintenance and security of oil and gas assets. While the company does not install weapons systems on the vessels it builds it can integrate numerous specialised weapons, radar and communications systems to customer specifications. It has recently delivered two 11 meters Workboats to South Africa’s 4 Special Forces Regiment to fulfil its role as waterborne support vessels for

Paramount Maritime Division’s concept of its 85 meters Frontier Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) with Guardian highspeed patrol and interception boats. © Paramount Group

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A Gazelle Helicopter donated by the Ichikowitz Family Foundation for anti-poaching teams and their dogs in South Africa’s National Parks. © Paramount Group

the unit’s marine operations and facilities, and the first of 14 9.5 meters Guardian Fast Patrol and Pursuit vessels to a West African Navy. Paramount Maritime has also invested heavily in developing lightweight composite ballistically protected superstructure, for protection against the most common small arms fire. A 35 meters Sentinel patrol vessel designed and built by Paramount withstood a 40-minute attack by pirates armed with AK 47s off the coast of Nigeria in September 2017 thanks to its SuperShield ballistic protection. The innovative defence, aerospace and maritime group continues to increase its technological capabilities and in September 2018 when it announced the launch of its new scalable and modular Surveillance and Intelligence Network, or SAINTS designed to provide customers with affordable surveillance and intelligence capabilities to discover and assess potential security threats in any environment.

In addition to its defence activities, the Ichikowitz Family has founded the Paramount Anti-Poaching & K9 Training Academy to assist conservation areas in fighting the current Rhino poaching surge by drawing on highly trained and experienced former military special operations forces. This includes providing tracking dogs for the field rangers and Special Operation dogs for Rapid Deployment Teams in South Africa’s National Parks. Its training facility in Magaliesberg is an anti-poaching facility developed to train antpoaching rangers into specialised K9 handlers and to engage the handlers in the protocols of working with dogs in a wildlife environment. This includes dogs and their handlers being parachuted or fast-roped from Gazelle helicopters that have been donated by the Ichikowitz Family Foundation. Paramount Group’s stated business plan is to embrace state-of-the-art technology and cleansheet design. Through continuous innovation, it is able to develop tailor-made solutions to even the most challenging requirements.

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European Defence Review

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European Defence Review (EDR) is the first magazine in English focusing on defence issues with a European perspective and one which is fully managed by well-known journalists specialised in defence and security. EDR addresses every topic of the defence sector: equipment and industrial issues, armed forces and operations, but also strategic and political news concerning defence and security issues. Although the articles will be mainly focused on European topics, the review also discusses the main countrie’s partners of Europe and emerging markets: Russia, the Middle East, Brazil, India… EDR distributes during the major international defence trade fairs. The readers include military decision-makers, both political and industrial, from European countries as well as traditional or potential partners of the European defence community. Finally, EDR covers all of the major defence exhibitions worldwide; privileged accasions where policy makers, military and trade-related, are attending. N° 43 • January/ February 2019

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