East Tech 2022: Hawking Defence offers solutions to Indian Armed Forces
11 July 2022
by Amit Kalra
The Balidan UAV, on display at East Tech 2022, is designed for carrying a small amount of explosives. (Janes/Amit Kalra)
Chennai-based firm Hawking Defence showcased a number of solutions for the Indian Armed Forces at East Tech 2022, an event held in Kolkata by the Indian Army's Eastern Command on 7 and 8 July.
Captain (retd) Amber Singh Uban, company director, told
that Hawking Defence is offering the Indian military indigenous solutions including a series of hand-launched micro unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), a wearable counter-unmanned aerial system (C-UAS), and a ‘Drone Flare System'.
Three micro UAVs were displayed by the company, each weighing around 400 g and characterised as being capable of swarming. Capt Uban said all three UAVs can be controlled by a single ground control system.
Balidan micro UAV is designed as a loitering munition. The UAV can be utilised by an assault team to breach walls or mitigate rogue elements. The UAV has a foldable design and can be easily stowed in the gear of a dismounted soldier. The UAV has a
Dash speed of 65 kt, Capt Uban said.
Pictured are two nano satellites − Huygens and Birkeland − that are part of the MilSpace2 project, a collaborative R&D programme between the Dutch and Norwegian ministries of defence for the detection of radar signals. Continued co-operation on the programme is guaranteed for the coming years. (NanoAvionics)
The Netherlands Ministry of Defence (MoD) has published its Defence Space Agenda, detailing the country's future military space investment priorities.
According to the agenda, published by the MoD on 25 November, the Netherlands is seeking to ensure strategic autonomy by developing and owning its own constellation of satellites, while also reducing its dependency on communication, navigation, observation, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities supplied by its strategic and commercial partners.
Between EUR25 million and EUR100 million (USD25.88 million and USD103.54 million) will be allocated from 2023 to 2027 to address these requirements. This is separate from the EUR25−100 million earmarked for military satellite communications (milsatcom), outlined in the 2022 Defense Memorandum.
Project Oberon will comprise a cluster of three SAR-based satellites as part of the ISTARI programme. (Airbus)
The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has issued a pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ) for Project Oberon, a programme that seeks high-resolution synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites.
According to the PQQ released by the MoD on 24 November, the contract will involve a cluster of three satellites equipped with an active SAR payload and, at a lower priority, passive radio frequency (RF) functionality, which the supplier will be required to operate.
The main contract is expected to demand a “full end-to-end solution including inter alia; design, development, manufacture, assembly, integration, test, launch, commissioning, operations, and eventual disposal”, the PQQ stated.
Up to GBP70 million (USD84.7 million) has been earmarked for the 36-month contract.
A further contract option is expected as part of the project – this will require a supplier to deliver mission operations, training, and support (per year) for a further six years, as well as mission integration and implementation into the ground architecture of the multisatellite intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) ‘ISTARI' programme, the MoD detailed.
Autonomous UAV winch trialled at AWE for British Army
24 November 2022
by Olivia Savage
Sparrow (pictured), attached to a third-party UAV, which is lifting a 5 kg mock payload. (Janes/Olivia Savage)
A novel air-ground payload transfer device intended for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has been trialled at the British Army Warfighting Experiment (AWE) Sustain & Protect (S&P) programme at Portsmouth Naval Base.
During AWE on 22 November, BMT Global demonstrated Sparrow, a prototype robotic unit that enables the autonomous delivery and collection of payloads from a UAV.
Attached to a UAV, Sparrow can autonomously descend and ascend to deliver and collect payloads, it thereby allows the UAV to remain at a suitable height while avoiding the difficult urban terrain beneath, James Campbell, Sparrow project lead at BMT Global, told
Campbell said that the system is actually “best described as a suspended UAV”, this is because it has four fans like a quadcopter and is fully autonomous, able to manoeuvre itself, and identify objects on the ground. The key difference with Sparrow is that the fans are designed to counter wind and enable manoeuvrability, rather than for lift.