NATO publishes ‘Overarching Space Policy' document
19 January 2022
by Olivia Savage
NATO headquarters. (NATO)
On 17 January NATO published its ‘Overarching Space Policy', setting out the fundamental aspects of the space domain and its importance in preserving the alliance's security and prosperity.
It is an acknowledgement of NATO's increasing reliance upon space-based capabilities and their importance in supporting the delivery of communications, navigation, intelligence, and situational awareness, among other operational necessities.
The policy document started with a framework agreement in June 2019, when the alliance decided to formulate and adopt a specific space policy.
The document outlines in detail the space-related threat environment, noting that “potential adversaries are developing, testing, and operationalising sophisticated counter-space technologies that could threaten allies' access to and freedom to operate in space”. These threats vary from non-kinetic systems such as jamming of communications or Global Positioning System (GPS) to kinetic capabilities such as “direct-ascent anti-satellite missiles, on-orbit anti-satellite systems, and laser and electromagnetic capabilities”, it adds.
The policy includes a core set of principles, the most important one being the recognition that space is vital for deterrence and defence, ensuring free access to space, and collaborating with allies to avoid the duplication of efforts.
US Navy deploys Northrop Grumman's MQ-8C Fire Scout to the Pacific
25 May 2022
by Gillian Rich
A Northrop Grumman MQ-8C lands aboard USS
(LCS 6) as part of its deployment to INDOPACOM.
The US Navy deployed Northrop Grumman's MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned aerial system (UAS) on USS
(LCS 6), its first in the Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM), to provide maritime intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and targeting (ISR&T) capability, the company announced on 23 May.
Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 21 (HSC-21) and HSC-23 will be the primary operators of MQ-8C. Scott Weinpel, business development manager for the Fire Scout programme, told
that the majority of the squadrons' deployments will be in INDOPACOM for the “foreseeable future”.
Fire Scout's deployment to the Pacific comes as the US Navy and US Marine Corps (USMC) develop the Expeditionary Advance Base Operations (EABO) concept.
TransDigm subsidiary buys flight instrument product line from Astronautics
23 May 2022
by Marc Selinger
Extant Aerospace has acquired the Electromagnetic Indicator product line from Astronautics Corporation of America. The unit on the left is a horizontal situation indicator. The others are attitude director indicators. (Astronautics)
Extant Aerospace, a subsidiary of US aircraft parts maker TransDigm Group, has expanded its defence aviation portfolio by acquiring the Electromagnetic Indicator product line from Astronautics Corporation of America for about USD27 million in cash, the buyer announced on 19 May.
The line of flight instruments consists of attitude director indicators (ADIs), horizontal situation indicators (HSIs), and bearing distance heading indicators (BDHIs). Extant will take over producing and maintaining the indicators, which are mainly used on military aircraft.
The product line's tooling and other assets will move from Astronautics' site in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, near Milwaukee to Extant's facility in Melbourne, Florida. The transaction does not involve the transfer of employees, said David Souders, Extant's vice-president of business development.
The acquisition news came less than two months after Extant announced it had purchased the assets and technical data rights of Moog's Electro-Optical Tracker and Camera systems, which are used mainly on land- and sea-based military platforms.
Brazilian XMobots teams up with MBDA to build armed UAV
23 May 2022
by Victor Barreira
XMobots and MBDA are working together to add missile capability to the Nauru 1000C VTOL UAV. (XMobots)
Brazilian unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) specialist XMobots Aeroespacial e Defesa and Europe's MBDA announced on 17 May that they are teaming up to develop a Brazilian-made weaponised UAV.
According to XMobots, the two companies signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in March to integrate the MBDA Enforcer Air, a precision-guided missile capability, with the XMobots Nauru 1000C UAV.
The Nauru 1000C is a fixed-wing vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) all-weather multimission UAV, powered by a hybrid propulsion system consisting of a Zanzottera Technologies 305HS 29 hp combustion engine and eight T-Motor 11.5 hp brushless electric motors.
The UAV has a 7.7 m wingspan, length of 2.9 m, height of 0.98 m, maximum payload weight of 18 kg, maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 150 kg, 10 hours of flight, cruise speed of 60 kt, service ceiling of 10,000 ft, and maximum range of 60 km, according to XMobots.
Podcast recording date: 26 April 2022.
Huw Williams of our EMEA news team chairs a discussion focussed on the Russian invasion of Ukraine featuring Amael Kotlarski, Senior Analyst at Janes, Thomas Bullock, Senior Russia and CIS OSINT Analyst a...