UK confirms Sentinel sale to US

by Gareth Jennings

The UK has sold its retired Sentinel R1 fleet to the US, though the final completion of the sale is dependent on at least one of the five grounded aircraft being returned to full-flight status. (Janes/Patrick Allen)

The United Kingdom has sold its retired fleet of Raytheon Sentinel R1 Airborne Stand-Off Radar (ASTOR) wide-area ground-surveillance aircraft to the United States, it was confirmed on 30 November.

Answering questions in parliament, Minister of State for Defence Procurement Jeremy Quin confirmed media reports that the aircraft retired by the Royal Air Force (RAF) earlier in 2021 had been sold, reportedly for use by the US Army. He qualified his statement, however, by noting that at least one of the five unairworthy aircraft has to be returned to a flight status for the deal to be completed.


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SOCOM explores new Tactical Mission Network concept

by Carlo Munoz

A US Air Force Special Operations Weather Technician sends intelligence to the Reconnaissance Operations Center during the Marine's Reconnaissance Team Leader Course's final exercise on 31 October 2017. SOCOM is soliciting industry proposals to improve its Global Analytics Platform to process, exploit, and disseminate battlefield intelligence. (US Department of Defense )

US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) is exploring a new edge networking concept, focused on operationalising chat and data-sharing environments patterned closely after commercial applications like WhatsApp, Signal and Facebook Messenger.

The concept, dubbed within the command as the Tactical Mission Network, from a technology perspective is centred around “a commercially cloud-hosted set of collaboration tools, where we have a file share chat, instant messenger, [and data] typing for basic mapping that allows [partner nations] to consume at the edge and collaborate,” US Army Colonel Joseph Pishock, director of global networks and services (J63) at USSOCOM, said.

The network concept being fleshed out by Col Pishock and others in the command is predominantly focused on enabling USSOCOM's security forces assistance (SFA) missions and other non-clandestine ‘white' operations carried out by US special operations units worldwide.


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FlashHawk COMINT/CESM suite enters production

by Richard Scott

FlashHawk is designed to enable small airborne platforms to perform 3D geolocation of communications emitters. (Avantix)

French electronic warfare (EW) house Avantix has begun initial production of its FlashHawk airborne communications intelligence/communications electronic support measures (COMINT/CESM) system in anticipation of launch orders.

Intended for integration on a range of air platforms – including fixed-wing intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft; helicopters; unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs); and balloons – FlashHawk has been designed as a low-size, weight, and power (SWaP) CESM sensor that can provide instantaneous detection, characterisation, localisation, and identification of short-burst emitters in the VHF/UHF (30–3,000 MHz) communication bands. The system uses a patented compact antenna design to achieve precise 3D geolocation (typically 1° RMS) that is sufficient for immediate cueing of an electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor for real-time visualisation and video tracking.

According to Avantix, the antenna design and sensor processing implemented in FlashHawk can perform near-instantaneous location of ground-based communication emitters, including push-to-talk (PTT) radios, military radios, mobile telecommunications, and satellite telephones. Speaking to Janes


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US naval officials plan to conduct more Arctic operations

by Michael Fabey

USMC and NATO forces trained for Arctic operations during Exercise ‘Cold Response 2022‘ in Norway. (Michael Fabey)

The US Navy (USN) and US Marine Corps (USMC) will be conducting more operations in the Arctic, according to officials from both services.

”In both Alaska and frankly in Europe, we‘re going to more frequently deploy smaller units for two to four weeks at a time,” General David Berger, USMC commandant, testified on 18 May before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense during its hearing on the fiscal year (FY) 2023 USN and USMC budget request.

“You do large exercises to learn big lessons and send big messages, but smaller units more frequently on a more enduring basis have a lot of return on investment too,” said Gen Berger.

The USMC trained with other NATO forces in northern Norway earlier this year during the exercise ‘Cold Response 2022'.

During the same hearing, Admiral Michael Gilday, USN chief of naval operations (CNO) noted the service's recent history of increased operations in the region.


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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/air-platforms/latest/uk-confirms-sentinel-sale-to-us/

The United Kingdom has sold its retired fleet of Raytheon Sentinel R1 Airborne Stand-Off Radar (ASTO...

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