28 October 2021
by Samuel Cranny-Evans & Thomas Bullock
Screengrab of footage posted by the Ukrainian general staff showing the moment a Ukrainian Bayraktar TB2 armed UAV struck a separatist D-30 122 mm howitzer in Donbass on 26 October. (Ukrainian general staff)
The Ukrainian armed forces general staff confirmed on the Ministry of Defence (MoD) website on 26 October that Ukraine had used a Bayraktar TB2 armed unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in anger for the first time during a counter-battery mission in Donbass earlier the same day.
The general staff posted a video that had appeared earlier on social media showing the control screen of a Bayraktar TB2 – familiar from the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict – as it observes and engages what appears to be a D-30 122 mm towed howitzer. Three people can be seen operating the D-30 before some form of ordnance is detonated on or near the howitzer.
The three gunners can be seen diving for cover behind the gun and running away after the explosion. The camera then zooms out revealing the gun to have been one of three towed artillery pieces.
26 May 2023
by Carlo Munoz
A Comtech COMET troposcatter system set up for a BLOS network demonstration at SOF Week 2023 in Tampa, Florida. (Comtech)
Industry officials are looking to leverage Cold War-era tactical communications technologies as a potential enabler for the US Department of Defense's (DoD's) Combined Joint All-Domain Command and Control (CJADC2) capability.
Programme officials with satellite communications (satcom) development company Comtech in May conducted a multivendor demonstration that blended satcom, tropospheric scatter links, and local area networks (LANs) to blend “multiple connectivity types, multiple connectivity bubbles” as a means to stand up a viable, beyond-the-line-of-sight (BLOS) combat communications network for a satcom-denied environment, said Dan Gizinski, chief strategy officer for defence at Comtech.
The demonstration – carried out during the inaugural SOF Week 2023 conference in Tampa, Florida – consisted of a satcom link via commercial provider Kymeta, combined with two troposcatter links connecting a small unit element with a forward-deployed command post 13 miles away.
26 May 2023
by Zach Rosenberg
The MQ-28 Ghost Bat prototype aircraft in flight over Woomera, South Australia. (Australian Department of Defence)
The Boeing MQ-28 Ghost Bat, which has been flying in Australia since 2021, is in the US for testing. The aircraft was displayed to reporters at Mid-America Airport outside St Louis, Missouri.
Boeing declined to disclose the nature of testing, but Krystle Carr, Boeing's director of autonomous collaborative platforms, said that testing would include internally funded Boeing testing and hinted at but declined to confirm other testing.
“We got it here in partnership with the [Royal Australian Air Force],” said Carr. “It is here to do a number of different sets of testing, we can't really go into the details of those right now. But it's a great opportunity for everyone to learn what a platform of this kind of capability can do and how we can partner together to advance that. And a lot of that is because the programme itself is still evolving.”
26 May 2023
by Akhil Kadidal
Acquisition of the TAI Anka unmanned aircraft system will enhance Malaysia's surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities over the country's maritime zones. When armed, the UAS will also provide the military with a credible attack or point-defence capability. (Janes/TAI)
The Malaysian government has announced a contract with Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) for three Anka multirole unmanned aircraft systems (UASs). The Anka (Phoenix) is a medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UAS that is capable of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), electronic warfare (EW), and combat operations.
The Malaysian Ministry of Defense (MINDEF) announced the contract on 25 May during the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) Exhibition 2023 held from 23 to 27 May.
The MINDEF said in its announcement that the value of the contract is MYR423.8 million (USD91.6 million) and that the aircraft would support the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) and the Royal Malaysia Police (RMP) operations. The MINDEF added that these aircraft comprise Phase 1 of the acquisition.
A spokesperson from TAI added that the contract value includes the three aircraft and the control station. The RMAF will operate the aircraft.
The Ukrainian armed forces general staff confirmed on the Ministry of Defence (MoD) website on 26 Oc...
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