Babcock and IAI to collaborate on radar for UK Serpens project

by Olivia Savage

IAI, Elta Systems, and Babcock to co-offer C-MMR radar for UK Serpens weapon-locating radar programme. (IAI Elta Systems)

Babcock is to collaborate with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and subsidiary Elta Systems to offer a deep-find radar solution for the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) Serpens programme.

According to a Babcock announcement on 11 August, the company signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with IAI and Elta Systems to offer IAI-Elta's Compact Multi-Mission Radar (C-MMR) system for the Serpens programme.

A Babcock official was unable to provide further comment on the MOU at the time of publication.

The C-MMR system is intended for air defence and artillery weapon-location missions, the announcement said.

Babcock noted that the MOU will help establish their system integration and through-life support while also developing its radar assembly and maintenance expertise.

Project Serpens, a British Army programme, seeks a new weapon-locating radar system. A request for information announced in October 2019 detailed that the new system would involve a suite of networked sensor systems to detect, acquire, track, and assess adversary indirect fire threats, including mortars, artillery, and rockets at “vastly increased” ranges compared with the current fielded systems.

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AUSA 2022: Rafael showcasing 100 kW-class Iron Beam, details development path

by Ashley Roque

The laser system used in early 2022 trials was the Iron Beam prototype previously seen at a Rafael facility. (Israel Ministry of Defense)

Rafael and the Israeli Ministry of Defense (IMoD) want to have a 100 kW-class ground-based laser ready for fielding in the next couple of years that can assist Iron Dome intercepting unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), mortars, rockets, and anti-tank missiles in flight. The duo does not have an agreement with the US government to work together on the weapon yet, but Rafael will be at this year's Association of the United States Army (AUSA) convention showcasing the new capability.

Michael Lurie – the vice-president and head of the land manoeuvre systems directorate at Rafael, and the incoming CEO of Rafael USA – spoke with Janes on 30 September about Iron Beam development ahead of the annual conference in Washington, DC.

“We think the system will be the first operational high-energy laser system, not because we're the most advanced technologically … there are other US companies and probably other countries that are technologically very developed, but [Israel has] a very urgent need,” he said.

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AUSA 2022: Leonardo DRS coalition unveils single Stryker C-UAS

by Ashley Roque

Leonardo DRS and its industry partners are unveiling a single-vehicle C-UAS at the AUSA 2022 conference in Washington, DC, from 10 to 12 October. (Leonardo DRS)

Leonardo DRS, along with seven industry partners, spent the past year designing, integrating, and testing a counter-unmanned aerial system (C-UAS) based on a single Stryker Double-V Hull Infantry Carrier Vehicle (ICVVA1) that it will showcase at the Association of the US Army (AUSA) 2022 conference in Washington, DC, from 10 to 12 October.

Ed House, Leonardo DRS's senior director for land systems, provided Janes with an initiative overview on 4 October ahead of the annual meeting in Washington, DC. This new single-vehicle capability was born, in part, from the company's work with the army on the Mobile, Low, Slow, Unmanned Aircraft Integrated Defeat System (M-LIDS) programme − a two-vehicle C-UAS system based on the mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) all-terrain vehicle (M-ATV).

During the AUSA 2021 conference, Leonardo DRS approached the service about working on a fully integrated C-UAS capability based on a single vehicle, House said.

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UK MoD seeks portable tablets for rotary-wing platforms

by Olivia Savage

The UK MoD is seeking portable tablets for use on rotary-wing platforms that alert users to potential obstacles. Pictured are 845 Naval Air Squadron (NAS), Commando Helicopter Force, Merlin Mk3, 662 Squadron AAC Apache AH1, and 27 Squadron RAF Chinook CH-47. (Royal Navy)

UK rotary-wing platforms will get portable electronic devices that enhance situational awareness for the crew.

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has detailed a requirement for a Common Aviation Situational Awareness (CASA) tool intended for use on rotary-wing platforms such as the Boeing Apache, Boeing Chinook, Leonardo Merlin, Leonardo Wildcat, and Airbus Helicopters Dauphin, according to a dynamic pre-qualification questionnaire (DPQQ) on 4 October.

Valued at GBP10 million (USD11.25 million), the five-year contract is expected to start on 3 July 2023. The deadline for interested parties to submit proposals is 3 November.

It is envisaged that the situational awareness tool will be a tablet-based digital moving map that has a wire/obstruction alerting system, the MoD said. It will therefore be independent of the airframe and integrated systems, the MoD added.

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Babcock is to collaborate with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and subsidiary Elta Systems to offe...

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