Ukraine conflict: Netherlands to supply weapon locating radars to Ukraine

by Naqi Wasif

Netherlands is supplying the Thales Squire system to Ukraine. (Thales Nederland)

The Netherlands Ministry of Defence (MoD) is to supply two Squire manportable 2D ground surveillance radars and five AN/TPQ-36 Firefinder weapon locating radars to Ukraine.

The Thales Squire radar is used for 2D ground surveillance and target acquisition together with artillery fire adjustment. It is capable of detecting individuals walking at ranges exceeding 10 km and moving tank-sized vehicles at up to 48 km. Shell impacts can be detected at ranges of up to 20 km and micro unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) at 5–6 km. The total system weight - including tripod, cables, headset, carrying harnesses, and battery pack - is less than 45 kg.

AN/TPQ-36(V) is a 3D mobile phased array radar that automatically locates hostile mortars, artillery, and rocket launchers. The radar can handle simultaneous fire from weapons at multiple locations, provide ‘first round' location, and generate an electronic ‘curtain' over a 90° sector.

The system weighs 1,134 kg and its operator shelter is carried by either a High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle or a 2.75-tonne truck, which can be located up to 50 m from the unmanned antenna-transceiver assembly. In November 2015 the US Army delivered two AN/TPQ-36 radars to Ukraine as part of a USD20 million US aid programme for military and technical co-operation.

The Netherlands MoD expects delivery of the goods to Ukraine to take one or two weeks. The radar systems come from the MoD's operational reserves and will have to be replenished to avoid an adverse effect on the Netherlands' capability.

Training programmes are necessary for the operators to be able to make effective use of the Squire radars, which requires up to three months. Since the AN/TPQ-36 radars are already in service with Ukraine, training on them will not be required. If needed, it remains to be seen whether training will be given in the Netherlands or in Ukraine.

In addition to these systems, two mine detection robots, Barrett sniper rifles, and helmets and ballistic vests are set to be supplied by the Netherlands to Ukraine.

US Navy receives first next-generation Growler jammer pods

by Gillian Rich

The Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band (NGJ-MB) fleet representative pods were delivered to the US Navy in July 2022. The pods are part of a system that will eventually replace the Boeing EA-18G Growler's ALQ-99 system. (US Navy)

Raytheon Intelligence & Space recently delivered its first ALQ-249 Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band (NGJ-MB) pods to the US Navy. The jammer pods are part of a system that will eventually replace the Boeing EA-18G Growler's ALQ-99 Tactical Jamming System.

Raytheon delivered the pods to the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) Patuxent River, Maryland, on 7 July, the service announced on 8 August. The pods will be used to complete the jammer's developmental test programme and start the operational test programme, the navy said in a statement. Initial operational capability (IOC) is scheduled for the second half of 2023.

The NGJ-MB has more power than the Growler's ALQ-99 and the ability to target multiple systems, said Lieutenant Alexander Belbin, project officer with NAWCAD's Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23.

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USMC explores operational use of low Earth orbit satcom

by Andrew White

The USMC's 3rd Marine Littoral Regiment showed off an LTATV equipped with Kymeta's u8 user terminal, which is able to acquire OneWeb low Earth orbit satellites to facilitate communications on the pause and on the move. (Andrew White )

The US Marine Corps (USMC) displayed a variety of emerging communications equipment during the amphibious warfare phase of the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise in Hawaii this week.

The display was hosted by the first Marine Littoral Regiment (MLR) to join the USMC's order of battle – 3rd MLR – which is in the process of being equipped as a “self-deployable, multidomain force” that will support partners and allies in deterring adversaries, particularly across the Indo-Pacific.

3rd MLR's Communications Company highlighted several satellite communication (satcom) user terminals, used to network ground vehicles, surface vessels, and command posts to low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellations.

Commercially available LEO satcom is gaining popularity across armed forces around the world. Combat commanders see it as a way to employ primary, alternative, contingency, and emergency (PACE) communications plans, which can ensure secure and resilient connectivity, even in the face of disruption by well-equipped adversaries.

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British Army praises artillery training solution, eyes improvements

by Giles Ebbutt

Cubic's artillery mission training system (AMTS) installed on a 105 mm L118 Light Gun at the Royal School of Artillery, Larkhill. The visible appliqué elements (to the left of the breech and under the barrel) are bright blue. (Giles Ebbutt)

The British Army has learnt a number of lessons from its use of Cubic's artillery mission training system (AMTS) and is introducing improvements to it.

The AMTS has been in use at the Royal School of Artillery at Larkhill and elsewhere as a concept capability demonstrator since late 2018. It consists of an appliqué instrumentation kit that is fitted to the 105 mm L118 Light Gun. Speaking at the 2022 Omega Joint Military Training & Simulation Conference, Alistair Parkinson, head of UK cross domain LVC programmes and indirect fire systems at Cubic, said that this shows where the gun is in time and space, where the barrel is pointing, and when it is fired.

Instrumented emulated ammunition, which is 10% of the weight of the real thing and enables 10 rounds to be stacked into the breech, provides charge and fuze setting. The combined gun and ammunition data enables the round impact point to be calculated.

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