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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Challenger 3 to get laser protection system

by Olivia Savage

RBSL selects Elbit Systems UK ELAWS protection system for Challenger 3. (RBSL)

Elbit Systems UK (ESUK) will deliver its laser protection system for Challenger 3 main battle tanks (MBTs).

ESUK has been selected by Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) to deliver 150 of its Laser Warning Systems (ELAWS) for the Challenger 3 (CR3) programme, ESUK announced on 22 September.

An ESUK spokesperson was unable to disclose further details regarding the subcontract.

ELAWS can detect, categorise, and accurately pinpoint laser sources such as from range finders, anti-tank guided missiles, target designators, and infrared illuminators. Providing 360° coverage, it can act as a standalone system or integrate with a wide range of countermeasures. The system can also detect and pinpoint radar and radio frequency sources.

RBSL was selected in May 2021 to lead the GBP800 million (USD901 million) contract to upgrade 148 Challenger 2 MBTs to the Challenger 3 standard.

As part of the programme, the Challenger 3 MBTs will receive a new welded turret with Rheinmetall's 120 mm L55A1 smoothbore main armament, a new active protection system, a new modular armour, a versatile turret, and a suite of modern sighting systems.

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Simulator that delivers combined arms training to UK military reaches FOC

by Olivia Savage

Elbit Systems ICAVS(D) training simulator is one of the pathfinder projects in the British Army's Collective Training Transformation Programme. (Elbit Systems UK)

Elbit Systems UK Interim Combined Arms Virtual Simulation (Deployable) (ICAVS(D)) solution has successfully achieved full operating capability (FOC), the company announced on 21 September.

In September, the British Army's Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers operated ICAVS(D) at Tidworth on Salisbury Plain, marking the capability's 25th training event and FOC milestone, the company added.

ICAVS(D) is one of the pathfinder projects for the British Army's Collective Training Transformation Programme (CTTP), which seeks to modernise and replace the army's out-of-date training with live, virtual, and constructive (LVC) systems.

The capability entered into service with the British Army in April, where it succeeded QinetiQ's Unit Based Virtual Trainer (UBVT).

Utilising high-specification hardware and Defence Virtual Simulation software, ICAVS(D) delivers virtual tactical training in the British Army's Battle Craft Syllabus. It enables collective training and experimentation at a place and time of the units' choosing and enables the rehearsal of complex operational environments in all weathers and environments, the company said.

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Puzzle pieces: Washington eyes path ahead for homeland cruise missile defence

by Ashley Roque

A Patriot M903 launcher station assigned to 5th Battalion, 52nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, during Exercise ‘Arctic Edge 2022' at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. This defence capability could be included as part of a US homeland cruise missile defence architecture. (USAF)

Reports of Russian Tu-95 aircraft and submarines launching cruise missiles to strike targets in Kyiv, Dnipro, Vinnytsia, and Odesa filled US news reports throughout 2022, offering momentary insights to a conflict on another continent.

Accompanying images of smouldering buildings are the incremental announcements from countries pledging to send an array of weapons to Kyiv, including a promise from Washington to deliver eight National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS) during the coming years. Pentagon leaders contend that this weapon system will help the Eastern European country defend itself against incoming cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), helicopters, and other aircraft.

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The US Marine Corps (USMC) displayed a variety of emerging communications equipment during the amphi...

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