Rheinmetall displayed its Mission Master XT A-UGV with Hero 120 loitering munition at Eurosatory 2022. (Janes/Nicholas Fiorenza)
Rheinmetall is displaying its Mission Master XT autonomous unmanned ground vehicle (A-UGV) with a fire-support module armed with UVision Hero 120 loitering munition at the Eurosatory 2022 defence exhibition being held in Paris from 13 to 17 June. The A-UGV is shown with a six-cell launch container.
Rheinmetall said in a 13 June press release that the module was developed in co-operation with UVision. The two companies signed a strategic partnership agreement in October 2021 to market UVision products in Europe as a first phase, with joint development activities planned for the second stage.
Rheinmetall said the Hero 120's electro-optical/infrared seeker enables non-line-of-sight engagement during the day and at night, tracking static and moving targets. Integrated with the Mission Master XT, heavily armoured targets can be located, tracked, and destroyed at long ranges, according to the German company.
The Mission Master XT can operate in ice, snow, and sub-zero weather conditions, as well as sandy, rocky, and mountainous topographies, Rheinmetall said, adding that it can float and swim with a full payload.
Ukraine conflict: Draganfly tasked with UAV training, systems take on mine clearance duties
28 September 2023
by Akshara Parakala
Draganfly's Commander 3 XL is operational in Ukraine. (Janes/Akshara Parakala)
Draganfly has been awarded a multi-year contract by Ukraine's Ministry of Internal Affairs to develop training programmes for unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) operations.
Speaking to Janes, Draganfly's chief operating officer, Paul Mullen, said the five-week training programme will help UAV operators develop their intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) mission skills, as well as those for search-and-rescue (SAR) tasks.
The company has developed the training programme with operators of Draganfly and other UAVs in Ukraine.
According to a company announcement, the contract was awarded by Ukraine's Ministry of Internal Affairs on behalf of non-governmental organisation (NGO) Heal-Corp and the Ukrainian National Academy of Internal Affairs. Mullen said the training will be provided on Draganfly UAVs, including the Draganflyer Commander2 and Commander 3 XL.
Since March 2022 Draganfly UAVs have been used to provide situational awareness and support humanitarian aid efforts, and since early 2023 they have been employed in mine detection and clearance tasks.
Mullen said the UAVs have been equipped with ground-penetrating radar (GPR), magnetometers, and multispectral and hyperspectral sensors to detect mines.
The Bundestag budget committee on 20 September approved a contract amendment for the procurement of 12 LUNA NG UASs for the Bundeswehr. (Rheinmetall)
The budget committee of the Bundestag, Germany's parliament, on 20 September approved a contract amendment for the procurement of the Luftgestützte Unbemannte Nahaufklärungs-Ausstattung Next Generation (LUNA NG) medium-range unmanned aircraft system (UAS), which is designated by the Bundeswehr as Hocheffizientes Unbemanntes System zur abbildenden Aufklärung mittlerer Reichweite (HUSAR). The Bundeswehr is procuring 12 LUNA NG UASs and a training system to replace current LUNA and Kleinfluggerät für Zielortung (KZO) UASs.
A LUNA NG system consists of five unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), two ground control stations in protected containers, maintenance and repair equipment, two launchers, and two recovery systems.
The total contract value is EUR290.9 million (USD307.8 million), of which EUR238.6 remains to be funded by Germany's defence budget. The German Federal Ministry of Defence expects LUNA NG deliveries starting in 2025.
Germany's Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) awarded EMT a EUR63 million framework contract for three LUNA NG systems and a training system, with an option for nine more UASs.
An Autel Evo Max UAV and a DJI Matrice quadcopter flying above a General Dynamics Land Systems LAV700 vehicle at C-UAS TIE23. (Janes/Olivia Savage)
NATO will publish its first counter-unmanned aircraft systems (C-UASs) doctrine in 2023, which will lay the foundations for how militaries should standardise and operationalise countering UASs, Janes has learnt.
Along with informing members how best to plan and execute C-UAS missions, the high-priority document will address and outline the strategic environment, Senior Advisor for NATO's Science for Peace and Security programme Claudio Palestini told Janes at NATO's ‘C-UAS Technical Interoperability Exercise 2023' (TIE23) in Vredepeel, Netherlands, held from 12 to 22 September.
A draft of the document will be sent to member countries in October before being ratified by the end of the year, although this timeline could fluctuate pending countries' comments, Palestini said.
Several strategic recommendations will be outlined in the doctrine, according to Palestini. These include advising member states that C-UAS must be integrated into the wider air-defence domain, rather than being ‘considered in isolation'; that it should be a multidomain solution; and that continuous innovation and improvement must be adopted because of the rapidly evolving threat.
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