SpearUAV is developing a new, micro-tactical loitering munition with a precision-strike capability. (SpearUAV)
SpearUAV has detailed the development of an ultra-lightweight micro-tactical loitering munition (LM) for small tactical units − squad level and below − with a precision-strike capability against moving and stationary line-of-sight and beyond-line-of-sight targets.
A company spokesperson provided Janes with an update of this company-funded initiative that is the latest addition to its unmanned air system (UAS) capabilities, which include the Ninox 103 underwater submarine-launched and the Ninox 40 MT (micro-tactical) UASs.
The new Viper concept provides for a series of different calibre, lightweight, modular payloads, optionally recoverable, low acoustic/radar cross-section/thermal signature, folding quadcopter intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR)/LM systems housed in ruggedised, ready-to-deploy, hermetically sealed ‘smart' capsules. Each capsule is furnished with an integrated proprietary launch mechanism, and the capsule also acts as a wireless router between the encapsulated loitering system and the user command-and-control (C2)/ground station.
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.
UAE firm secures USD5.1 billion to deliver satellite services to UAE government
26 September 2023
by Olivia Savage
Al Yah 1 and Al Yah 2 (pictured) developed by Thales Alenia Space and Airbus will continue to provide secure satellite services to the UAE government under a USD5.1 billion agreement with Yahsat until they are replaced with the new Al Yah 4 and Al Yah 5 satellites being built by Airbus. (Yahsat)
United Arab Emirates (UAE) company Yahsat has been awarded a major AED18.7 billion (USD5.1 billion) deal to provide satellite services to the UAE government, the company announced on 22 September.
Under the 17-year Authorisation to Proceed (ATP) agreement, Yahsat will supply the government with secure and reliable satellite capacity afforded by the Al Yah 1 and Al Yah 2 satellites from 2026 onwards. This will be supplemented by two new planned satellites – Al Yah 4 and Al Yah 5 – which are expected to be launched in 2027 and 2028 respectively, the announcement said.
In 2024 Yahsat will receive an advance payment of USD1 billion from the UAE government under the mandate agreement.
The ATP mandate will replace existing agreements, Capacity Services Agreement and the Managed Services Mandate (MSM), which are expected to conclude in November and December 2026 respectively.
An image of Intel's Nervana Neural Network Processor. Development of advanced neural networking capabilities, coupled with those focused on nanocomputing and other edge network technologies, is part of the AFRL's new extreme computing initiative. (Intel Corporation)
The US Air Force (USAF) is soliciting emerging technology prototypes from industry, focusing on how to further enable adoption and integration of ‘extreme computing' systems and programmes into USAF operations.
Issued by the Air Force Research Laboratory's (AFRL's) information directorate, the Extreme Computing broad agency announcement (BAA) calls for research and development (R&D) prototypes covering several major technical areas of interest.
The areas include “computational diversity and efficient computing architectures, machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) in embedded systems and architectures, computing at the edge, nanocomputing, space computing, and robust algorithms and applications”, according to the 20 September BAA solicitation.
AFRL officials have set aside a total of USD497 million to finance R&D work and prototype development on selected industry offerings submitted to the BAA, officials said in the announcement.
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