WASHINGTON — General Atomics and Boeing are teaming up to build a new high-energy laser for air and missile defense, the companies announced Oct. 13.
Under the agreement, the companies will create a 100 kilowatt laser that will be scalable to 250 kilowatts, the companies stated in a news release. The weapon will be able to be employed as a standalone system or integrated onboard ground vehicles, ships and aircraft.
General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems will be responsible for the laser, batteries and thermal management system, while Boeing will create the beam director and software necessary for precision tracking and pointing the laser.
Although the companies did not specify whether the system is being built with a particular acquisition program in mind, the power levels that General Atomics and Boeing hope to achieve with their laser coincides with what the Army is aiming for in its High Energy Laser Tactical Vehicle Demonstrator program.
The service has already tapped Dynetics and Lockheed Martin to build the initial HEL TVD demonstrator — a 100-kilowatt-class laser that will be integrated with a Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles platform — but the service ultimately hopes to develop 250- to 300-kilowatt-class directed-energy weapons for future requirements.
The HEL TVD demonstrator is a pathway to fielding a directed energy weapon as part of the Indirect Fires Protection Capability (IFPC) Increment 2. The Army is in the process of putting laser fiber modules that buildup the components that get a laser up to 300 kilowatts, Lt. Gen. L. Neil Thurgood, the Army’s Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) director told Defense News in a recent interview ahead of of the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual conference.
The Army will demonstrate the capability in fiscal 2022 on a truck.
Part of a broader Pentagon program, the HEL-TVD
Shortly after coronavirus forced Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte to lock down the country, lawmaker Massimiliano Capitanio took an unusual call at his office in Rome.
It was an appeal for help from a hospital at the epicenter of the outbreak in northern Italy. Its administrators direly needed faster internet connections and computers to deal with the flood of patients. Capitanio — who sits on parliament’s telecommunications committee — called the country’s phone companies to help out.
To Capitanio, the pandemic was a wake-up call to fix Italy’s creaking internet. Now Conte has stepped in with a plan to kick-start investment by merging the country’s two biggest landline networks.
“Some families still don’t own a computer,” said Capitanio. “The government has been forced to step in and tackle this social emergency.”
Europe’s internet infrastructure is riddled with gaps and bottlenecks, exposed over the past seven months by surging hospital admissions to the rise of home working and explosion of e-commerce. Governments are now deciding how to intervene, after predicting the introduction of faster networks could lead to an annual benefit of 113 billion euros ($133 billion).
In Italy, the state investment vehicle Cassa Depositi e Prestiti SpA is expected to obtain a significant stake in a unified national network and give former monopoly Telecom Italia SpA confidence to speed up a roll-out of faster fiber-optic connections by removing rival Open Fiber SpA.
The plan tears up a guiding principle of the European project that more competition leads to better services. It’s part of a new pattern of engagement with industry that suggests Europe is watering down its anti-monopoly principles in response to China’s state-led expansion and Donald Trump’s America First agenda.
Building more robust infrastructure would stimulate stricken economies and spur the
SAIC Wins $49.5 Million U.S. Navy contract for Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF) C4ISR Upgrades and Refurbishment
Company will leverage solutions such as engineering, design, and integration solutions to support critical network upgrades and refurbishment of Royal Saudi Naval Forces’ systems
The U.S. Navy awarded Science Applications International Corp. (NYSE: SAIC) a $49.5 million single-award task order to continue to provide the Royal Saudi Naval Forces support services for command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) upgrade and refurbishment. Work will take place in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Under the cost-plus fixed-fee task order, awarded as part of the SeaPort-NxG contract, SAIC will leverage repeatable solutions such as engineering, design and integration, integrated product support and sustainment capabilities on critical networks. These networks fulfill the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command’s requirement for Program Executive Office C4I International Integration Program Office (PMW 740) Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF) In-Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) Support Services.
“For more than 40 years, SAIC has supported the Navy’s mission to help maintain the Royal Saudi Naval Forces’ C4ISR capability modernization, engineering and logistics,” said Jim Scanlon, SAIC executive vice president and general manager of the Defense Systems Group. “As a leader in technology integration, SAIC is excited to continue its assistance to the Navy as it continues to build this strategic partnership with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
SAIC will deliver solutions and services to include program management, systems engineering and integration, maintenance engineering, and integrated logistics for the modernization and refurbishment of RSNF systems. These services are enabled by SAIC’s legacy of support to RSNF, and SAIC’s investments in digital engineering and end-to-end logistics and supply chain solutions.
The prime contract has a five-year base period of performance.
SAIC® is a premier Fortune 500® technology integrator driving our nation’s digital transformation. Our robust portfolio of offerings across the defense, space, civilian, and intelligence markets
In partnership with the United Kingdom’s Strategic Command, which supports the Ministry of Defence, an unnamed company has developed a new battle-ready drone to assist armed forces with dangerous ground operations during urban warfare.
Reported by Popular Mechanics (via The Times), the i9 is a human-operated drone that can fly indoors, uses AI to locate and identify targets, and is outfitted with dual shotguns. If reading that makes you feel like we’re living in a 90s science fiction movie, well, I guess we are. Except Arnold is not headed to Mars.
As Popular Mechanics points out, breaching operations—when armed forces storm into a sealed off, enclosed area where enemy forces could be hiding—are one of the most dangerous type of ground operations. Casualties are usually high, especially among soldiers who enter the building first. Sending in a drone first is ideal for these kinds of operations. But hexacopters, or six-bladed drones like the i9, usually have issues with crashing to the ground if they get too close to a wall inside a small room, particularly if they are carrying something heavy, like a shotgun. The wall disrupts the airflow needed to keep the drone flying, which isn’t very useful in breaching operations.
The i9 is the UK’s first drone that can fly indoors while carrying heavy weaponry. The Ministry of Defence also hopes to develop other uses for the i9 as well, such as using it as a battering ram to knock other drones out of the sky and replacing the dual shotguns with either a rocket or chain gun. No, that is not the rambling of a video game designer. That is the desire of the UK’s Ministry of Defence.
Neither Popular Mechanics nor
Canada Probing Allegations Azeri Forces Are Using Canadian Technology in Nagorno-Karabakh | World News
OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada is probing allegations that Azeri forces involved in fighting with Armenia are using Canadian drone technology that was initially exported to Turkey, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday.
Project Ploughshares, a Canadian arms control group, says video of air strikes released by the Azeri air force indicates the drones had been equipped with imaging and targeting systems made by L3Harris Wescam, the Canada-based unit of L3Harris Technologies
The Globe and Mail newspaper said the firm had received permission earlier this year to ship seven imaging and targeting systems to Turkish drone maker Baykar. Turkey is a key ally of Azerbaijan, whose forces have been fighting for a week over the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh.
“In regards to the Canadian military equipment that may have been used … the minister of foreign affairs has launched an investigation into what exactly happened,” Trudeau told reporters when asked about the matter.
“It is extremely important that the terms of Canada’s expectations of non-violation of human rights (are) always respected,” said Trudeau, adding that he was extremely concerned by the fighting.
Canada’s Export and Import Permits Act forbids the sale of weapons if they could be used to commit serious violations of international humanitarian or human rights laws.
Officials at L3harris Wescam were not immediately available for comment.
(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Daniel Wallis)
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