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[*] posted on 10-10-2018 at 09:15 AM


AUSA 2018: Harris Corporation passes qualification testing for T7 robot

Jess Saturno, Washington, DC - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

09 October 2018


Harris Corporation’s T7 robot on display at AUSA 2018. Source: IHS Markit/Jess Saturno

Harris Corporation's T7 robot passed qualification tests in July and is expected to announce the completion of user trials later this year for the UK Ministry of Defence's (MoD's) Project Starter programme, the company announced on 8 October at the annual Association of the United States Army (AUSA) exhibition in Washington, DC.

The MoD selected the Harris T7 robot for advanced explosive ordnance disposal operators in austere environments. Ed Zoiss, president of Harris Electronic Systems, said, "T7's selection by the MoD represents the first of many opportunities for Harris to deliver life-saving technology to warfighters and law enforcement personnel worldwide."

The 710 lb (322 kg) T7 robot provides haptic feedback to give human-like manipulation, enabling the user to have a sense of what the robot is feeling through an intuitive gripper control system. The robot can climb stairs, negotiate slopes of more than 40° (and lateral slopes of more than 30°), and features a two-way audio payload and a wire-cutting capability.

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[*] posted on 17-10-2018 at 07:58 PM


Japan developing vehicle-mounted IED detection system

Kosuke Takahashi, Tokyo - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

16 October 2018


Japan is developing a vehicle-mounted IED detection system for use in urban and suburban areas. Source: ATLA

Japan is developing a vehicle-mounted system designed to remotely detect improvised explosive devices (IEDs) along roads in urban and suburban areas.

The Ground Systems Research Center (GSRC) of the Ministry of Defense's (MoD's) Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Agency (ATLA) unveiled a prototype of what it described as a "high-speed IED detection system" on 6 October in the city of Sagamihara in Kanagawa Prefecture, where the GSRC is located.

The system, which was shown mounted on a Japan Self-Defense Force (JSDF) utility vehicle, uses microwave and millimetre-wave radars coupled with infrared (IR) cameras to detect IEDs ahead of the vehicle: either on the road surface or buried in the ground.

The system gathers data from these sensors to generate a 3D data map pinpointing the location of the detected IEDs, according to the GSRC. Its wide-area detection capabilities enable the operating units to find an IED while remaining outside the device's blast radius, said the GSRC.

An ATLA spokesperson told Jane's that the system underwent prototype development between fiscal year (FY) 2015 and FY 2017, with Japan's NEC Corporation being awarded JPY710 million (USD6.3 million) to conduct research on and develop the prototype.

The ATLA said it is spending about JPY 100 million to conduct tests in the current FY 2018. In late August, the agency requested about JPY200 million for further tests to be carried out in FY 2019.

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[*] posted on 10-4-2019 at 10:47 PM


Lifesaving Redwing Silvershield Units for Afghanistan

(Source: Australian Department of Defence; issued April 10, 2019)

Defence has engaged Brisbane-based Australian industry supplier, L3-Micreo to manage the production, manufacture and delivery of more than 14,000 additional life-saving SILVERSHIELD units to the Afghanistan National Defense and Security Forces.

SILVERSHIELD is a world-class, vehicle-mounted force protection system produced by Defence under the REDWING program. The system provides protection against radio controlled improvised explosive devices.

Minister for Defence Industry, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds announced the contract at L3 Micreo in Brisbane and said the capability would make a real difference to the lives of our Afghan partners, providing them with confidence as they continue operations against determined insurgent and terrorist groups.

The REDWING Program is part of Australias broader commitment to Afghanistans long-term security and development, Minister Reynolds said.

An initial 16,000 SILVERSHIELD units were delivered to Afghanistan throughout 2018. The systems are Australian designed, developed and manufactured, and tailored for use in the harsh environment of Afghanistan.

On delivery of this latest order, Australian industry and Defence will have produced and exported over 226,000 individual and vehicle mounted REDWING systems, with an export value of over $109 million, since 2015.

L3 Micreo Managing Director Sarah Earey said the company was honoured to welcome Minister Reynolds to L3 Micreo to announce the award of the Silver shield production order.

We continue to be extremely proud to produce these life-saving force protection systems for Defence to help address the persistent and evolving threat of IEDs in Afghanistan Director Earey said.

Major sub-system components for SILVERSHIELD are provided by Australian suppliers Axiom Precision Manufacturing, SRX Global (Australia), ZCG Scalar and Lintek.

The REDWING program is a successful collaboration between Defence and industry, and SILVERSHIELD further demonstrates Australian industrys ability to meet the challenge of high volume and time-critical manufacturing, Minister Reynolds said.

Australian Defence industry continue to deliver life-saving cutting-edge Counter Improvised Explosive Device (CIED) technology which represent our enduring effect in Afghanistan.

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[*] posted on 4-7-2019 at 01:12 PM


Serbias MTI develops improved anti-tank mine

Christopher F Foss, Belgrade - Jane's International Defence Review

03 July 2019


The TMRP-6E ATM is fitted with an electronic module fuze. Source: Christopher F Foss

The Military Technical Institute (MTI), part of the Serbian Ministry of Defence (MoD), has confirmed that it is developing a modernised version of the TMRP-6 anti-tank mine (ATM), known as the TMRP-6E.

ATMs typically use a high-explosive (HE) blast effect charge to disable an armoured fighting vehicle (AFV) but the TMRP-6 uses an explosively formed penetrator (EFP)-type warhead that is claimed to be able to penetrate between 40 mm and 80 mm of steel.

The original TMRP-6 ATM had a mechanical fuze but the TMRP-6E has an electronic fuze on top of the mine, with the actual casing constructed of plastic so it is more difficult to detect.

According to MTI, the electronic fuze enables reliable target identification using magnetic and vibration sensors, with mine settings being controlled via encrypted communications with an external device.

According to Sasa Savic, who works in MTI's armament and vehicle sector, "The TMRP-6E is expected to be qualified in the next 12 months."

Advantages over the previous version include the "possibility of satellite mapping of minefields, top efficiency on the aim, advanced algorithm against magnetic mine actuating systems, [and] complete diagnostics of the status", MTI added.

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[*] posted on 4-7-2019 at 07:31 PM


Army-2019: New UMZ-G multipurpose tracked minelayer vehicle based on tank chassis

Posted On Thursday, 04 July 2019 08:24

New Russian-made multipurpose tracked minelayer vehicle called UMZ-G unveiled at Army-2019, the International Military Technical Forum in Russia. The UMZ-G can be based on T-72 or T-90 main battle chassis without any turret but fitted with 3 rows of 3 multiple payload rotary launchers with fixed elevation mechanisms able to lay anti-personnel, anti-paratrooper or anti-tank mines.


New Russian-made UMZ-G multipurpose tracked minelayer vehicle based on T-72 or T-90 main battle tank chassis at Army-2019, International Military Technical Forum and Defense Exhibition in Patriotic Park, Moscow Region, Russia. (Picture source Army Recognition)

The UMZ-G (multipurpose tracked minelayer vehicle) is based on main battle tank chassis T-72 or T-90, but the layout of the vehicle is very different as a standard main battle tank. There is no glacis, the hull is rectangular with a crew of two, driver located at the front left side and one operator at the right.

In the middle, the top part of the UMZ-G is fitted with three rows of three multiple payload rotary launchers, each with 30 dispensers able to launch anti-personnel, anti-paratrooper or anti-tank mines.

The UMZ-G has a weight of 43,500 kg and the hull of the vehicle provides protection against firing of small arms and artillery shell splinters. The rear part of the hull is also fitted with wire cage armor to increase the protection of the vehicle against RPG (Rocket-Propelled Grenade) threats.

The UMZ-G is motorized with a Diesel engine V-84MS developing 840 hp. It can run at a maximum road speed of 60 km/h. For its self-protection, the UMZ-G is armed with one 12.7mm 6P49AA (Anti-Aircraft) Kord machine gun and a bank of four smoke grenade dischargers are mounted on each side at the front of the hull.

The vehicle is designed to remotely lay anti-tank, anti-personnel and mixed minefields from cluster dispenser unit with recording the minefield coordinates and the possibility of setting the mine self-destruction time from the mining control. The minelayer's mine control system provides automatic input of the self-destruction time into mines in the cluster dispenser units, control spent ammunition and minelayer component state assessment.

The UMZ-G can operate as part of a combat unit or independently. The commander of the UMZ-G receives a command to lay a minefield from the unified tactical management system (ESU TZ), a minefield chart is generated upon completion of the mining mission and transmitted automatically to a command post via electronic data through the ESU TZ.

The maximum length of the minefield being laid with the use of one basic mine load: antipersonnel mines (PFM) 3,200 meters; antipersonnel mines (POM) 5,000 meters; antitank mines (PTM) 600 meters. It can launch the mine at a maximum range of 40 m with a mining speed of 40 km/h. The minefields it creates are 15 meters deep and 240 meters wide. Its mine-laying speed is up to 40 km per hour.

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[*] posted on 10-8-2019 at 07:09 PM


GLOBAL EOD CONFERENCE NEWS: Pentagon Sees IED Threat from Peer Adversaries

8/7/2019

By Yasmin Tadjdeh

BETHESDA, Md. During the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, one of the greatest challenges the U.S. military faced from insurgents was the scourge of improvised explosive devices low-cost bombs that were deployed on roadsides and other areas frequented by warfighters that killed or maimed thousands of troops. But as the United States enters an era of competition with advanced adversaries such as Russia and China, the threat from IEDs will endure, an official with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency said Aug. 6.

The improvised threat isnt going away, said Lisa Swan, director of counter-improvised threat technologies at DTRA.

The military is now thinking about how it can take lessons learned from the past 15 years of defeating improvised weapons and apply it to great power competition, she said during a keynote address at the National Defense Industrial Associations annual Global EOD Conference and Symposium in Bethesda, Maryland. The National Defense Strategy of 2018 listed both Russia and China as peer competitors.

I don't know how nation-states will use improvised threats obviously no one does but I don't know why they wouldn't, Swan said. We've seen how low-cost solutions can be significantly disruptive to our operations.

Swan defined an IED as a device or system as well as its associated tactics, techniques and procedures that is designed, fielded and employed unconventionally to adversely affect U.S. forces and their partners. However, that definition may need to be tweaked in the future depending on how such weapons are deployed by more advanced nation-states, she noted.

Swan said she believes nation-states would utilize asymmetric weapons in future fights. Such tactics would slow down the U.S. military's ability to operate and be a major distraction, she noted.

Last time around, [the enemy] controlled our freedom of movement, she said. They limited what we could do.

She added: My hope would be that we'll take what we've learned about how to respond to those threats including the networks behind them and apply that as we move forward into great power competition."

The pervasive use of roadside bombs by insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan required the Pentagon to rapidly ramp up the production and deployment of mine resistant, ambush-protected vehicles at a cost of billions of dollars. The systems were credited with saving tens of thousands of lives. Other technology solutions were shepherded by the Joint Improved Explosive Device Defeat Organisation, or JIEDDO. The organization has evolved and is now known as the Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Organization, or JIDO.

Swan noted that improvised threats constantly change and compel U.S. forces to adapt. She compared the process to a game of chess.

They make an advance, we counter it, she said. Part of our challenge is anticipating where the threat is going to go next not physically, but from a technology standpoint.

Scientists in Swans office are examining technology trends and how new systems can help the military. But they are also looking at how such systems could be turned around and used against U.S. troops, she noted.

The counter-improvised threat technologies office is currently pursuing new capabilities that could be used in future warfighting environments. For example, it is working on an airborne system that is capable of rendering ammonium nitrate a vital ingredient in homemade explosives, or HME ineffective from a distance while also minimizing damage to surrounding communities, Swan said.

Ammonium nitrate has been used in some of the world's most notorious terrorist attacks, including the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, as well as attacks on U.S. Embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998. It has also been widely used by the militants in Iraq and Afghanistan and by the Islamic State, according to Swan.

In the past, we were sweeping the ground for fertilizer looking for fertilizer or ammonium nitrate, she said. However, there is now a demand signal from our forward-deployed warfighters ... for a solution to neutralize homemade explosive material from an airborne platform.

The office has funded research that led to three demonstrations, she said. The first was a reactive mixture that combined with the HME and demonstrated near elimination of the explosives.

The second test was of a polymer-type solution that rendered the explosives inert for a minimum of six days. The third used an unmanned aerial vehicle to deploy a counter-HME material which ignited the explosives and burned them safely.

There's still work to be done to make it a better delivery system and to take care of completely eliminating [the threat], but it was pretty effective, she said.

New technology is also needed to deal with booby trapped structures such as buildings that have hidden IEDs inside, Swan said. Her office is specifically looking for autonomous or semi-autonomous solutions, she noted.

So far Swans team has tested devices that can provide real-time situational awareness, she said. It wants systems that can facilitate mapping and explore multi-level buildings without guidance from a human operator. It is also looking for improved cameras and radios, she added.
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[*] posted on 5-9-2019 at 10:01 AM


MSPO 2019 : PGZ Presents his TMN and MZK-E Mine Throwers

Posted On Wednesday, 04 September 2019 16:54

TMN and MZK-E Thrower are designed for firing anti-tank scatterable MN-123 mines. Those are part of the elements of the engineering mine scattering system.


TMN and MZK-E Mine Throwers (Picture source Army Recognition)

The engineering mine scattering system includes carrier vehicle, throwers with mine clusters, and a controller installed in the driver's cab, among other components. With six throwers mounted, the ISMN is capable of throwing 600 mines in less than 3 minutes, creating a vast minefield 180 m wide and 1000 m long. The mines are actuated after detection of vehicle outline moving above them. They are activated by magnetic fuzes. It is possible to program the mines to self-destruction after a set of time before scattering them. MN-123 mines can inflict extensive damage on the vehicle even if it's not penetrated. The mines are also available as training mines - MN-123/C and mock-ups - MN-123/O.

TMN and MZK-E mine throwers, which are mounted on land vehicles, are designed for MN-123 antitank minefield barrier scattering by subunits of engineer troops at the tactical level.

The mine throwers contain mechanically coupled set of 20 barrels for scattering and disintegration of MN 123 mine clusters. A moving carrier with mounted throwers facilitates scattering of barrier minefield parallel to the route on the belt of about 70m wide while maintaining its own safety. Structure of the throwers makes it possible to scatter mines on both sides behind the moving vehicle and laterally at 45 angle in the opposite driving direction.

Each thrower (calibre 188 mm) has a weight of 360 kg and measures 1418 length x 894 width x 1200 mm height. The mines can be thrown in two different ways: laterally or behind the carrier. The minefield width is depending on the setting of but the maximum distance reached is 180 meter. The duration of the loading thrower is about 20 minutes.
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[*] posted on 6-9-2019 at 08:18 PM


MSPO 2019: Polish Companies Offering Mine Scattering Vehicles

Polish companies profiled solutions for scattering battlefield and area denial mines during MSPO 2019 in Kielce this week.

The vehicles are on offer to the international market but should also be of interest to the Polish Army, which currently just six KROTON minelayers, mounted on a tracked MT-LB chassis.

The most advanced of the two proposals is a prototype of the BAOBAB wheeled, self-propelled minelayer, designed by a group of Polish companies led by Huta Stalowa Wola (HSW) and including BZE BELMA, WITI Wrocław and Jelcz. The BAOBAB mine launchers can be mounted on any type of truck and the Polish Army has already placed an order for eight on an 8x8 chassis and mounting six launchers, designated BAOBAB-K. Development is scheduled to be completed by 2021.

BAOBAB is equipped with four mine launchers, each containing 100 MN-123 anti-tank mines. It can be equipped with additional systems, including self-defence systems such as 81mm smoke grenade launchers and a ZSMU remotely-controlled weapon station (RCWS) with a 12.7mm machinegun. It is also equipped with an on-board computer,an imaging terminal with digital map, the FONET internal communication system, GPS and an odometer. According to HSW, BAOBAB can work both automatic and manual mode, the former in which calculates "settings and retains launching frequency during vehicle travel to ensure correct parameters of the minefield. Additionally, minefield parameters and coordinates of minefield corners are recorded on digital maps and displayed on the computer screen. All the data can then be sent via radio to a higher command level," the company stated.

System length is 9.4m, height to the mine launchers is 3.1m (2.5m in march mode and 2.8in combat mode). Weight for a four-launcher platform is 3,420kg rising to 4,260kg for a future six-launcher variant) 4,260kg: these launchers can be reloaded in 20 and 30 mins per launcher respectively. One unit of mines can be laid in 15 mins by the former variant, 22 mins by the latter, at a laying speed of 5-25km/h, laying mines 30-90m either side of the vehicle.

BZE BELMA (Bydgoskie Zakłady Elektromechaniczne) from Bydgoszcz showcased the TMN and MZK-E mine throwers. The system is designed to scatter MN-123 anti-tank mines and is unique in doing so at a greater range, according to the manufacturer. A launcher can fire up to 20 mine cassettes, each of five mines in each, to a maximum 180m range (minimum 30m) and features operator-controlled scattering density. Total weight is 360 kg and dimensions 142 x 90 x 130cm. It can be reloaded in 20 minutes. The MN-123 features a bi-directional shaped-charge Explosively Formed Penetrator (EFP) which can penetrate up to 60mm or rolled homogenous armour and can be fitted with a magnetic, delayed or instant fuze type. More importantly, the MN-123 is also equipped with a programmable self-destruct mechanism.

Robert Czulda


The BZE BELMA launcher can fire 20 cassettes each containing five MN-123 anti-tank mines. (Photo: Robert Czulda)

Published: 06 September 2019
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[*] posted on 11-9-2019 at 11:34 AM


Leonardo Unveils Latest Jamming Technology for Ground Forces to Protect from the Improvised Explosive Threat

(Source: Leonardo; issued Sept 09, 2019)

ROME --- At the DSEI 2019 exhibition, Leonardo will unveil two new additions to its GUARDIAN range of Counter-Improvised Explosive Device (C-IED) products, offering improved survivability for ground forces. The New GUARDIAN HR and GUARDIAN HFE have been developed in response to the emerging techniques and technologies which are starting to be employed by insurgent and terrorist groups. The two new variants are at a high technology readiness level and are available to order now for deliveries in 2020.

Leonardos GUARDIAN family of systems protect ground troops from the widespread threat of remotely-activated Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). These cheaply made and often low-tech remotely-controlled bombs represent a deadly threat to ground forces. In response, the GUARDIAN family uses advanced jamming technologies to block the signals used to detonate the devices.

Designed and manufactured in the UK, the products have been battle-proven on operations in combat zones such as Northern Ireland, Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria, saving many lives.

The two new versions of GUARDIAN have been created in response to enemy forces attempts to bypass current C-IED technology by modifying their methods of triggering Improvised Explosive Devices.

The GUARDIAN HFE (High Frequency Extension) is an upgrade to the in-service Guardian H3, or to any other frequency limited C-IED equipment, which gives the system the ability to block the higher-frequency signals used by some mobile phone devices. The HFE system was successfully trialled by the Italian Army in June.

Meanwhile, the Guardian HR is an all-new version of the system which brings two new features into the GUARDIAN toolbox. The first, responsive jamming, focuses power against a specific threat signal instead of using a barrage of lower power jamming energy.

The other new feature is a software-configurable architecture, which adds an extra level of flexibility to the GUARDIAN system by allowing it to be updated/configured via software download in response to new threats, similar to how you might install an app on a mobile phone.

Currently, both of the new systems are available as vehicle-mounted equipment and Leonardo is also developing a portable manpack version of the GUARDIAN HR which is expected to be ready in 2020.

-ends-
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