General Dynamics Mission Systems wins deal for next-gen satellite communications system

General Dynamics Mission Systems has announced that it has been awarded a cost-plus-award-fee and firm-fixed-price indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity sole-source contract worth $731.8 million for the Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) ground system sustainment.

MUOS is a next-generation satellite communications system that provides secure voice and data communications for US forces worldwide. General Dynamics Mission Systems provides the integrated ground segments for MUOS, which will soon provide secure cell phone-like communications for warfighters on the move.  The contract was awarded by the US Navy on November 8.

Manny Mora, Vice President and General Manager for the Space and Intelligence Systems line of business at General Dynamics Mission Systems, said: “MUOS will provide our warfighters with the ability to communicate securely, anywhere, anytime, with voice clarity and data transmission speed similar to using a civilian cellphone. This capability delivers a whole new level of connectivity for troops in the field.”

MUOS was recently deemed operationally effective, operationally survivable, and cyber survivable, following successful completion of its Multiservice Operational Test and Evaluation (MOT&E). This summer’s rigorous MOT&E, conducted by the U.S. Navy’s Commander, Operational Test and Evaluation Force, included participation from the U.S. Army and the U.S. Marine Corps.

Most of the MUOS work will be completed in Scottsdale, Arizona, and completion is expected by November 2029.

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Making the case for cyber security investment

Writing for Defence Online, Spencer Young, Regional Vice President of EMEA at Imperva highlights the needs for businesses to take cyber security seriously and invest accordingly.

2018 turned out to be a significant year for cybersecurity with breaches and attacks making the news far too often. In fact, a recent report released by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport reveals that over four in ten businesses (43%) in the UK experienced a cyber security breach or attack last year. The same report goes on to highlight that despite the growing number of cyber security threats and attacks fewer than three in ten businesses (27%) have formal cyber security policies in place. 

While this discrepancy is worrying, it shines the spotlight on why business leaders are yet to fully embrace the value of cybersecurity.  

Although we’re in the era of digital transformation, many organisations are looking for guaranteed returns from their technology investments. Therein lies the problem – with increasingly tight budgets, senior leaders view of cyber security systems is currently framed as insurance. So, how do we shift this mindset so that senior leaders can better understand that the value of protecting business critical data extends far beyond just covering your assets?   


Cyber security and the board 

 In recent months, we’ve seen the introduction of new regulations such as the EU’s GDPR, as well as constantly shifting privacy laws in nearly every geography. While there is considerable levels of effort required to prepare for these new compliance landscapes, they are putting security strategy decisions at the top of the priority pile of boards and exec teams. 

 Board members, in particular, are responsible for establishing good governance practices and policies for driving better financial performance and growth. For this reason, it is vital that they have a comprehensive view of their organisation’s cyber security strategy, and the required level of investment for buying down their risk. 

 Where cybersecurity may have previously been considered one subset of operational IT, a cursory glance over the press clippings in recent years will have alerted them to the real challenge. A growing number of business leaders are awakening to the fact that a data breach is all but inevitable. What they need to know is, how they can limit the scope of damage from a data breach with the right level of investment. 


Step 1: Making the case to senior leadership 

As the levels of liability for failing to govern risk and protect critical data are transferred from the IT department to senior leadership, these leaders need a quantified measurement of risks including: 


  • Compromised customer data 
  • Diminished brand and reputation 
  • Loss of investor and consumer confidence and loyalty 
  • Stolen sensitive intellectual property 
  • Compliance and regulatory sanctions 
  • Business disruptions 


Step 2: Assessing the current situation 

Once these risks are quantified, due diligence will require leaders to assess the steps their partners and competitors are taking to avoid exposure. Relationships with technology suppliers and lenders then become less transactional, and more of a long-term advisory partnership, as they’re best placed to provide advice on the current trends within your marketplace. 


Step 3: Do a complete audit 

The next step requires you to conduct a thorough inspection of your current security posture.  

This involves understanding where your critical data currently resides, who requires access to it and more critically, who actually has access to it. While it’s a drum we beat perpetually at Imperva, many leaders don’t understand the risks of a potential data breach by careless, compromised, and malicious insiders. Not all data assets carry the same level of risk, and not every employee should be given carte blanche access to all organisational data.  

While this may be time consuming, leaving no stone unturned at this stage of the audit will give you a clear understanding of where your security measures stand currently and benefit you greatly in the long run. 


Final step: Determine the right investment for your business  

By appraising your data assets in terms of their value and risk, you can then begin targeting your investments towards timely threat detection and incident response.  

No matter the time and effort invested, it is important to remember that data breaches are inevitable.   

Framing this approach as a risk/reward equation and using a tiered security approach ensures that your organisation can protect high-value targets that would cause significant harm if they were compromised. 

At the very least, senior leaders need to be made aware of the growing threat they face every day from external cyberattacks and internal data breaches. A single breach has the potential to irreparably damage the financial condition of even the most successful business, and ruin the careers of those leaders involved. Rather than packaging your cyber security spending rationale within IT investments, these really need to be highlighted as a high level risk mitigation strategy. 

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NATO leaders reaffirm defence spend commitment

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson has reaffirmed Britain’s commitment to NATO, describing it as ‘rock solid’ at a meeting of the leaders of the military alliances’ 70th anniversary in London.

The Prime Minister and the other leaders, including US President Trump, met for talks designed to strengthen the alliance and to ensure it is best placed to deal with future challenges.

In a declaration, the NATO leaders outlined their pledge on defence spend, stating: ‘We are determined to share the costs and responsibilities of our indivisible security. Through our Defence Investment Pledge, we are increasing our defence investment in line with its 2% and 20% guidelines, investing in new capabilities, and contributing more forces to missions and operations.’

Previously, President Trump had been critical of NATO members who had failed to meet the budget target, going as far as to controversially question the value of the alliance to the United States.

However, the US President appeared satisfied with the direction of the discussions. He tweeted after the conclusion of the two day conference:

‘Great progress has been made by NATO over the last three years. Countries other than the U.S. have agreed to pay 130 Billion Dollars more per year, and by 2024, that number will be 400 Billion Dollars. NATO will be richer and stronger than ever before….’

As for the UK, the Prime Minister confirmed that the Government remains committed to maintaining its NATO defence spend.

Mr Johnson said: “For the UK’s part, we spend over 2% of GDP on defence. We are proudly making the biggest contribution of any European ally to NATO’s Readiness Initiative by offering an armoured brigade, two fighter squadrons and six warships, including the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carriers.”

The declaration also highlighted the need to invest in technology to meet emerging threats such as cyber and hybrid attacks, protect key infrastructure and recognised space as an operational domain. It stated:

‘We are addressing the breadth and scale of new technologies to maintain our technological edge, while preserving our values and norms.  We will continue to increase the resilience of our societies, as well as of our critical infrastructure and our energy security.  NATO and Allies, within their respective authority, are committed to ensuring the security of our communications, including 5G, recognising the need to rely on secure and resilient systems.  We have declared space an operational domain for NATO, recognising its importance in keeping us safe and tackling security challenges, while upholding international law.  We are increasing our tools to respond to cyber attacks, and strengthening our ability to prepare for, deter, and defend against hybrid tactics that seek to undermine our security and societies.’

image from shutterstock

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Global outreach: How international space research is inspiring collaboration

Space is an international domain that any government or enterprise is able to access. The space race characterised early advancements in the sector and arguably was responsible for the moon landing and Sputnik. Space still remains a domain for international rivalry and potential future battlegrounds, but in modern times it has become a realm of global collaboration.

As technology advances and more becomes possible, space agencies are turning their focus to science fiction ideas such as space tourism and colonies on the moon and Mars. Since NASA launched the International Space Station in 1998, 109 astronauts from 19 countries (including the UK, Japan, Russia, Canada, Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands) have completed missions aboard. Private organisations have become more invested in space and often collaborate with government organisations on projects.

The 70th International Astronautical Congress in Washington DC was attended by organisations from Canada, UAE, Italy, Africa, and others. One area of focus was private space companies such as Space X, which is aiming for a moon launch within the next few years, ahead of NASA’s target. The European Space Agency (ESA) received a large share of attention due to a number of European startups engaging in the sector. Collaboration between government space agencies and start-ups was a theme, with NASA also expressing a desire to work with smaller firms.

During the conference, the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) welcomed 41 new members, bringing the count to 397. NASA and CNES signed an amendment to the Implementing Arrangement for their joint Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission, securing collaboration between the US and France. CNES also signed an agreement with the ESA to share interoperability facilities and ground control for spacecraft operations. This will form part of a European network of operations centres encouraging knowledge sharing, technical interchange, and joint action as well as facilitating exchanges between experts within the sector.

At the conference, representatives from different countries and organisations expressed their support for NASA’s moon programme. Japan has promised logistics services through its HTV-X cargo freighter and has plans to supply a habitation module for the Gateway lunar space station. Canada confirmed its robotic arm technology will also be part of the Gateway station and the ESA will seek funding from member states to contribute to the lunar station.

Climate change is a global issue and the fight against it has become an international effort. Data collected in space can be invaluable in tracking the health of the Earth. The Space Climate Observatory (SCO) links space agencies and scientist from countries across Europe, Asia, and South America as well as the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA). The SCO aims to track tell-tale signs of damage such as weather events, soil quality, ocean levels, and ice. The SCO is partnered with the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) and the Copernicus Climate Change Service. These partnerships aim to provide unified access to climate data collected in space. The program plays a role in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) laid out in the Paris Agreement and ensures climate action is being taken seriously. The aim is for SCO to become a resource for all nations and for countries to develop their own national SCOs.

The SCO aims to compile Earth observation data, model outputs, spatial products, and national, regional, and local assets. It will use cross-disciplinary resources to monitor issues such as economic, social, and human impacts of climate change at a global and regional level. Technological advances such as artificial intelligence will assess data collected in space. Space technology is also being assessed as a way of generating green energy. Solar satellites can remain in the sunlight constantly and send the energy back to Earth. NASA has invested in this energy solution, with companies like Boeing expressing interest in the manufacture of solar satellites. China has also announced plans for the satellites, which could lead to their further domination of the solar power industry.

Next year marks the 20th anniversary of continuous human occupation of the International Space Station (ISS). A joint occupation with US and Russian Astronauts will mark the occasion, which will be completed just before the anniversary in November. The US government is debating extending the ISS programme to beyond 2030. A NASA official spoke to the Humans in Space Symposium in Dubai, confirming that ISS partners in Asia, Europe, and North America support the extension of the ISS lifespan. Previously, the station was due to be decommissioned in 2028. Partners in the station have now said they want work to continue for as long as possible.

The Dubai conference came after the first astronauts from the UAE were sent to space with Russian funding. There are more plans to send astronauts from the region into space. Attendees also discussed potential commercialisation of the ISS, something becoming more possible with technological advancements. NASA has expressed ambitions for the ‘industrialisation’ of low Earth orbit with companies like SpaceX and Boeing.

The ISS commercialisation plan was released by NASA earlier this year. It includes changes such as making a docking port for commercial modules and commercial use policy. This commercial initiative will include a pricing list for cargo and services in the station. Commercial activities will have to connect to a NASA mission, support NASA’s Lower Earth Orbit economy, or require low-gravity environments aboard the station. NASA will allow commercial transport to take private astronauts to the station and offer the use of station systems.

There could be other space stations in orbit in the near future, China and India have expressed interest in launching their own. These ambitions also include plans for launch vehicles and other forms of space flight. China has been developing its space station for a planned launch of the first components in 2020. The station is expected to be completed two years after the first launch. India is also planning a launch in 2022, celebrating 75 years since the end of British rule. The next major ambition for space exploration is Mars. The planet is arguably the focus of a 21st-century space race, with the US and China both aiming for Mars missions as well as private company SpaceX aiming for colonisation. NASA’s Mars rover could soon be joined by a Chinese counterpart.

SpaceX’s Mars colonisation has been the subject of a lot of media attention. The ESA’s ExoMars mission is focused around the robotic exploration of the planet. The Rosalind Franklin rover has been completed this year at the Airbus Defence and Space site in Stevenage, UK. The rover is set to be launched in 2021 and will explore the planet for signs of life as well as taking high-quality images. The ESA recently looked to NASA to solve problems with parachutes designed to assist the ExoMars lander. Tears in the parachute canopies appeared during tests, despite design adaptations.

The ESA worked with experts from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, saying NASA’s greater experience with parachutes was needed. China is also planning to launch its own Mars rover next year, as is the UAE. The UK will play a role in the ESA’s Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) as a leading investor and through British contract winners.

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Financing the European space sector

The European Commission has released a report looking at the future of Europe’s space sector. The report examines the space economy and recommendations for the future. It covers access to finance for the competitive space industry, the space sector and its business models, the funding landscape for space companies, key findings of access to finance conditions for space companies in Europe, and recommendations.

The report starts with an executive summary which looks at economic growth in the sector. The worldwide space economy grew by 6.7% on average a year between 2005 and 2017 and satellites represent the largest subsection, around 37% of the industry. The summary looks at different areas of the industry including commercial and security. The summary ends with a call for a ‘finance for space’ organisation to bridge the gap in understanding between the space and financial sectors.

The first section is an in-depth look into how the space sector can be financed. It details a study by the EU into the current investment sector, examining gaps and proposing solutions for the supply chain. The study looked at interviews with companies to examine space organisations’ experiences with the market. Recommendations were developed based on the findings of these interviews. The respondents agreed that a business model was needed to compensate for the fact that few people in the space sector have experience with business and finance. The section looks at financing behind the biggest industry within the sector, satellites. Commercial communications, government communications and Earth observation make up the majority of the industry. Earth observation is experiencing the biggest changes, according to the report, due to technological advancement and increased capability.

Organisations are making use of advancements such as smaller satellites, better processing capabilities, the build-up and replacement of Earth observation systems over a shorter space of time, cost-effective satellite constellations, and an extension of sensor capabilities. The report looks at technology trends disrupting the market. Advancements such as 3D printing, nanotechnology, and AI have made changes to the space sector. It looks at the possibility of exploring the solar system for resources that are rare on Earth. Another potential revenue is improved capability on existing satellites to improve communication services on the ground. This industry has become attractive to businesses and new services are being rolled out.

The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, or Horizon 2020, provides funding for new projects mostly through grants. Horizon 2020 aims to fund SMEs through dedicated programmes. The European Space Agency offers to fund to companies working on research and development in space. In recent years the agency has given around €390million to support research and development.

The funding covers projects from basic research to application development. The InnovFin Space Equity Pilot (ISEP) funds SMEs and enterprises in the space sector with €50million from the EU budget. Other funding instruments include the European Innovation Council (EIC), Eurostars, and Fast Track to Innovation (FTI). There are also national and regional funds available in member states and sector-specific funding. The report details specific projects including objectives, funding available, and organisation.

OHB System AG was awarded €30million to develop an electric satellite propulsion platform. Government incentives have been set up to alleviate credit concerns for companies. Financing differs depending on the governments involved. Export-credit agencies mostly offer to fund up to 85% of a contract’s value with lower rates than banks. The report explores the quality of European funding frameworks. The report details the hurdles faced by European space companies. European star-ups often struggle to reach the same level as their peers in China and America. In a survey, European organisations said that there was a gap between their needs and the accessibility and availability of funding. The report looks at other results of this survey.

One issue proposed in the report is that there is a lack of individuals in the industry with both space and investment knowledge. In order to ensure proper funding, investors must understand the space sector, according to the report. This is especially true with modern space research which requires many different business styles. Many projects require a different approach to funding. Investment in the US is higher than in Europe. Start-ups rely mostly on public money for projects. Responders to the survey said they look to the US for investment and some considered moving their operation there. Most space experts work in space agencies and larger space organisations rather than seeking out smaller start-up enterprises. Non-US investment has risen, but the vast majority of money is still going to the US space industry. Space technology requires a longer development than other innovations, which require longer financial sustainment from investors.

The latest projects reduce the time needed for development, making investment more attractive. The report recommends that start-ups become more adept at dealing with bureaucratic procurement processes and long integration cycles. It suggests looking to established start-ups for guidance. The biggest issues in securing public funds are technology risk, business case, and market maturity. Respondents in the survey said that a bottom-up approach should be adopted and the process should be simplified. The landscape is improving, with more calls to fund innovative research in Europe as well as an increasing number of new organisations receiving Horizon 2020 research funds.

The report concludes with recommendations based on its findings. The first is to restructure and strengthen the ecosystem of public support mechanisms. To create a more flexible environment based on commercialisation, with a more integrated and less prescriptive system. It suggests European governments should create more initiatives to support start-ups. It says that reducing fragmentation and creating a more unified system would allow for more ideas to find time for development. The next recommendation is to create mechanisms based on the public sector. Initiatives such as Horizon 2020’s SME fund allows the EU to support developments that meet public sector needs. This kind of funding has been piloted in the space sector.

The third recommendation encourages investors to adopt a European Defence Policy as a driver for market development. The EU encourages dual-use space innovation that unites with defence plans. Projects that serve multiple needs in security and military environments will be more attractive to investors. Recommendation four says that organisations must increase the volume of risk capital and catalyse additional private investment in the sector. Suppliers and investors express concerns over market maturity and lack of exit opportunities, and a lack of understanding about space. The fifth recommendation emphasises the need to establish a ‘finance for space’ forum that brings together people from academia, policymaking, industry, and finance to develop financing solutions suitable for the space sector. The different levels of the space sector supply chain often do not fully understand each other, and a single financing forum could make the process more efficient.

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NATO Secretary General announces increased defence spending

Ahead of the meeting of NATO Leaders in London to mark the Alliance’s 70th anniversary, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg gave details of large increases in Allied defence spending.

Mr Stoltenberg announced that in 2019 defence spending across European Allies and Canada increased in real terms by 4.6 %, making this the fifth consecutive year of growth.

He also revealed that by the end of 2020, those Allies will have invested $130 billion more since 2016. Based on the latest estimates, the accumulated increase in defence spending by the end of 2024 will be $400 billion.

Mr. Stoltenberg said: “This is unprecedented progress and it is making NATO stronger.”

The Secretary General also confirmed that more Allies are meeting the guideline of spending 2 % of GDP on defence.  This year, nine Allies will meet the guideline, up from only 3 Allies just a few years ago.  The majority of Allies have plans in place to reach 2 % by 2024.

Mr Stoltenberg said: “Allies are also investing billions more in new capabilities and contributing to NATO deployments around the world. So we are on the right track but we cannot be complacent. We must keep up the momentum.”

NATO Heads of State and Government will meet in London today and tomorrow December and the Secretary General said he expected they will take decisions to continue NATO’s adaptation, including more improvements to the readiness of Allied forces; recognising space as an operational domain; and updating NATO’s action plan against terrorism.  Leaders are also due to have a strategic discussion on Russia, the future of arms control, as well as the rise of China.

Mr Stoltenberg commented: “Our Alliance is active, agile and adapting for the future.  Standing together, North America and Europe represent half the world’s economic and military might.  In uncertain times, we need strong multinational institutions like NATO. So we must continue to strengthen them every day, to keep all our citizens safe.  And that is what we are going to do when Leaders meet next week.”

Image © NATO

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Northrop Grumman seeks Australian partners via ICN Gateway

Northrop Grumman is seeking expressions of interest from Australian industry to join them in their efforts to support the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) with Project AIR6500.

Under AIR6500, the RAAF will develop a 5th generation multi-domain joint battle management system (JBMS) to enable coordination of air battle management, joint weapons employment, and ground-based air defence in operational theatres.

Northrop Grumman is engaging with a range of industry members, including small businesses, with the goal of creating an Australian AIR6500 solution that brings the best capability for the best value. The ICN Gateway Portal will serve as the primary vehicle for potential suppliers to register expressions of interest and share information about their competencies and skills.

Chris Deeble, Chief Executive, Northrop Grumman Australia, said: “Northrop Grumman aims to lead industry support to the RAAF as it fields a survivable, scalable and modern, next-generation JBMS under AIR6500. We’re committed to a sovereign capability that’s designed and developed through close collaboration with other Australian industry members.

“We recognise that a program of this size, scope and complexity will demand the most innovative, best-of-breed capabilities and a prime systems integrator partnering with Australian industry who can deliver world class capabilities to the Australian Defence Force.”

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Keeping data secure in the oil and gas industry 

Writing for Defence Online, Jerry Askar, Managing Director Middle East, Levant & Africa, Certes Networks, examines the importance of protecting the data networks of the utilities sector.

As automation continues to evolve, the utilities sector is finding that encryption of their network data is a critical to safeguard against cyber-attacks.  And, as organisations across the globe continue to prioritise cybersecurity, the threat landscape continues to expand.  Although good progress is being made, it is evident that critical network vulnerabilities are still being left unprotected.  

This is particularly the case in the oil and gas sector, which is the latest to enter the cyber security spotlight according to the latest threat report by security firm Dragos that highlighted that the sector is a valuable target for adversaries seeking to exploit industrial control systems (ICS) environments. The report revealed a new activity group targeting the industry, bringing the total number of tracked ICS-targeted activity groups to nine, five of which directly target oil and gas organisations. What’s more, the increased deployment of automation within the oil and gas industry to manage costs, extract the most value from current assets and maximise up-time, only causes the threats to ICS and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) networks to rise.  

The threat is clearly high, as are the potential consequences of a cyber-attack on this sector. An attack on an oil or gas organisation would not only have severe political and economic impacts, but it would also have a direct effect on civilian lives and infrastructure. Much of how the population lives and works is dependent upon the energy from oil and gas production, from communication, the use of electronic devices and appliances, and even heating, cooling and cooking. The smallest attack on this sector could result in devastating effects.  

Beyond consumer impact, an oil or gas company hit by a cyber-attack could experience a plant or production shutdown, utilities interruptions, equipment damage or loss of quality, undetected spills and of course safety measure violations. For example, in December 2018, Saipem, an Italian oil and gas industry contractor, fell victim to a cyber-attack that hit servers based in the Middle East, India, Aberdeen and Italy, which led to the cancellation of data and infrastructures.  


Mitigating cyber-attack damage  

Understanding not just the threats faced by this sector, but also how the attacks are taking place and the behaviours and capabilities of activity groups targeting oil and gas companies, is essential. As the Dragos report warned, there is currently limited visibility – or observability –into the network ecosystem, including communications to and from operations centers, distribution substations and even home “smart grid” networks. This means that intruders can dwell for longer and the root cause of the attack can remain undetected. As is widely documented, the longer an attacker remains in a network, the more damage the breach will cause.  

To protect data in ICS/SCADA environments, organisations in the oil and gas industry need an encryption solution that not only safely encrypts data enterprise-wide, but that is also scalable and easy to implement, without disrupting, replacing or moving the network infrastructure. Furthermore, some encryption technologies will provide organisations with greater visibility of their data to monitor deployed policies. By defining and deploying policies and keys based only on which users should have access to what data, organisations can ensure that only those who need to send or receive the data have the access to do so. In addition, many Observability network features can provide crucial flow data so that IT operators can observe policy enforcement and quickly shut down a policy if compromised to stop further damage and potential escalation. 


Lessons need to be learned from the past attacks on the oil and gas industry, such as the Saipem attack which had global consequences. With the sector facing such a high cyber risk, it’s more crucial than ever for oil and gas organisations to inhabit a cyber security culture and move from reactionary to proactive.  This means employing an encryption management solution, along with the right forensic intelligence tools, to understand and safeguard against future cyber-attacks and their potential for devastating consequences. 

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Cobham Aviation Services win UK operational readiness training contract

Cobham has been awarded a contract to deliver Operational Readiness Training for RAF Lakenheath, as part of a four year deal.

The training, which begins later this year, will include exercises in Aerial Gunnery (live fire) and Electronic Attack to prepare USAFE/UK personnel for the increasingly complex front-line threats which they face whilst conducting global operations.

The programme will involve Cobham’s specially modified Falcon 20 aircraft, equipped with advanced technology solutions to simulate the effects of an enemy’s latest electronic warfare equipment during training exercises.Paul Armstrong, Vice President and General Manager for Cobham Aviation Services said: “We are delighted to have secured this contract with such a prominent customer through a full and open competitive process.  This reflects our world leading capability and highlights the quality of our technology and training services.”

image courtesy of Cobham

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BAE Systems signs deals to provide aircraft survivability equipment

BAE Systems has received contracts to deliver aircraft survivability equipment to the Netherlands, Spain, UK, and UAE.

BAE Systems has received contracts to deliver $71 million in aircraft survivability equipment to several US allies via US Army Foreign Military Sales. Under the contracts, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates have agreed to purchase the AN/AAR-57 Common Missile Warning System (CMWS) and associated equipment to protect their aircraft and crews from sophisticated threats.

CMWS is designed to detect a wide range of infrared-guided missiles and hostile fire threats, providing warnings to pilots and cueing laser-based and expendable countermeasures. The system’s rapid response capabilities improve survivability and reduce the cognitive load on pilots – enabling them to focus on their missions.

CMWS is designed to be cost-effective, easy to install, and extremely reliable. The versatile system is designed for a wide variety of aircraft, and its line-replaceable units and customizable algorithms allow it to adapt to emerging threats.

The third-generation system combines hostile fire indication and data recording with its core missile warning capabilities in a single unit – providing protection from more diverse threats and enabling detailed post-mission analysis.

Cheryl Paradis, Director of Optical Electronic Warfare Systems at BAE Systems, said: “Our customers that fly low and slow in dangerous situations face unobserved threats that can strike without warning in seconds.

“We level the playing field for pilots and crews with proven threat detection and countermeasures that quickly and automatically engage and defeat threats and help warfighters return home safely.”

Image © BAE Systems 

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