By David Pugliese
NovAtel of Calgary recently announced that its GPS Anti-Jam Technology or GAJT has been selected for the United Kingdom’s Type 26 frigates to meet a requirement as part of a protected navigation system. Eight of the ships are being built for the Royal Navy by BAE.
GAJT protects GPS-based navigation and precise timing receivers from intentional jamming and accidental interference, ensuring that the satellite signals necessary to compute position and time are always available, NovAtel noted in a news release. It is a commercial off-the-shelf product, and comes in versions suitable for land, sea, fixed installations and smaller platforms such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
There is no need to replace GPS receivers already installed, as GAJT works with civil and military receivers including SAASM and M-Code. The selection of GAJT for the Type 26 frigates is the result of cooperation between Drumgrange, with its proven track record for rapid realization of demanding defence design tasks, and Forsberg Services, an established navigation systems company and NovAtel dealer whose high-quality manufacturing was instrumental to the project, Peter Soar, Business Development Manager, Military and Defence of NovAtel said in a statement. He added that, “GAJT is in use operationally and has been shipped to 16 allied nations around the globe. We are grateful for the rigorous technology selection process conducted which led to this choice.”
Naval Group has delivered a brand new visual defence simulator (Simdav) to the French Navy in Brest. It had delivered a similar system to the French Navy at Toulon at the end of 2016. Both deliveries form part of the five-year modernization and through-life support contract awarded by the DGA (the French armament procurement agency) in December 2014. The new systems will allow the crews of the French Naval Action Force (and the grouping of naval infantry and maritime gendarmes) to train under realistic conditions.
QinetiQ Target Systems (QTS) has introduced a new service to the Royal Canadian Navy by emulating the threat posed to large naval vessels by small multi-rotor drones.
A live demonstration was carried out in early November from a Halifax-class frigate under the $8.5-million Unmanned Targets Repair, Overhaul and Engineering contract that was awarded to QTS in 2015.
QTS flew its Snyper multi-rotor target alongside Lockheed Martin’s Indago quadcopter UAV using QinetiQ’s Universal Target Control Station (UTCS), which facilitates the operation of multiple unmanned systems from a single command centre.
The RCN has operated fixed-wing aerial targets and marine surface targets using QinetiQ’s UTCS for more than 20 years, but the introduction of rotary-wing targets is a first for the service, according to the company.
“Commercially available technologies, like off-the-shelf drones, are becoming more advanced and more accessible to those who wish to use them to cause harm,” Peter Longstaff, Managing Director, QTS, said in a statement. “QinetiQ simulates these new and emerging threats to help the armed forces understand how to protect their people and assets.”
He said this is part of the firm’s global strategy to modernize test and evaluation by introducing innovative and advanced capabilities that help nations maintain their advantage over potential adversaries.
“The information and results obtained during the demonstration are vital for the RCN’s development of remotely piloted systems used at sea, and the evaluation of ships’ critical defence systems,” added Simon Nadeau, DNR-2 Unmanned Systems Section Head Commander, RCN. “We are very pleased with the support that QinetiQ Target Systems provided to us during this demonstration.”
The Snyper target is one of several QinetiQ technologies designed to help customers tackle threats from small unmanned aircraft, including the Obsidian detection system and a laser weapon currently in development by the Dragonfire consortium that will be capable of destroying drones mid-flight, the firm noted.
The Canadian Armed Forces has officially opened its new facility at 4 CDSB Petawawa to house the base’s fleet of Textron Tactical Armoured Patrol Vehicles (TAPVs).
The vehicles will be used for a variety of tasks on the battlefield, including reconnaissance and surveillance, security, command and control, and transporting cargo and personnel.
In total, 113 TAPVs will be operated at 4th Canadian Division Support Base (4 CDSB) Petawawa, according to the Canadian Armed Forces. Delivery of the TAPVs to 4 CDSB Petawawa began in August 2017. Fourteen TAPVs are currently located at the new facility, with the rest expected to be delivered in 2018, said Department of National Defence spokesman Daniel Le Bouthillier.
Discovery Air Defence Services Inc. recently announced that it has now flown its first fast jet training mission in support of the Australian Defence Force’s Fast Jet Trial contract. Two DA Defence upgraded Alpha Jets and four Air Affairs Learjets participated in air-to-air missions as Red Air aggressors near Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Williamtown, New South Wales, the company noted. The jets were participating in the RAAF 81 Wing workups for future exercises.
“This inaugural fast jet mission is a great milestone for everyone involved in our new Australian program,” Steven “Bunt” Nierlich, DA Defence Program Manager and a highly experienced former CF-18 pilot, said in a statement. “Discovery Air Defence and Air Affairs Australia are committed to delivering the world’s best adversary training to the Australian Defence Force.”
Rockwell Collins has been selected by the U.S. Navy to provide a new E-2D Advanced Hawkeye Tactics Trainer in support of the E-2D Hawkeye Integrated Training Systems (HITS) III program. The initial contract is valued at $34.5-million with a total of $85.9-million (all in U.S. dollars) on other E-2D training systems currently in service.
Irving Shipbuilding president Kevin McCoy says the firm is hoping to sell Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS) to international customers. The firm is building at least five such vessels for the Royal Canadian Navy.
McCoy said there are nations that might want to take advantage of the firm’s “hot production line” and the company has already had some discussions with countries. He did not name the nations interested.
“This is a lengthy process,” he explained. “You have to shake a lot of trees.”
Irving will deliver its first AOPS to the Royal Canadian Navy in 2018.