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Monday, 14 July 2014

On 22:26 by Luke iMan in , ,    No comments
To assist the UK’s Armed Forces in preparing for operating Typhoon and F-35 together in 2018, a series of live simulated mission scenarios are taking place involving the latest standards of F-35 and Typhoon aircraft.

The latest scenario saw four F-35 aircraft operating alongside two Typhoons and an E3D Sentry, each simulator equipped with the latest representative mission system from the aircraft.  The trial was the fourth of its kind linking simulation facilities from multiple UK locations to create a common synthetic environment to evaluate F-35 interoperability with other UK platforms.

In the mission the F-35 aircraft and Typhoons were tasked via digital datalink by the E3D Sentry crew to investigate threats in a defined location.  The F-35s first located the threats and then conducted an attack against a range of fixed and moving ground targets. At the same time the Typhoons were tasked by the E3D to engage several hostile air threats.  Royal Navy and Royal Air Force pilots flew the four F-35 aircraft from Lockheed Martin supplied desktop simulators at our site in Samlesbury, Lancashire.  A Typhoon instructor pilot and one of our test pilots linked in from two Typhoon simulators at RAF Leuchars and two E3D Sentry crew joined the scenario from the Sentry lab at RAF Waddington.

Lt Cdr Mark Humphries, Air Warfare Centre Waddington, who took part in the trials said:  "The exercise today has been valuable in helping us to begin to understand how F-35B will execute an armed reconnaissance mission.  Later in this decade the UK will be operating a combined fleet of Typhoon and F-35. It's important that we put in the groundwork now to help inform the Concept of Operations and ensure the interoperability of both platforms."

Our Chief Test Pilot Mark Bowman, who was one of two Typhoon pilots conducting the trial, said:  “Over recent years, I’ve seen the relevance of the high-fidelity synthetic environment improve dramatically.  It continues to be an increasingly important tool for both training pilots and platform crews, and also the development of new capabilities; we strive to provide our customers with the right balance of synthetic and live training.  In the exercise today, we have been able to fully exercise the very latest capabilities for both Typhoon and F-35.  Amongst other representative mission tasks, we’ve been able to exercise interoperability as per a live mission scenario by passing some commands, targets and threat information via digital datalinks in real-time.”
Tony Hall, our Programme Manager for the F-35 Interoperability trials, added “This is the fourth trial we have held to date, putting F-35 into a variety of increasingly complex  mission scenarios.  Not only does this help the UK customer get their heads around how the F-35 will integrate into operations, but it saves money and time by allowing refinements to be made in the design and development phase of the program and informing plans for future upgrades.”

He continued: “The benefits from these trials reach beyond F-35.  As a result of the maritime scenario we ran just a few months ago, improvements to the Type 45 Destroyers and Queen Elizabeth Class Carrier Link 16 datalink and Combat Management Systems were identified and will soon be implemented. This builds on the benefits already seen in earlier trials within the programme which identified enhancements to the E3D Sentry that are also being implemented.”

We are responsible for leading F-35 integration activities on behalf of the UK’s Armed Forces. A second series of trials is due to commence later in 2014 which will see the addition of land assets and operators and the inclusion of air-to-ground datalinks into a range of scenarios.

Source : BAE Systems PLC
On 22:11 by Luke iMan in , ,    No comments
We knew it was on the way, and now we have our first official look at the 2015 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG Coupe. Everything you know and love from the iconic sedan, now in coupe form.

This monstrous luxury 2-door has been equipped with a bi-turbo 6.0-liter V12 engine pumping out an impressive 621 horsepower. This amount of power enables the land yacht to hit 62 mph from a standstill in just over 4 seconds (4.1 seconds to be exact), with a top speed of 186 mph. Oddly enough, that makes the S65 a bit slower than its S63 brethren (which clocked in at a 3.9 second 0-60 mph time). The S65 comes with Magic Body Control, ceramic brakes, a Speedshift Plus 7G-Tronic transmission, polished 20-inch forged wheels, and a slew of other updates throughout. As with all S-Class models prior, this thing has a decked out cabin which includes a large infotainment screen, luxurious Nappa leather lining the interior, and a heads-up display. No exact details on price, but we would guess somewhere just north of $200,000.

On 21:51 by Luke iMan in , ,    No comments
MBDA is unveiling CVW101 STRATUS, its latest Concept Visions project, at the Farnborough International Airshow 2014. STRATUS provides a transformational, innovative approach to Command & Control and Mission Control of Missile Systems across domains (land, air and naval) and platforms, maximising the use of the weapon resources available in the battlespace in order to optimise the delivery and timeliness of effects.

“Our approach to the future battlespace places the warfighter at the centre of the deployed weapon system resources with the ability to transparently use the best resources available through clear, simple presentation of information for decision making”, explains Sandro Petrizzelli, Head of MBDA’s Concept Visions 2014 international team. “Our aim was to deliver the concept of a distributed architecture which would optimise the operational efficiency of deployed missile systems. We are making all resources, sensors and effectors deployed in the theatre available to form part of the warfighter’s local weapon system, with direct and easy access.

This is why we say STRATUS creates a theatre-wide virtual weapon system, delivering tremendous efficiencies in terms of robustness, fire power, combination of effects, and reaction time.

To engage emerging types of threats, armed forces will not only need to have the kind of weapon systems we have showcased over the four previous years of Concept Visions, but they will also need to have access to many, varied weapon system assets at very short notice. For instance, immediate fire support may be needed from across the entire deployed set of weapon assets and not only from a locally deployed unit.

In twenty years from now, we expect that our Armed Forces will face a more complex, dynamic and uncertain battlespace. Connectivity will continue to improve not only for allies but also for their adversaries, allowing aggressors to better combine air, land and naval attacks with the aim of creating surprise effects and saturating defences.”

To deliver this, STRATUS brings together many key techniques: sharing weapon system resources, distributed coordination and use of a common, core interface for the command and control of all deployed and available weapon systems. The benefit lies in the enhancement of the collaboration between deployed weapon systems, providing higher levels of efficiency, flexibility and robustness at battlefield level. For a given level of capability, fewer assets will be needed, as they are shared in a more effective way across the battlefield.
Resources Sharing, C2 auto-coordination
At the heart of STRATUS is a principle of limitless sharing of weapon resources. Each deployed resource (launchers, control nodes and sensors) is no longer dedicated to a single weapon system, but becomes accessible, through  in-built “plug and fight” functionality, to any equipped control node or dismounted infantry throughout the shared resource pool, leading to flexible, robust and efficient deployments.

This is combined with distributed architecture, where command and control nodes are able to auto-coordinate themselves. Taking advantage of their deep knowledge of available sensors and effectors, these nodes are able to propose to the user the most effective combination of available weapon resources for a given mission or task, allowing STRATUS to maximise effect capabilities in any situation.

Unified User Interface & Decision Support
By creating shared pools of weapon resources, users can have access to a wider variety of effects to exploit. While more options could bring more complexity, STRATUS cuts through to the critical information that a user needs, with task support and advanced decision aids delivered through a common core interface across weapon systems and personnel in the field.

When an effect is asked for, appropriate solutions are generated by STRATUS throughout the pool and returned to the user, reducing the amount of repetitive workload on the users while ensuring precise and rapid responses. Options are presented to the user with critical information to make a quick decision, with detail never more than a short step away through a layered user interface architecture.

MBDA Future Systems Director, Mark Slater says: “Following five years of Concept Visions and a continuing strategy to deliver increased modularity to our missile system solutions, we are able through STRATUS to deliver greater efficiency, effectiveness and a significant reduction in the need for dedicated training for the different missile systems deployed in the future battlespace.”

Source : MBDA

Sunday, 13 July 2014

On 02:44 by Luke iMan in , , ,    No comments
As any professional photographer knows, setting up lights can be a hassle. This is often the case in the studio, but especially when shooting on location. Before too long, however, it may be possible to use hovering autonomous drones as light sources. In fact, that's just what a team from MIT and Cornell University has already done. Their system not only does away with light stands, but the light-equipped aircraft automatically moves to compensate for movements of the model or photographer.[via]

On 02:29 by Luke iMan in ,    No comments
A new Defence Industry Outlook report published yesterday reveals optimism about business growth prospects from the UK's Defence Industry.

The report - released by defence trade organisation ADS Group - offers an in-depth look at the sector’s employment, investment, export and growth trends, incorporating data provided by the Centre for Economics and Business Research and a comprehensive survey of defence industry leaders. It follows UKTI DSO’s Defence Export figures released this week which reveal a significant increase in the UK’s share of the global export market, rising to 22% in 2013.

The ADS report shows that while defence spending in traditional markets is down, more than two thirds (67%) plan to continue pursuing growth through export trade over the coming year. Currently, the majority of UK defence industry revenue is generated from domestic trade (70%). However, as industry pursues growth, more companies are turning their attention to opportunities overseas. In 2013, defence exports contributed almost £10bn to the UK economy, a year on year increase of 11%.

Paul Everitt, chief executive of defence trade organisation, ADS Group commented: “The UK defence industry has a global reputation for the development of high value, advanced technology, equipment and services. UK government and industry recognise the importance of safeguarding this world-leading industry for the long-term and are working together through the Defence Growth Partnership to develop a plan to make the most of new opportunities. Buoyed by the progress of this innovative collaboration, it is encouraging to see so many companies across the sector successfully securing growth through new opportunities in new markets, significantly outpacing their international counterparts.”
Demonstrating commitment to the UK supply chain
Seven in 10 UK defence companies are planning to increase investment in the next 12 months. Spurred on by concern over spending by some existing customers, these companies are focusing investment on developing, designing and delivering new export opportunities with 59% investing in business development and 51% investing in R&D.

While the UK defence industry is focused on driving new business opportunities overseas, it recognises the value of the high level skills and mature supply chain harboured at home. The sector is directly responsible for over 35,000 British R&D jobs and one in six UK defence companies are considering reshoring activity back to the UK to improve quality and minimise supply chain risk.
Delivering a long-term skills base
The sector directly employs 162,400, of which 4,900 are apprentices or trainees, and has a turnover of £22.1bn. It also supports many thousands of additional jobs indirectly, making it a valuable industry to the overall UK economy.

More than a fifth of the workforce work in research, design and engineering – critical to ensuring the UK sector is able to continue innovating world-leading capability. While the majority of companies (83%) are confident that the UK workforce will be able to provide the right number of workers for their overall needs, one in five (19%) are concerned about accessing the necessary R&D skills in the next five years – in particular to engineer complex systems to meet new customer requirements.

The Defence Growth Partnership (DGP), an innovative Government and industry collaboration is designed to ensure the UK defence sector maximises opportunities in the UK and in competitive export markets. The DGP is currently working to develop a strategic implementation plan which will be published at the Farnborough International Airshow, showing how UK industry can maintain its world-leading strategic capability and technology and strengthen global competitiveness. [via]
On 02:13 by Luke iMan in , ,    No comments
The Be.e electric scooter designed by Dutch firm Waarmakers, is the first biocomposite e-scooter made with hemp, flax, and bio-resin, creating an extremely sustainable, lightweight and strong material. The funky-looking e-scooter comes equipped with a powerful but silent 4kW motor that will get you up to 34mph in 6 seconds, and the fast charging 2.5kWh battery will give you a 38 mile range. The city cruiser features chunky tires providing great grip and control, and a large windscreen to keep you dry in minor rain-showers. [via]

On 01:55 by Luke iMan in , ,    No comments
Iskander-E mobile theater ballistic missile systems are ready for export, awaiting a decision by state authorities, the head of the Russian delegation to arms and military exhibition MILEX-2014 Valery Varlamov said Thursday.

"Iskander-E [NATO reporting name: SS-26 Stone] is ready for deliveries to other countries, as well as S-400 Triumf [NATO reporting name: SA-21 Growler], but the state authorities need to approve it first," Varlamov said.

The representative said that Russia "will deliver [the systems] to any country, if there is such a decision of the president and the government."

A few years ago, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that S-400 will be produced only in the interests of Russia. Even partners such as Belarus and Kazakhstan will receive them only after the Russian missile defense system is fully equipped, the ministry said.
No such statements have been made about Iskander in public, but in practice the situation is the same, a source in the Russian military-industrial complex told RIA Novosti.

Iskander is one of the country’s most powerful missile strike systems used in the nation’s ground forces. Iskander missiles are nuclear-capable and can make use of different types of reentry vehicles to engage a wide range of targets, from enemy military units to underground command centers.

Iskander systems were successfully tested in 2007. The Russian Army currently uses its Iskander-M and Iskander-K variants. Iskander-E is an export version, with just one rocket on the ballistic missile launcher instead of two, and a range of up to 174 miles.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

On 01:21 by Luke iMan in , ,    No comments
Available for purchase from today is the brand new RX100M3 compact point-and-shoot camera by Sony. Considered by many has world´s best pocketable camera, the RX100M3 is even better than its predecessor(the RX100M2 received accolades from users and overwhelmingly positive marks from the press), it retains the 20.2 megapixel CMOS sensor, Wi-Fi, NFC and Tilting LCD display, but now packs a new 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 lens, built-in ND filter and pop-up electronic viewfinder with a 1.4 million dot OLED display. 

On 01:12 by Luke iMan in , , ,    No comments
Russia’s United Instrument-Making Corporation, a Rostec subsidiary, presented the unique and innovative Chirok drone at the Innoprom international technology exhibition, the press service of the state corporation reported.

"The innovative technology, air-cushion landing system, allows the drone to take off without an air strip. This technology is absolutely unique. The drone is able to take off from soft soil, water, marshy terrain and loose snow. It can also land on these surfaces, whereas other aircraft can neither take off from nor land on them," the press service said.

The drone model presented at Innoprom has already been tested in Zhukovsky, a city in Moscow Region that hosts the MAKS air show. The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has no analogues in the world, and other models with air-cushion landing systems are not in mass production.

In ordinary life, Chirok can be used to observe and assess different situations – to monitor the threat of fire in forests, disaster areas and road and traffic conditions, as well as for patrol. As for military utility, Chirok is intended for reconnaissance and can also be used as an offensive operations drone, capable of carrying weapons.
Chirok’s maximum takeoff weight is up to 700 kilograms, the payload weight limit is up to 300 kilograms. The UAV can carry opto-electronic devices for various types of monitoring, and the transport of bombs, rockets and high-precision missiles. The drone can rise to a height of 6,000 meters (approximately 19,600 feet), with a range of up to 2,500 kilometers (approximately 1,550 miles). Currently, specialists at the military-industrial complex are working on further improving Chirok’s technical capabilities.

Russia’s Innoprom is an international industrial exhibition held annually in Yekaterinburg, in the Ural Federal District. This year the exhibition opened July 9 and runs through July 12.
On 01:04 by Luke iMan in , ,    No comments

When your factory Ferrari 458 Speciale just isn’t enough, the German tuners at Novitec Rosso are on standby, waiting to give you a supercar makeover.

The brand’s latest project sees a 458 draped head to toe in carbon fiber components, adding aesthetic appeal while at the same time helping the Rari shed some weight. 21-inch forged wheels round out the looks on the exterior, and the interior has been completely revamped utilizing plenty of leather and Alcantara for a truly custom feel. On the performance end of things, Novitec Rosso installed a lightweight INCONEL exhaust system, modified suspension, and a rear wing/diffuser combination designed specifically for increased downforce, and improved aerodynamics. The vehicle pumps out 636 horsepower, helping it hit speeds topping 200 miles per hour on the track.

On 00:54 by Luke iMan in , ,    No comments

Cobham's WLP-1000 weapons launcher positioner successfully supported Lockheed Martin's successful test firings of HELLFIRE and DAGR missiles from its Long Range Surveillance and Attack Vehicle (LRSAV) during recent ground-to-ground tests at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.

The WLP-1000 is a compact, lightweight, military ruggedized launcher positioner that is weapons and platform agnostic.   The positioner is easily configured to support existing M299; M310, M260, M261, and LAU-10 launchers. This modular 2-axis positioning system is optimized for size, weight, and power (SWaP), and incorporates a MIL-qualified servo control module for closed loop azimuth and elevation slewing and positioning.

For the live-fire demonstration, the Cobham positioner was configured with four M299 launcher rails, associated cables and electronics, providing full compatibility with HELLFIRE® II and DAGR missiles.   DAGR's rail-mounted canister attaches to the pedestal launch rails as it would on a standard HELLFIRE launcher designed for aircraft. Two test firings were conducted, one HELLFIRE and one DAGR, with flawless performance by the Cobham positioner.
"Cobham is committed to supporting our customers with innovative solutions to complex engineering challenges," said Jeff Hassannia, Vice-President of Business Development for Cobham Defense Electronics.

The WLP-1000 launcher positioner was developed by Cobham in 2012, and has supported three (3) other successful HELLFIRE and DAGR ground-ground tests, including one from the Lockheed Martin Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV).

Source : Cobham Plc.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

On 09:45 by Luke iMan in , , ,    No comments
Ford have presented the all-new 2015 Ford Edge, including the exciting Sport model. The latest version of the popular crossover will be available with three engine options, the 245-horsepower 2-liter 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine, as well as the standard naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6 and the Edge Sport packs a 2.7-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 engine delivering an impressive 300hp. The new Edge will come equipped with a whole host of new tech including  a front camera for better visibility, adaptive cruise control, inflatable seat belts, active grille shutters, side parking sensors and adaptive steering technology. The 2015 Edge should be available at dealerships in North America early next year, no pricing yet announced.

On 09:35 by Luke iMan in , ,    No comments
Timepiece makers Oris have launched the world’s first automatic mechanical watch with an altimeter. The stunning Oris Big Crown ProPilot Altimeter watch was designed with performance pilots and adventurers in mind, the 47mm stainless steel crown houses an utilitarian dial that features a yellow indicator on an outer scale indicating the altitude, while a "recessed” scale is used to indicate the barometric pressure via the red indicator. Available with an altitude scale in meters or in feet, and with a choice of leather, textile, or metal strap.

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