Newscast: May 28, 2007

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  • IED Blast related Brain Injuries: The silent killer
    Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) have now added a new dimension to battlefield injuries: Injuries and even deaths among troops who have no external signs of trauma but whose brains have been severely damaged. The insurgency war in Iraq and Afghanistan has reinstated one of the worst afflictions of World War I trench warfare: shell shock..
  • Al Qaeda spurs Gaza carnage to create Hamastan
    The real force behind the Gaza mayhem seems to be, a combined al Qaeda and Iran strategy, strange bedfellows perhaps, but for the time being, closely-linked partners in a common strategic goal to establish "Hamastan" as a forward base for Global terrorism. This article covers the current situation, some of its causes, looming threats to the region's stability and, some of the possible solutions, which, if conducted under wise statesmanship, could still prevent at least, part of the looming danger.

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Upcoming Events (May - June 2007):


Gen. Brown: "Interceptor is the Best Available Body Armor"

Brig. Gen. R. Mark Brown, Program Executive Officer Soldier agreed to release a May 2006 test results rebuffing claims that commercially available body armor is supperior to the body armor the Army issues to warfighters. According to Gen. Brown, Pinnacle's Dragon Skin SOV3000 body armor, claimed to offer supperior protection, was subject to the same fair and independent testing, in a variety of environmental conditions, as products from the six producers of the Army's current body armor. All six of the current producers passed every test with zero failures, which is the standard while DragonSkin failed to stop 13 of 48 [first- or second-round] test shots.

Raytheon Delivers Two Radar Systems for Quick-Kill APS

Two prototypes of the Multi-Function Radio Frequency System (MFRFS) radar were delivered by Raytheon Company's (NYSE:RTN) Network Centric Systems for integration into the Quick Kill Active Protection System the company is developing for the U.S. Army. Raytheon's Quick Kill APS will be integrated on a Stryker for end-to-end system demonstrations and design verification testing beginning late this summer.

US Navy to Test SHARP with Hyperspectral Capability

The US Navy is planning to demonstrate advanced target cueing capability with its Shared Reconnaissance Pod (SHARP). BAE Systems will develop a hyperspectral imaging sensor for a target cueing system to be integrated into the US Navy SHARP) developed by Raytheon. This program will be the first hyperspectral technology implemented on a tactical fighter. Under a $2.3 million contract with Raytheon, the company will use its Spectral Infrared Imaging Technology Testbed (SPIRITT) high-altitude hyperspectral technology to automatically detect, classify, and identify camouflaged and concealed targets based on their spectral signature. Hyperspectral imaging extracts unique spectral data from hundreds of visible to infrared wavelengths to detect objects based on their material composition. With the new capability SHARP will be able to provide digital, high-resolution, day, night and all-weather air reconnaissance.

Global Safety Labs Improves Armored Vehicle Fire Protection

Global Safety Labs (GSL) is working on TACOM Engineering approvals to 'fire-proof' up-armored Humvees with its Automatic Vehicle Fire Extinguishment & Survivability System (AVFESS). The system uses patented vehicle spray system to extinguish both external and internal vehicle fires, protecting occupants and coating tires to prevent re-ignition. The system uses GSL's Arctic Fire-Freeze (AFF) Agent on both the interior and exterior of the HMMWV stopping the fire and providing a fire-proof coating.
AVFESS fire extinguishing and protection spray in action inside and outside the 'fire-proofed' HMMWV.

Quantum, Alion to Develop Hybrid-Electric Aggressor

The US Army is launching a diesel-electric hybrid powered version the Aggressor – an off-road Alternative Mobility Vehicle (AMV). "Aggressor" was developed by Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide, Inc. (NASDAQ:QTWW) under a U.S. Army's Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) and the U.S. National Automotive Center (NAC) program. The Aggressor was designed as high performance light-duty off-road hybrid vehicle powered by hydrogen based fuel cell. TRADEC contracted Alion Science and technology Corporation to manage the program. Quantum was awarded the $4.88 million development contract for the propulsion system.

Excalibur Retains High Precision at Maximum Range

The Excalibur team reports another successful test firing of the Block Ia-2 precision-guided artillery projectile. Five rounds were fired at a target over a range of 40.8 km (25.4 miles) by an M-109 series self propelled 155mm howitzer, using Modular Artillery Charge zone 5 with base-bleed. Extended range Excalibur Block Ia-2 is scheduled for initial operational capability in fiscal year 2009.

Proposed Cuts Could Eliminate FCS' All Manned Ground Vehicles

The proposed cuts to the program would effectively prevent the development of Future Combat Systems manned ground vehicles. This means Soldiers would operate Abrams tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles “indefinitely,”. The Army also intends to cancel the development of the infantry load carrier, or 'Mule' and one of the two remaining unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) if budgets are cut at the proposed level, said Lt. Gen. Stephen the U.S. Army director of force development and deputy chief of staff. Commenting on the possible cut of $876 million in the 2008 budget for the Future Combat Systems, proposes by the Congress. Gen. Speakes said the proposed cuts endanger a program that would improve military capabilities today and in the future. The total Future Combat System request for fiscal 2008 is $3.7 billion.

DARPA Demonstrates Control, Exploitation of Multiple UAVs

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) successfully demonstrated a low-cost system enabling ground forces elements to control, monitor and manage multiple airborne imagery sources sharing a common airspace. The system, known as HURT, for Heterogeneous Unmanned Reconnaissance Team, allows ground forces to receive video surveillance imagery of the surrounding area and request specific information about suspected enemy positions on user-friendly touch-screens. The system autonomously processes multiple requests and directs the most suitable aircraft to take a closer look.

New Digital Datalink is Optimized for Urban, Cluttered Environment

Rafael has fielded an advanced data communications system designed to support dismounted command and control and small unmanned systems. The new digital datalink called Lightlink provides robust communications of real-time video and data at high speed and in conditions that challenge other means of communications, such as forest, jungle or urban area, where buildings and other obstacles cause interference by multipath signals. Lightlink has been fielded and employed in combat missions with some of RAFAEL's unmanned systems.

Micro-Air Vehicles to Get Nav-Aids Based on Insects, Bats Senses

Aurora Flight Sciences has been awarded a contract to develop navigation and control technology that will allow micro air vehicles (MAVs) to avoid collisions as they fly through urban and other cluttered environments. Due to their small size, MAVs hold great potential for providing valuable military intelligence while avoiding detection and destruction. Vision-based techniques derived from insects and bats will be integrated with Aurora-developed navigation and maneuvering strategies to create a highly sensitive, robust, autonomous system in a package suitable for the low size, weight and power constraints that are inherent to MAVs.

Raytheon Seeking Partner to Challenge IED

Raytheon Company (NYSE:RTN) announced its interest to partner with companies offering innovative solutions to defeat Improvised Explosive Device (IED). The company has been studying this issue for the past six months at its Texas-based Network Centric Systems division, which led a company-wide drive to rapidly develop and field solutions to defeat IEDs. To broaden the scope of the research, Raytheon is now inviting potential partners to join the effort.

Spartan to Produce Chassis for MRAPs for $100 Million

Spartan Chassis announced it has received a $60.0 million order from General Dynamics Land Systems and a $47.6 million order from Force Protection, Inc. Both companies were awarded last week a contract to produce 1,000 MRAP vehicles for the US Marine Corps and the Army. Both orders are scheduled to be completed in 2007

British MoD Commissions Skynet 5A Communications Satellite

Skynet 5A, the new British communications satellite has been commissioned into service following successful launch and deployment into orbit in April. The satellite, first of three to be launched under a £3 billion Private Finance Initiative (PFI) program supports military communications supporting deployed forces as well as maritime operations. Skynet 5 is designed to sustain about 2.5 times the capacity of the old system. The next satellite, Skynet 5B, is due to be launched towards the end of this year, and Skynet 5C in 2008.

Singapore to Replace Hawkeye With G550 AEW

Singapore will buy four Gulfstream G550 special mission business jets, configured for Airborne Early Warning missions. The aircraft will replace four Northrop Grumman E-2C Hawkeye aircraft currently in service. According to the Singapore MOD, the G550 AEW will be capable of flying 9 hours missions at an altitude of 41,000ft (12,500m). Singapore will receive the first aircraft by 2008, and all four are expected to be operational by 2010. While Singapore has not released further details about the electronic and radar suite to be installed in the aircraft, the only system currently available for this platform is the Israeli PHALCON radar, developed for four Israel Air Force G550 AEW aircraft known as Eitam, currently being delivered by IAI/Elta. The first aircraft was handed over by Gulfstream on September 2006.

Sikorsky Selects CH-53K Fuselage Supplier Team

Sikorsky Aircraft announced today that it has selected four subcontractors to design and fabricate the major fuselage sections for its new CH-53K heavy-lift helicopter currently under development for the United States Marine Corps. Sikorsky's Fuselage Team will consist of Aurora Flight Sciences, EDO Corp., GKN Aerospace, and Spirit AeroSystems. Sikorsky will conduct the integration and test program on the complete fuselage structure. The major subcontracted sections include the cockpit and cabin (Spirit), aft transition (GKN), tail rotor pylon and sponsons (EDO), and main rotor pylon (Aurora).

Obstacle Avoidance radar for Military Helicopters

Prototype obstacle warning radar, developed at BAE Systems has completed flight testing on a helicopter. The system can operate under all-weather conditions, identifying cables and other obstacles, indicating the pilot the precise altimeter information necessary to negotiate the obstacle through combat flight maneuvering. The system detects cables and other obstacles using low-probability-of-intercept, low-probability-of-detection radar technology.

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