Deployable kennel systems improve conditions for service dogs

// Credit: G3-Working Dog Kennel System. Credit: G3 Systems

UK-based G3 Systems has designed specially-constructed deployable dog kennels to improve the living conditions for military and law enforcement working dogs.

Highly trained dogs are used to protect military bases and to detect arms, ammunition and explosives. police forces use their dogs in crime prevention, crowd control and drug detection roles, while fire and rescue services often use dogs for urban search and rescue roles. These secure accommodation units come complete with integral cooling and heating systems to help control and maintain the temperature of the animals sleeping areas.

The new air-conditioned kennels have helped Britain’s military working dogs cope with the blistering summer heat of Iraq and the extreme cold of Afghanistan, as well as providing police dogs with comfortable and secure accommodation when deployed to incidents and high-profile events outside their normal area of operations.

The kennels and transport containers are completely self-contained and are designed to fit inside a standard container. Clients for these innovative systems have included military units in Afghanistan and Police forces around the world.


Babcock to upgrade Australia’s Defence High-Frequency Communication System

The Australian Government has selected Babcock International as the preferred tenderer to upgrade and sustain the Defence High-Frequency Communication System to support the Australian armed forces over the next 10 years, with a further four extension options, each of two years.

Babcock Australasia will collaborate with Lockheed Martin Australia and the Australian Defence Force (ADF), to deliver an upgraded system that provides effective long-range communications capability for Australia’s land sea and air assets. The result is a robust sovereign solution that provides the ADF with a performance edge across its operations. Babcock will now enter a period of commercial discussions, and pending a final Australian Government decision, will achieve a formal contract award.


British Army enhances human cyber capability with Immersive Labs

Immersive Labs has announced it is working with the British Army to enhance the human cyber capabilities of military personnel. More than 100,000 people strong, the army is initially using Immersive Labs to provide a continuous cycle of human cyber capability development for staff officers, digital deliverers and technical specialists.

The platform is available to everyone in the Army – regular, reserve, and civilian – and uses online lab environments and content experiences to continually improve cyber knowledge, skills, and judgement.

By design, the programme is structured to progress at each person’s pace, ability, and particular learning needs. It starts with the fundamentals of cybersecurity and progresses to more advanced abilities, such as web application security and incident response, to correspond with an individual’s unique learning pathway.


Milrem unveils upgraded THeMIS UGV

Milrem Robotics has opened its new office in the Netherlands and launched the upgraded THeMIS uncrewed ground vehicle. The new office is part of the company’s goal to develop a Central European robotics centre. It is the fifth in Europe followed by two offices in Estonia, and one each in Sweden and Finland.

Milrem Robotics chose the city of Best near Eindhoven as the strategic location for the new Dutch office due to the site’s proximity to the company’s key customers such as the Royal Dutch Army.

Milrem Robotics Netherlands managing director Julien den Ouden said: “Our office is situated in the middle of the Brainport Eindhoven technology region and is well connected by a large European Airport, and by a broad road network to access the rest of Europe. The THeMIS camera system also received significant upgrades.


Hyundai Heavy Industries launches Cheonan frigate

The Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy and state arms procurement agency Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) have announced the launch of a new frigate. Hyundai Heavy Industries held the launch ceremony at its shipyard in Ulsan, Seoul, according to Yonhap News Agency.

Nearly 100 people, including defence and navy officials, took part in the event. A DAPA official was quoted by YNA as saying: “The frigate is the latest vessel equipped with sturdy, homegrown weapons systems, and we expect it to safeguard the West Sea by honouring the noble sacrifices of the sailors and inheriting their will for national defence.”

DAPA said that the new 2,800t frigate, known as ‘Cheonan’, was named after the ROK Navy’s Pohang-class corvette that was torpedoed by a North Korean submarine in March 2010. The 1,200t corvette sank near the Northern Limit Line, resulting in the loss of 46 lives.


Raytheon acquires SEAKR Engineering

Raytheon Technologies has completed the acquisition of space electronics provider SEAKR Engineering, the company announced on 29 November. The Colorado-based company is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies, reporting to its Raytheon Intelligence & Space business. According to the announcement, SEAKR Engineering brings 540 employees to the company.

SEAKR Engineering is the primary contractor for Pit Boss, the autonomous mission management system that will drive the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Project Blackjack. Project Blackjack will use about 20 demonstration satellites to show the value of a proliferated low Earth orbit constellation to various Department of Defense missions, taking advantage of commercial off-the-shelf satellite technologies.

Pit Boss is effectively the brains of Project Blackjack, automatically taking the data collected by space-based sensors, processing it in orbit, and then sending it to the appropriate system or user back on Earth. Pit Boss will also be able to augment position, navigation and timing data, facilitate space-to-surface communications and more.

Babcock and team win DE&S contract for new Royal Navy EW systems

The UK’s Defence Equipment and Support has awarded a £100m contract to a Babcock-led partnership to deliver advanced electronic warfare (EW) systems to the British Royal Navy. The partnership includes Elbit Systems UK and QinetiQ and will operate as a single team, known as the BEQ collaboration. Babcock will serve as the prime contractor.

According to the companies, the 13-year contract also includes in-service support and will see the team deliver new EW capabilities under Increment 1 of the Maritime Electronic Warfare System Integrated Capability (MEWSIC) programme. MEWSIC Increment 1 is the first phase of a £500m maritime electronic warfare programme.

It will see the upgrade of radar electronic support measures and EW command and control capabilities for Royal Navy’s maritime platforms.

India’s DRDO and Israeli DDR&D sign deal for dual-use defence technologies

India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Israeli Directorate of Defence Research and Development (DDR&D) signed a bilateral innovation agreement on 9 November.

It is aimed at encouraging accelerated research and development in start-ups and micro, small and medium enterprises of both countries. Under the BIA, Indian and Israeli start-ups and industries will jointly work to innovate and develop future generation technologies and products.

According to information from the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD), the agreement is aimed at dual-use technologies development. The MoD stated that both countries will work together in the fields of robotics, artificial intelligence, quantum technology, photonics, drones and biosensing.

True Velocity to buy LoneStar Future Weapons in $84m deal

Texas-based True Velocity is set to acquire local defence solutions manufacturing company LoneStar Future Weapons in a deal valued at around $84m. The acquisition will add LoneStar’s next-generation weapons and projectile technology patents to True Velocity’s portfolio of more than 340 issued or pending patents in the lightweight ammunition category.

The two companies also intend to develop a lightweight medium machine gun in the future. LoneStar Future Weapons will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of TV Ammo, the parent company of True Velocity.

LoneStar Future Weapons chairman Craig Etchegoyen said: “The LoneStar team is extremely excited to work more closely with True Velocity to implement our next-generation weapons, projectile technology and recoil-mitigation technology into the amazing polymer ammunition ecosystem.

In April this year, LoneStar Future Weapons and True Velocity partnered to compete in the US Army’s Next Generation Squad Weapons programme.

Boeing Australia wins contract to maintain RAAF P-8A Poseidon fleet

The Australian Department of Defence has awarded Boeing Australia an AUD60m ($43.4m) contract to provide maintenance services for the P-8A Poseidon fleet at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Edinburgh.

Australian Defence Minister Peter Dutton said: “The P-8A Poseidon is one of the most advanced maritime patrol and response platforms in the world.

“This new contract with Boeing Australia to maintain the Poseidon fleet is an important contribution to Defence’s mission. It brings heavy maintenance work to Australia that would otherwise have been performed in the United States.”

The aircraft serves as a key part of Australia’s future maritime patrol and response strategy. The RAAF took delivery of its first P-8A aircraft in 2016 and all 12 aircraft were delivered by 2019. In 2020, the Australian Government approved the purchase of two additional aircraft, taking the total units in the fleet to 14.


US Navy plans to use UAS for cargo transport

The US Navy is assessing the feasibility of using uncrewed aerial systems (UAS) for cargo transport between vessels or from ship to shore. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division has acquired a logistics UAS prototype to demonstrate the transfer of cargo over long ranges. The vehicle will be tested and upgraded for military sealift requirements.

Naval Group delivers first Suffren-class submarine to French Navy 

French shipbuilder Naval Group has delivered the first of six Suffren-class nuclear attack submarines for the French Navy. This delivery marks an important milestone in the Barracuda programme, which upgrades the submarine component of France's nuclear deterrent.

Iran unveils domestic ballistic missile launcher

Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps has reportedly unveiled a domestically built ballistic missile launching system. Tasnim news agency reported that the air force manufactured thdine automated system, which is used for launching long-range ballistic missiles.


Australian Navy tests robots for counter-disaster operation

The Royal Australian Navy has tested robots in a simulated counter-disaster operation. As part of exercise Autonomous Warrior Genesis, the navy tested uncrewed land, air and sea vehicles in response to a simulated humanitarian relief scenario.

US and Japan complete exercise Keen Sword 21 

US Indo-Pacific Command units and the Japan Self-Defense Force have completed exercise Keen Sword 21, a joint-bilateral field training exercise in Japan. It involved maritime and air operations, amphibious landings, missile defence exercises, resupply, cyber and space operations.

Royal Air Force concludes Exercise Crimson Warrior 

The Royal Air Force has concluded Exercise Crimson Warrior, a three-week training operation involving fast jets, helicopters and unmanned air systems with involvement from the British Army, US Air Force and US Marines. Exercise Crimson Warrior has been adapted from Cobra Warrior with missiodinns being added to support the F-35B and helicopters that form part of the Carrier Strike Group Air Wing.

In brief

Fabri-Kal launches Recycleware Containers to expand sustainability

Food packaging solutions provider Fabri-Kal has expanded its sustainable product offerings with the launch of its new Recycleware Containers. Manufactured in the US, the products contain a minimum of 20-50% post-consumer recycled PET material and are recyclable.

Burger King and TerraCycle’s Loop to pilot new reusable packaging 

Fast-food chain Burger King has partnered with TerraCycle’s circular packaging service, Loop, to pilot new reusable packaging. The partnership is part of the brand’s Restaurant Brands for Good framework to help reduce packaging waste.

Stora Enso launches take-away bowls for food service packaging 

Pulp and paper manufacturer Stora Enso has partnered with wholesale company Tingstad to market its new food service take-away bowls, PureFiber. The packaging is designed to replace plastic on-the-go food packaging. It is free from plastic and PFAS.

H&M presents new Looop garment-to-garment recycling system

Swedish clothing-retail company H&M is introducing a garment-to-garment recycling system that helps transform old textiles into new ones. Known as Looop, the container-sized machine promotes circularity in fashion and keeps unwanted garments from turning into waste.