Developments in March included Freescale’s continued expansion of its defense product portfolio and Raytheon’s demonstration of GaN-on-Diamond device technology. Major contract activity included South Korea’s stated intent to purchase Lockheed Martin F-35s and Northrop Grumman Global Hawks while both Airbus and Boeing look set to benefit from a $23 billion Qatar re-equipment plan. Activity across the radar, EW, communications and weapons systems categories included contracts for ground penetrating radar, interoperability testing of radios with the MUOS satellite communications network and Anglo-French collaboration on the development and production of a joint Anglo/French light anti-ship missile.
The Counter Terror Expo (CTX) is now in its sixth year and is designed to be the premier international event showcasing technology, equipment and services designed to protect nations, borders, crowded places, critical national infrastructure, companies, assets and individuals from the threat of terrorist attack. The show includes a free to attend exhibition, multiple show floor workshops, new show feature zones, IEDD demo area, high level conference streams, behind closed door briefings and networking events.
I attended CTX 2014 on the second day to witness the range of companies that ranged from providers of turnstiles, security windows, sensors and services. The show also included a range of theatres and seminars that included policing, military and emergency response looking at everything from procedures, systems to the use of working dogs.
The CIED/IEDD demonstration zone included 5 new scenarios which looked at civilian and field-based operations, law enforcement raids into a suspected bomb making factory, CRBN (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) and vehicle-borne IED car clearance, and humanitarian demining and battlefield clearance. One of the demonstrations showed the use of a robot to remove a potential IED (in this case a barrel) from the boot of a car. The robot took several attempts before lifting the barrel out of the boot and away from the vehicle. The robot is not equipped with any weapons or disruptors, so once the threat has been removed from the vehicle, an operator makes a visual inspection of the vehicle to make sure nothing had been missed during the remote operation before disarming the potential threat.
Companies exhibiting at the event included Southwest Microwave, displaying a range of perimeter security solutions that included the Microwave 330 digital microwave link for protection of critical infrastructure installations. Northrop Grumman was showing a range of solutions including command and control solutions as well as UGV (unmanned ground vehicles). Kelvin Hughes’ was showcasing the Single Mast Solution (SMS) for land-based perimeter surveillance and protection. The X-band radar is based on the company’s SharpEye radar technology associated with the company’s maritime radar solutions. SMS is designed to be used in conjunction with cameras to provide a surveillance picture that can be used across multiple platforms. e2v Technologies was showcasing both its camera technologies as well as e2V Technologies’ RF Safe-Stop product which uses high power RF (based on magnetrons) to disable vehicle engines.
Next stop will be Edinburgh for Electronic Warfare Europe 2014 (13th-15th May) to get an update on national perspectives, technological developments and future outlook for EW. We hope to see some of our readers and clients there.