Monthly Archives: February 2011

Multi-Band SAR Supports Task-Force ODIN in Iraq in C-IED Operations

NP-3D operated by Naval Research Lab ‘Project Perseus’ in Afghanistan, 2008. The group deployed in 2006 and 2008 to Afghanistan to conduct geological survey of country’s remote regions, under the ‘Rampant Lion’ missions. The same systems were also used to support counter-drug operations in Columbia. It was recently used for Counter-IED road surveillance, securing U.S. ground forces withdrawal from Iraq . Photo: Sean Maloney

Northrop Grumman Corporation’s software-defined Multi-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar (MB SAR), recently provided counter-improvised explosive device (IED) support assisting the drawdown of U.S. combat troops in Iraq. The radar was deployed aboard a U.S. Navy NP-3D Orion aircraft, which performed missions as a part of Task Force Observe, Detect, Identify and Neutralize (ODIN).

Arriving in theater, July 20, 2010, the aircraft, operating under the Naval Research Lab ‘Team Perseus’, performed  performance of 34 flights, approximately 6-7 hours each, obtaining MB-SAR and scene-change images along the movement routes used by the ground forces. The images were produced onboard the aircraft with the latency of only few minutes. Data were collected in circular passes to illuminate objects from all directions, enhancing the ability to see objects with any orientation.

A typical circle of about 20 kilometers in diameter took about 10 minutes to fly and illuminated a 12-kilometer section of a road and its surroundings. The SAR and scene change images were available 10 minutes after the completion of each circle and were calculated while the next circle was being flown. This flight profile was executed for more than 20 consecutive circle passes, covering up to 200 kilometers of road in a single flight while NRL and Northrop Grumman personnel performed data acquisition and image exploitation onboard the aircraft as constant imagery feeds from the L3 Wescam MX-15 stabilized electro-optical payload assisted in analyzing and adding visual situational awareness to the acquired scene change data.

Operating as a multi-band sensor, the unique radar and associated real-time processing system could support many missions, including locating IEDs, imaging under foliage and into buildings, and detecting changes over a wide area. “We initially used MB-SAR in a sensor suite tailored for counter-narcotics work in Colombia,” said Dr. Joan Gardner, co-manager at Project Perseus, ”We saw its value and quickly recognized its greatest capabilities were being under utilized. The ability to survey very large areas in all weather conditions, day or night, and to cue other on-board sensors enables airborne assets to provide real-time, tactically-relevant information directly to troops on the ground or for border surveillance. Designed as a software-defined system, users could flexibly reconfigure the operating parameters of the radar, to rapidly adapt to mission requirements as well as integrating, testing and calibrating the system in less than five weeks.

“Missions such as these are incredibly beneficial to us as scientists and researchers,” said NRL Project Perseus co-manager Dr. John Brozena, ”Direct interface with the end-user in the environment that the technology is to be applied allows us to better understand what direction to focus research. More importantly, it gives us an awareness of what needs to be done in order to effectively transition the technology to the operational environment.”

With the success of this deployment, Northrop Grumman is investigating other opportunities to deploy MB-SAR to support broader airborne missions. ”We are gratified with the recent feedback from the Naval Research Laboratory [NRL] that our sensor suite performed so well and helped protect our armed forces,” said John Olesak, vice president of integrated intelligence systems for Northrop Grumman. “The rapid integration performed by the team to get this sensor to the field is a credit to the team’s engineering capability and mission focus. The working relationship with NRL was a key ingredient in the success of the quick reaction deployment.”

MB-SAR was developed with support from the U.S. Air Force’s Aeronautical Systems Center. A team from NRL Project Perseus provided the MB-SAR system integration on the NP-3D. The design leverages internal Northrop Grumman R&D, which was assisted by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Naval Aviation Systems Command supported programs.

Related News:

The crew of ‘Project Perseus’ (iraq, 2010) assembled in front of the specially equipped VXS-1, NP-3D Orion. Photo: U.S. Naval Research Laboratory

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Navy Test Pilot Completes First F-35C Flight

Loading ... Loading …By US Navy on Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

The carrier variant of the F-35 (CF-1) Joint Strike Fighter flew for the first time with a Navy test pilot at the controls Feb. 11.

Taking off at 2:06 p.m., Lt Cmdr. Eric “Magic” Buus flew the F-35C for approximately two hours. Buus’ first flight in the CF-1 checked the function of the flutter excitation system, which will help measure structural loads of the airframe during various flight maneuvers.

“The aircraft flew great for more than two hours with no issues. It’s a really smooth, solid flying airplane and a joy to fly,” said Buus. “This flight was a great milestone for me, personally, and more importantly, for the services during the 100 year anniversary of naval aviation. This airplane is going to give us a great leap in capability, and I’m looking forward to putting it through the demanding carrier suitability tests required to ensure it’s ready for the fleet.”

The F-35C is distinct from the F-35A and F-35B variants with its larger wing surfaces and reinforced landing gear for greater control in the demanding carrier take-off and landing environment.

“Magic’s flight today is a tremendous accomplishment for him and the test team, and a historic event for naval aviation,” said Capt. Thomas Huff, commodore of Naval Test Wing Atlantic. “The determination and thoroughness of test professionals across all our programs is shaped by the education and training they receive at the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School and Test and Evaluation University, ensuring delivery of warfighting capability to Sailors and Marines.”

Coincidentally timed with the kickoff of the Centennial of Naval Aviation in San Diego, this milestone represents the Navy’s first hands-on experience in its future fighter aircraft with stealth capabilities.

The F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter program is in the system design and development phase, focusing on delivering three different, new aircraft variants to the U.S. Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force. The integrated test force at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., is focused on testing and evaluation of the F-35B and F-35C.


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Multinational officials plan for Cobra Gold 2012

Loading ... Loading …By Air Force News Agency on Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Thailand: Military planners from more than 24 nations are in Thailand making a plan to deal with aggressive Arcadian military forces that took over a portion of neighboring Khuistan and Free Mojave on the subcontinent of Pacifica.

The countries, timeline and scenario of the Arcadia situation are make-believe, but this staff exercise, part of Cobra Gold 2011, is as real as the 200-plus people working on just this portion of the overall event.

Participants in the STAFFEX are planning the operational exercise for Cobra Gold 2012. The plan they develop over the next two weeks will be the plan used in February 2012 when a new group of people congregate in Thailand to respond to the Arcadia situation.

The countries involved now are pretending it is November 2011, and they are writing a plan to implement on a subcontinent in the Pacific Ocean. The fictional continent is an exact geographical match of a cutout area of North America.

“We’re not going there to fight a war with Arcadia,” said Thai army Col. Suriya Eamsuro, the STAFFEX lead planner. “The plan shouldn’t be to take people and weapons out, but to deploy forces and use information operations to help Arcadia to think what they did wasn’t right, and we shouldn’t have to fight at all.”

The 25-year Thai army veteran said he is honored that Thailand is the lead nation for Cobra Gold, but he worries some of the benefits of the training will be lost in translation.

“It takes time to understand what is written and said in English,” Colonel Eamsuro said. “I worry it will affect the STAFFEX mission. Misunderstandings can be minor to major; just like what happens in a real operation.”

U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Vince Koopmann, the coalition lead planner for Cobra Gold, said building partnerships is more important than the final product produced at the STAFFEX.

“The fact that we come from varying services, backgrounds and unique experiences should not be viewed as an impediment to our success, but melded to leverage the collective expertise of our cohesive multinational force team,” Major Koopman said. “The most important aspect of CG 2011 isn’t the products we produce, but the relationships we build between our multinational partners.”

Lt. Col. Adrian Kinimaka, of STAFFEX Air Force Forces, said this is his first Cobra Gold, and he is still learning from other members of his section who have been to this exercise in years past.

“At this level, what I’ve seen is willingness to learn from each other,” he said. “The United States has a lot to offer. Our partners are receptive and are taking initiative to work with us in certain key areas.”

The outcome of the Arcadia situation won’t be known for about year because the scenario won’t be implemented until February 2012.

The nations gathered will develop a plan that will eventually bring peace and stability to entire Pacifica region, Colonel Eamsuro said. Friendships built now will also pay big dividends if the nations involved ever have to respond to a real crisis.

CG 2011 is the 30th time multinational forces have gathered in Thailand for this exercise. The annual Thai and United States co-sponsored joint and multinational event includes Thailand, the United States, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Singapore as participating nations. In addition, representatives from 18 multinational planning augmentation team nations and observer nations include Cambodia, China, Italy, Russia and South Africa.


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Australia Hibahkan 4 Hercules Kepada TNI AU


C-130H Angkatan Udara Australia (photo : Militaryphotos) REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, YOGYAKARTA – Pemerintah Australia akan memberikan hibah empat pesawat Hercules kepada Tentara Nasional Indonesia Angkatan Udara (TNI AU), kata Kepala Staf Angkatan Udara Marsekal TNI Imam Sufaat di Yogyakarta, Rabu (2/2).
“Kepala Angkatan Udara Australia telah melakukan kunjungan ke Indonesia pada 27 Januari 2011, dan mereka siap menyerahkan pesawat tersebut,” katanya usai memimpin upacara serah terima jabatan Gubernur Akademi Angkatan Udara (AAU) di Yogyakarta.
Menurut dia, dalam kunjungan itu Kepala Angkatan Udara Australia, selain memberikan kuliah kepada taruna AAU, juga melakukan komunikasi dalam rangka realisasi rencana hibah empat pesawat Hercules.
“Proses penyerahan pesawat hibah tersebut tidak akan dilakukan dalam satu waktu, melainkan bertahap hingga 2012. Tahun ini akan diserahkan dua pesawat, kemudian pada 2012 dua pesawat lagi,” katanya.
Ia mengatakan, setelah diterima, pesawat Hercules tersebut tidak akan langsung dioperasikan, tetapi harus terlebih dulu masuk depo untuk dilakukan pengecekan.
“Setelah dinyatakan siap untuk pengoperasian, pesawat Hercules tersebut baru diterbangkan untuk mendukung produktivitas kerja TNI AU,” kata mantan Gubernur AAU itu.
Menurut dia, pesawat Hercules yang dibutuhkan TNI AU saat ini sebanyak 30 unit. Namun, TNI AU hanya memiliki 21 pesawat Hercules, sehingga masih kurang sembilan pesawat.
“Kekurangan pesawat Hercules itu akan dipenuhi dari hibah dan membeli. Sebanyak 30 pesawat Hercules akan digunakan untuk pesawat tanki sebanyak dua unit, pesawat VIP dua unit, dan pesawat operasional dua batalyon sebanyak 26 unit,” katanya.

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Eve of Destruction classic 2.0 / B-52 effects

Loading ... Loading …By Military Videos on Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Eve of Destruction classic 2.0 / B-52 effects

This is a preview of the new effects for B-52 in EoD – a FREE Battlefield 1942 modification. Release will be in spring 2010. Visit http://www.eodmod.com for more information and download.


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Afghan war costs $300 million a day: Pentagon

Loading ... Loading …By Agence France-Presse on Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

The withdrawal of American troops from Iraq will allow for a reduced US defense budget in 2012 but the war in Afghanistan stll costs the United States close to 300 million dollars a day.

Under the Pentagon’s proposed budget, the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will drop to $117.8 billion for fiscal year 2012, a reduction of 41.5 billion from the previous year.

As the US war effort winds down in Iraq, the budget sets aside $10.6 billion for “Operation New Dawn,” with the remaining 50,000 US troops there due to withdraw by the end of 2011.

Spending for the Afghan mission calls for $107.3 billion, down slightly from the last budget, which requested $113.5 billion.

President Barack Obama has vowed to start a withdrawal in July of the roughly 97,000 troops now in Afghanistan.

The budget released Monday offered no insight into the scale of the planned drawdown, with the Pentagon’s budget document assuming an average of 98,250 troops on the ground by the end of 2012.

Gates said the Pentagon had “decided to budget conservatively” as it was too soon to predict how many troops would be withdrawn after July.

“But that’s not to say that we will have 98,000 troops at the end of FY 2012. In fact it’s a lead pipe cinch we won’t.”

The budget for Afghanistan and Iraq includes $79.2 billion for operations, $10.1 billion to counter the threat posed by homemade bombs — the main killer of NATO-led troops in the war.

Some $11.9 billion is devoted to repairing and replacing equipment lost or damaged and $12.8 billion for training and arming Afghan security forces, who are supposed to gradually take over security duties between now and 2015.

By October, the United States and NATO plans to expand the Afghan army to 172,000 soldiers and the police to 134,000 police.


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Russia says foreign power may have caused spy satellite loss

Loading ... Loading …By Agence France-Presse on Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

The Russian space agency suggested Monday that a foreign power may have been behind the space accident that disabled one of the country’s most modern military satellites earlier this month.

Russia on February 1 launched a high-tech Geo-IK-2 craft to help the military draw a three-dimensional map of the Earth and locate the precise positions of various targets.

News reports said the satellite was a vital part of Russia’s effort to match the United States and NATO’s ability to target its missiles from space.

But the craft briefly went missing after its launch only to re-emerge in a wrong orbit that left the craft unable to complete its assigned task.

The Russian military and space agency set up a joint task force to probe the accident but it has presented no official results thus far.

One unnamed space official told Interfax however that initial evidence suggested that the craft went off target after one of its booster rockets inexplicably reversed course.

“The probable cause may involve electromagnetic intrusion on the automatic controls,” the unnamed space official said.

The official did not identify the country he suspected of trying to derail the Russian military mission. But Moscow frequently accuses Washington of attempting to “militarise” space.

The space official conceded that there may have been other reasons for the launch failure. These included the wrong operations being programmed into the guidance system and other software mistakes.

But the Russian source stressed that the accident occurred between the first and second burns of the Briz-KM upper-stage booster rocket — an area in which the craft makes no contact with ground control.

The official suggested that the electromagnetic pulse may have been aimed at the Russian craft “from a land, sea, air or space vehicle.”

The Geo-IK-2 mishap came less than five weeks after President Dmitry Medvedev fired two top space officials for a launch failure caused Russia to delay the deployment of its own navigation system.

Investigators said that accident was caused by a basic fuel miscalculation that made the craft too heavy to reach its required height.

The three Glonass satellites would have completed a system whose research had been started by the Soviet Union in 1976.


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