The AeroVironment Switchblade, which utilizes portable ground-control equipment similar to the company’s small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), has a 10-kilometer operational radius and a flight endurance of 10 minutes at 55 to 85 knots, and it provides visual surveillance with a lethal follow-up option against targets located beyond a soldier’s line of sight. The complete payload, launcher and transport bag weighs approximately 5.5 pounds.
Lockheed Martin Terminator: Based on initial combat experience with the urgently procured systems, Army planners are moving forward toward an official program of record called Lethal Miniature Aerial Munition System (LMAMS). One possible contender for a future LMAMS effort is Lockheed Martin’s Terminator. With a munition weighing less than 6 pounds and a fire control unit weighing less than 5 pounds. the Terminator was developed as a rapid response system requiring less than 90 seconds “from rucksack to launch.” Once airborne, the system has a flight endurance of 15 minutes with a 60-mph cruising speed and a 100-mph dash. The system includes a 10-megapixel camera with a digital data-link capable of sending real-time imagery back to an operator at ranges in excess of 5 kilometers. The system also features a blast fragmentation warhead for lethality against personnel targets with minimal collateral damage.
Mistral Inc. has recently unveiled the HERO-30SF, which was originally developed by Israeli manufacturer UVision. This system’s unique features include its pneumatic launch capability from a transport canister, a cruciform wing configuration for enhanced maneuverability, a flight duration up to 30 minutes and a larger warhead (1.1 pounds) than some other designs.
Textron Systems’ BattleHawk has emerged as a potential candidate to meet any future LMAMS requirement. The system design has a total weight of 10 pounds, which includes the launcher, munition and fire control unit. Additional BattleHawk features include a 30-minute loitering endurance, a 5-kilometer reach, electro-optic/infrared streaming video for target acquisitions and tracking, a 40mm fragmenting grenade warhead for target engagements, and an abort/wave off capability with a self-destruct option.
A combat-proven element of the AT4 system from Saab AB Dynamics, the AT4 CS weighs just over 17 pounds and measures just under 41 inches in length. The 84mm weapon can penetrate more than 15.8 inches of armor and has an effective range of more than 300 meters. The “Confined Space” firing capability of the AT4 CS design significantly expands potential firing positions across the range of tactical scenarios.
The Vampire Tactical Forensic Device from Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. is a handheld forensics lab that integrates state-of-the-art fingerprint analysis into a commercial mobile device capable of capturing latent fingerprint images directly from various surfaces with an integrated 8-megapixel camera and integrated forensic light sources (including ultraviolet). The device can also capture live fingerprints through an integrated fingerprint scanner and also import/export biometric and watch list data. It also has the onboard capability of performing latent-to-latent matching and live-to-latent identification, resulting in the rapid identification of critical leads.
The Enhanced Night Vision Goggle (ENVG), developed with support from RDECOM’s Communications Electronics Research Development and Engineering Command (CERDEC), is a helmet-mounted passive device that fuses image intensification and long-wave infrared imagery into a single integrated image. The use of prism fusion to superimpose the two different technologies will provide future users with expanded tactical employment options. For example, while traditional image-intensification/near infrared works by enhancing reflected ambient light, it also allows possible threats to hide from observation behind something as simple as a blanket. The ENVG eliminates that possibility by overlaying a thermal image. But, while thermal imagery will identify a person’s heat signature, it does not allow things like facial identification. Since Army operations frequently mandate clear target identification, a simple button push changes the delivered image from near infrared with full thermal overlay to near infrared with just a thermal outline of individuals. The result is clear thermal identification of the human form with near clear identification of facial features.
Prox Dynamics Black Hornet: The Army’s Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) has been focusing its efforts on a “pocket-sized” aerial surveillance device. Called the Cargo Pocket Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (CP-ISR) program, the effort has recently focused on the PD-100 Black Hornet from Norway’s Prox Dynamics. The Black Hornet is a palm-sized miniature helicopter that weights only 16 grams and has the ability to fly up to 20 minutes while providing real-time video by way of a digital data-link from one of three embedded cameras. The video image is delivered to the operator on a chest-worn tablet screen.
The Association of the United States Army (AUSA) 2015 Global Force Symposium, held from March 31 to April 2 in Huntsville, Alabama, offered an exceptional glimpse at a dynamic land force working to incorporate lessons learned over more than a dozen years at war.
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The 2015 iteration of the professional development forum drew more than 5,500 people from all over the world, including key leaders from the U.S. Army, the Department of Defense and Congress. In addition to being a critical exchange of concepts and ideas, a key feature of the AUSA forum was the presence of more than 200 industry and government exhibits highlighting technologies applicable to today’s rapidly evolving military climate.
Scroll through the gallery above and take a look at the latest high-tech products from the AUSA 2015 Global Force Symposium.
For more information on the products listed above, please visit the following websites:
- AeroVironment Switchblade: avinc.com; 626-357-9983
- Lockheed Martin Terminator: lockheedmartin.com
- Mistral HERO-30SF: mistralinc.com; 301-913-9366
- Textron Systems BattleHawk: textronsystems.com; 978-657-5111
- SAAB AT4 CS: saabgroup.com
- Booz Allen Hamilton Vampire: boozallen.com; 508-389-5980
- CERDEC Night Vision Goggles: cerdec.army.mil
- Prox Dynamics Black Hornet: proxdynamics.com
The P7 4X Optic from LUCID Optics features ballistic MOA measuring tape in the...
by Tactical-Life / Aug 4, 2015