Procurement, Science and Technology Q2-2014

This issue of Science, Technology and Procurement covers the spectrum of breaking news.  Through this season, a number of conventions, conferences, trade and air shows will be hosted. MSAIC had the opportunity to attend Eurosatory 2014.  1,504 exhibitors from 58 countries showed off their wares in an exhibition area of over 43 acres! Impressive in scope, capabilities, technologies and international presence.   In addition to new contracts, this season also announced a number of new business arrangements and joint ventures, including Saabs’ acquisition of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems and the German / French alliance planned by Nexter and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW). 

In procurement and business news

Saab acquires ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems AB   

29 June 2014,  Saab  has entered into an agreement with ThyssenKrupp Industrial Solutions AG regarding the acquisition of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems AB (formerly Kockums). The purchase price is MSEK 340. This acquisition is in line with Saab’s ambition to increase its capabilities in the naval domain.

In April 2014, Saab and ThyssenKrupp Industrial Solutions AG signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding regarding the acquisition of the Swedish shipyard TKMS AB with operations based in Karlskrona, Malmö and Muskö, Sweden. The parties have now agreed that Saab will acquire TKMS AB.  http://www.saabgroup.com/en/About-Saab/Newsroom/Press-releases--News/2014---6/Saab-acquires-ThyssenKrupp-Marine-Systems-AB/#.U7qiIv4riJA

 

Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Nexter Systems plan alliance

01 July 2014. – Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and Nexter Systems (Nexter) intend to share their future road ahead having signed a Heads of Agreement to this effect. The alliance of the two groups under the umbrella of a joint holding company creates a Franco-German defence technology group with a current annual turnover nearing 2 billion euro, an order book of around 6.5 billion euro, and more than 6,000 employees.  KMW, Nexter and their owners view this step as decisive for the consolidation of the defence technology industry in Europe. Their new strategic alignment makes it possible to retain jobs and skills in the heart of the European Union. Nexter S. A. is in the sole ownership of the French State holding company GIAT Industries S. A.; Krauss-Maffei Wegmann GmbH & Co. KG is in the sole ownership of Wegmann GmbH & Co in Kassel. For the intended unification of the two companies, the current sole owners intend to contribute their shares into a newly incorporated joint holding company. They will each receive 50 percent of the shares of this holding company, which will become the sole shareholder in KMW and Nexter. The governance of the holding company will take into account the balance between the two shareholders, who will be reference investors in the new combined group with a long term industrial perspective.

The target date for the alliance is early 2015. In the meantime, the two future partners will both be subject to a process of due diligence. The alliance project will be subject to legal and customary regulation approvals.   http://www.nexter-group.fr/images/stories/fichiers_pdf/group/communique/Press_Release_-_Krauss-Maffei_Wegmann_and_Nexter_Systems_plan_alliance.pdf

 

MBDA’S BRIMSTONE 2 MISSILE ENTERS PRODUCTION AND SECURES TYPHOON STUDY CONTRACT      16th July, 2014

MBDA has today announced that production has commenced of the Brimstone 2 missile. The missile incorporates the latest mmW radar and semi active laser Dual Mode Seeker capability, an Insensitive Munition (IM) rocket motor and warhead, and a new and stronger airframe for increased air carriage robustness. This new missile will enter service with the Royal Air Force (RAF) on Tornado GR4s and is now contracted to be evaluated for Typhoon.

Brimstone 2 provides greater operational flexibility by enhancing guidance capabilities against challenging targets and through a step change in IM compliance which significantly improves operator, maintainer and platform safety on operations and reduces the logistics burden of operational deployments.

MBDA took receipt of the first production batch of rocket motors on the 10th June 2014 from Roxel and the warheads on the 30th June from TDW.   http://www.mbda-systems.com/mediagallery/news-files/PR_2014-07-16_EN-1-596.pdf

 

Nammo opened a brand new and top modern production line for Rocket Motors at Raufoss in Norway.   5 June, 2014

The objective of the new production line is to expand the manufacturing capacity for rocket motor propellants, and also increase the product portfolio so we are prepared to handle new market requirements in the future.  New mixer

Nammo has been a producer of rocket motors with composite propellant since 1979.  Both development and production of advanced rocket motors have been a national ambition for Norway and one of Nammo’s core business areas at the Raufoss facility.   

The new production line gives Nammo a unique opportunity to manufacture new types of rocket propellant and other energetic materials like PBX.
“By doubling our capacity, we also increase the ability to serve our customers as the new production line significantly improves security of supply both for missile and space programs where Nammo participates”, concludes Executive Vice President Morten Brandtzæg at Nammo Raufoss.   http://www.nammo.com/

 

Chemring completes Disposal of European Munitions Business 

27 May 2014    Chemring announces that following receipt of appropriate regulatory clearance from the Italian Government in relation to the disposal of Simmel, the Company has now successfully completed the disposal of its European Munitions Business. Chemring will become a focused defence technology business with well-established positions in Sensors & Electronics, Countermeasures and Energetic Systems.   http://www.chemring.co.uk/media/press-releases/2014/2014-05-27.aspx

 

The Nexter Group and Avibras Group announce their cooperation in the Artillery segment

June 18th 2014 – The Nexter Group and Avibras Group have announced the signature of a Cooperation Agreement aimed at the development of a 155 CAESAR Artillery System for the Brazilian Army, based on the same mobility, logistics and Command and Control of the Brazilian ASTROS System.

It is an opportunity for Nexter to consolidate its position on the South American Market, and for AVIBRAS to present to Brazil a new product within the Artillery segment.  http://www.nexter-group.fr/en/press-releases/657-nexter-et-avibras-sassocient-dans-le-domaine-de-lartillerie

 

Nexter and CILAS announce their cooperation in the domain of laser weapons on land carriers  

June 18th, 2014 – Nexter Systems and CILAS announced the signing of a letter of intent for joint research work on the development of carrier-based laser weapons.

This is an opportunity for Nexter, designer and manufacturer of complex weapons systems with high technical added value, to study the implementation of laser weapons, and for CILAS, producer of laser sources for the Defence sector, to apply its cutting-edge technology.   http://www.nexter-group.fr/en/press-releases/658-nexter-et-cilas-annoncent-leur-cooperation-dans-le-domaine-des-armes-lasers-sur-porteurs-terrestres

 

Raytheon, Thales team to upgrade TOW missile 

June 16, 2014  Raytheon Company and Thales have signed a 27-month development and five-year production agreement in support of future improvements of Raytheon's tube-launched, optically-tracked, wireless-guided (TOW) weapon system.

Thales has committed a £13.5M (~$20.2 million) investment in the design and qualification of two new TOW missile subassemblies that will address obsolescence, increase system fuze safety and reduce total missile cost.  http://raytheon.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&item=2582

 

US to supply 14,000 TOW missiles

Following a conclusion of a large foreign military sales contract signed by the US Government, the Raytheon company is expecting an order for 14,000 tube-launched, optically tracked, wireless-guided (TOW) missiles worth about $750 million. The international customer was not named but believed to be the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The missiles are destined to the Saudi Arabia National Guard’s, bolstering their defense and counter-terrorism mission capability. The missiles will be delivered over a period of three years, beginning in 2015.  http://defense-update.com/20140424_washington-supply-14000-tow-missiles-saudi-national-guard.html#.U7q4UP4riJA

 

Saab and ROKETSAN to collaborate on Anti-tank Missile Systems 

Saab and ROKETSAN have signed a Memorandum of Understanding covering future collaboration on Anti-tank Missile Systems.  Under the terms of the agreement the two companies will work together to develop a new system to fill the gap in the  short to medium range Anti-tank missile market.  http://www.saabgroup.com/en/About-Saab/Newsroom/Press-releases--News/2014---6/Saab-and-ROKETSAN-collaborate-on-Anti-tank-Missile-Systems/#.U7qjL_4riJA

 

MBDA Deutschland GmbH in partnership with Roketsan - 23/05/2014

MBDA Deutschland GmbH and Roketsan have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a collaboration in manufacturing and integration of a 70mm guided weapon system.

Under the terms of the agreement the two companies will initiate the exchange of business and technical information for a guided weapon system based on the 70mm rocket concept for the German UH Tiger. Both companies aim to provide a solution for an expected German Army requirement for this helicopter.

The MoU was signed by MBDA Deutschland GmbH Managing Director, Thomas Homberg and Roketsan CEO & President, Selcuk Yasar.  Selcuk Yasar said: “We believe that with this cooperation we will be able to offer an enhanced weapon system to the German customer by bringing together the capabilities of Cirit, 2,75” Laser Guided Missile and MBDA Deutschland GmbH’s proven expertise on the platforms’ weapon management systems. We hope the result of this initiative will lead to a broader business cooperation between the two companies in the future.”  http://www.mbda-systems.com/mediagallery/#/news/3306

 

MBDA receives contract for assessment phase of air defence system  01/05/2014

A £36M contract from the UK Ministry of Defence has been placed with MBDA for the Land variant of the Future Local Area Air Defence System (FLAADS Land). This will fund an Assessment Phase that will demonstrate the adaptation and evolution of core weapon system subsystems (e.g. command & control) for the land environment, and prepare for the transition from Rapier Field Standard C (FSC) in British Army service. The FLAADS Land system will provide the British Army with a world leading Ground Based Air Defence (GBAD) system that will be one of the most advanced and capable in its class, providing operational, logistical and cost benefits.

At the heart of the FLAADS Land system is MBDA’s Common Anti-air Modular Missile (CAMM) and its weapon command and control system, contracted for installation onto the Royal Navy’s (RN) Type 23 Frigates as Sea Ceptor. This approach leverages the existing investment to deliver the UK MOD with an affordable but highly capable air defence system for both the Army and Royal Navy, with a shared support and future upgrade path across both services.

MBDA is delivering the FLAADS Land programme under the Portfolio Management Agreement (PMA). The PMA provides the UK Armed Forces with Freedom of Action and Operational Advantage thereby allowing them to maintain an edge over adversaries now and in the future. The PMA also ensures the skills and technologies critical for this are maintained in the UK.    http://www.mbda-systems.com/mediagallery/#/news/3298

 

Lockheed Martin Receives $611 Million Contract for Production of First PAC-3 MSE Missiles 

April 28, 2014 – Lockheed Martin received a $611 million contract from the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command for the first production order of the PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement following the Army’s successful Milestone C decision earlier this year. The contract includes the production of both PAC-3 MSE missiles and Launcher Modifications Kits.

The PAC-3 MSE’s revolutionary two-pulse solid rocket motor provides increased performance in both altitude and range – while employing the same proven hit-to-kill technology that the PAC-3 Missile uniquely brings to the Patriot system.   In 2003, Lockheed Martin received a contract to increase the altitude and range of the PAC-3 missile.  The missile received the larger, more powerful dual-pulse motor for added thrust, along with larger fins and other structural modifications for more agility.  The larger fins collapse to allow the missile to fit into the current PAC-3 launcher, and give the interceptor more maneuverability against faster and more sophisticated ballistic and cruise missiles. The launcher modification kits enable the Patriot Configuration 3 launcher to control and launch the hit-to-kill PAC-3 Missiles, as well as heritage Patriot missiles.

“These enhancements are the natural, pre-planned evolution of a system that was first demonstrated 20 years ago,” said Scott Arnold, vice president of PAC-3 programs at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.   “Every current Patriot-using nation is a candidate to upgrade their PAC-3 systems to the PAC-3 MSE.”   http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/press-releases/2014/april/mfc-042814-lm-receives-611million-contract-production-first-PAC-3MSE-missiles.html

 

Raytheon awarded $163 million AMRAAM contract 

July 3, 2014 Raytheon Company was awarded a $163,223,113 fixed-price/fixed-price-incentive/cost-plus-incentive contract for AMRAAM Program Support and Sustainment (PSAS).  The PSAS contract provides sustaining engineering, program management, contractor logistics support and accomplishes the diminishing manufacturing sources and material shortage tasks of extending the life of the AMRAAM Central Processing Unit, improving the AMRAAM guidance section within the current performance envelope and developing applicable test equipment.

Work will be performed at Tucson and is expected to be completed by Jan. 31, 2017. This contract includes both U.S. and foreign military sales repair and service requirements.  http://raytheon.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&item=2595

 

Inauguration of EXPAL’s Demilitarization plant in Belarus 

June 2, 2014    The inaugural ceremony took place on May 27th, at the plant EXPAL has installed in Belarus for the destruction of PFM-1 Mines in this country.  The Project is the consequence of an international tender launched and funded by the European Union that EXPAL was awarded, and it contemplates the destruction of approximately 3.400.000 mines.

The plant has been specially designed and built by EXPAL to carry out the scope of the project. Safety and complying with European Environmental standards have been fundamental parameters in the development and building of the facilities and the design of its processes, thought specifically for the destruction of this type of ammunition.

The EC’s support for the destruction of Belarus stockpiles of PFM-1 landmines is linked with the Government of Belarus`s ratification of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their destruction.  For more information contact: expal@expal.biz, salfaro@expal.biz   or www.expal.biz

 

MBDA Inaugurates French Complex Munitions Demilitarisation Facility  02/07/2014  

On 2nd July 2014, Antoine Bouvier, MBDA’s Chief Executive Officer, inaugurated France’s complex munitions demilitarisation facility at MBDA’s Bourges Subdray site in the Centre region of France.

http://www.mbda-systems.com/mediagallery/news-files/PR_2014-06-30_EN-2-534.jpgHaving set up this facility in only two years, MBDA is in line with the schedule aimed at allowing France to fulfill the commitment it made in signing the Oslo Convention in July 2009. The Convention prohibits the use and stockpile of cluster bombs and calls for all signatories to have destroyed their stock of such military hardware by 2018.  Notified in November 2011 by the NATO Support Agency (NSPA, ex-NAMSA), NATO’s Integrated Logistics and Services Provider Agency, on behalf of the French Ministry of Defence, the contract awarded to MBDA covers the destruction of 36,000 complex munitions and the establishment of a French industrial capability for munitions demilitarisation.

The new facility represents an investment of around 12 million euros and the creation of 20 new, direct jobs in the Centre region of France. It also represents MBDA’s response to the French Government’s desire to set up an end of life munitions dismantling capability on home territory in order to guarantee the confidentiality of its products, the safety standards associated with pyrotechnic operations and the protection of the environment.  http://www.mbda-systems.com/mediagallery/#/news/3344

 

NAMMO has been awarded a three year Enabling Agreement by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), for the demilitarization of ammunition

Under this agreement the MoD will raise tasks for the demilitarization of natures of ammunition considered beyond normal service life. The MoD will however reserve the right to compete larger programs for disposal either direct or through NAMSA. Routine small scale disposals will remain with the MoD’s Shoeburyness facility operated by QinetiQ.

NAMMO Demil has dedicated factories in Germany, Norway and Sweden. All the NAMMO facilities meet the strict National and European requirements for the discharge of effluent through the air, water and ground. NAMMO have chosen EPC UK as the Teaming Partners for this program expanding on their successful relationship where the facility at Bramble Island has been utilized for storage and onward shipping prior to final demilitarization.  NAMMO previously won competitive tenders for the demilitarization of various products and were also contracted for the previous 5 year agreement with the UK MoD. http://www.nammo.com/

 

Saab receives order from FMV for a New Lightweight Torpedo 

Saab has received an order from the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration  regarding design plans for a New Lightweight Torpedo (NLT). The order refers to the period 2014-2015 and amounts to the value of MSEK 43. The order is part of the Letter of Intent regarding the Swedish armed forces’ underwater capability which was announced on June 9, 2014.  http://www.saabgroup.com/en/About-Saab/Newsroom/Press-releases--News/2014---7/Saab-Receives-Order-from-FMV-for-underwater-weapon-system/#.U7qhSf4riJA

 

New Zealand Contract Signed for MBDA’s Sea Ceptor 27/05/2014

The New Zealand Mthumbnailinistry of Defence signed a contract with MBDA for the provision of Sea Ceptor for the Local Area Air Defence element of the Royal New Zealand Navy’s ANZAC Frigate Systems Upgrade (FSU) project.

Steve Wadey, MBDA UK Managing Director and Group Executive Director Technical, said: “I am delighted that New Zealand has confirmed its selection of Sea Ceptor for the ANZAC FSU project. This first success in the global market outside the United Kingdom for Sea Ceptor is due not only to its advanced operational and through-life cost advantages, but also to the invaluable support provided by the UK Government and the Royal Navy during discussions with the New Zealand Ministry of Defence. Cooperation between the Governments and the Navies of the United Kingdom and New Zealand will continue to be important to delivering an excellent Sea Ceptor capability throughout the life of the project.”  http://www.mbda-systems.com/mediagallery/#/news/3309

 

 

BAE Systems has been awarded a contract to produce and deliver four 57 Mk3 Naval Guns to the Mexican Navy.

24 June 2014  The 57 Mk3 gun is proving to be a successful product for various customers. In addition to Mexico, the 57 Mk3 is also in service with Navies and Coast Guards in the United States, Canada, Sweden, Finland, and Malaysia. The 57 Mk3 gun can fire four rounds per second and can switch immediately between ammunition types to deliver seamless targeting of air, land, and sea-based threats and provide superb survivability and tactical freedom at all levels of conflict.

Series production begins immediately, with gun deliveries beginning in 2015 and continuing through 2017. Final assembly will take place at BAE Systems’ facility in Karlskoga, Sweden. http://www.baesystems.com/article/BAES_168061/bae-systems-wins-57mm-naval-gun-contract-in-mexico?_afrLoop=2662151777451000&_afrWindowMode=2&_afrWindowId=null

 

General Dynamics Awarded $18 Billion by U.S. Navy for 10 Virginia-Class Submarines

The U.S. Navy today awarded General Dynamics Electric Boat a contract valued at $17.6 billion for the construction of 10 additional Virginia-class submarines. The multi-year Block IV contract enables Electric Boat and its industry teammate, Newport News Shipbuilding, to proceed with the construction of two ships per year over a five-year period. Construction of the first Block IV submarine, SSN-792, will begin May 1. The 10th ship to be procured under this contract is scheduled for delivery in 2023.

Electric Boat and Newport News Shipbuilding already have delivered 10 Virginia-class submarines to the Navy - Eight additional submarines are under construction.  Virginia-class submarines displace 7,800 tons, with a hull length of 377 feet and a diameter of 34 feet. They are capable of speeds in excess of 25 knots and can dive to a depth greater than 800 feet, while carrying Mark 48 advanced capability torpedoes, Tomahawk land-attack missiles and unmanned underwater vehicles.   http://www.generaldynamics.com/news/press-releases/detail.cfm?customel_dataPageID_1811=19222

 

Lockheed Martin Receives $34 Million in Contracts for Enhanced Laser Guided Training Rounds  

May 21, 2014 – Lockheed Martin recently received two contracts totaling $34.3 million from the U.S. Navy and Royal Canadian Air Force for Enhanced Laser Guided Training Rounds (ELGTR) production.

A $21.8 million U.S. Navy follow-on contract represents the second order of ELGTRs against a four-year indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract received in 2013. Under the follow-on contract, Lockheed Martin will provide ELGTRs, logistics support and associated technical data to the Navy, extending ELGTR production into 2017.

Additionally, Lockheed Martin received a $12.5 million ELGTR production contract on behalf of the Royal Canadian Air Force. Under this four-year fixed-price direct commercial sale contract, Lockheed Martin will provide ELGTRs to the Royal Canadian Air Force beginning in 2014. The contract includes two options to extend production deliveries into 2020. The Royal Canadian Air Force first purchased LGTR/ELGTR in 1996.

Recognized worldwide as the only sub-caliber live-fire LGB training solution, the ELGTR is compatible with the Canadian CF-18, the F/A-18, AV-8B, F-16 and other international aircraft platforms. http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/press-releases/2014/may/mfc-0521-2014-lockheedmartin-receives-34millioncontracts-enhanced-laser-guided-training-rounds.html

 

Jordan and Korea sign contracts for Lockheed Martin’s Sniper® Advanced Targeting Pod

June 11, 2014 – In 2013, the Royal Jordanian Air Force selected Lockheed Martin’s  Sniper® Advanced Targeting Pod (ATP) to equip its fleet of F-16 aircraft, becoming the 16th international customer for the program.  For the initial $16.5 million contract, Lockheed Martin will deliver five Sniper ATPs, along with integration, program management and other hardware, to support the Royal Jordanian Air Force precision strike mission requirements.

June 11, 2014 – Lockheed Martin  also received a  Sniper® ATP contract from the Republic of Korea Air Force to equip its KF-16 and F-15K aircraft with enhanced precision attack capability. The contract includes pods, spares, support equipment, integration and training.   http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/press-releases/2014/june/mfc-061814-lockheed-martin-receives-sniper-pod-contract-republic-korea-airforce.html

Sniper ATP provides pilots high-resolution imagery for precision targeting and non-traditional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. Sniper ATP detects, identifies, automatically tracks and laser designates small tactical targets at long ranges. It also supports employment of all laser and GPS-guided weapons against multiple fixed and moving targets. A video datalink enables pilots to share real-time video with troops on the ground for improved situational awareness and rapid target coordination.

The Sniper ATP’s interoperability enables coalition air forces to use the pod across multiple platforms, including U.S. Air Force and multinational F-15, F-16, F-18, A-10, B-1 and B-52 aircraft. http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/press-releases/2014/june/mfc-061114-jordan-becomes-16th-international-customer-lockheed-martins-sniper-advanced-targeting-pod.html

 

SCIENCE / TECHNOLOGY SECTION

Aerojet Rocketdyne Completes Large (92 inch) Second Stage Motor Test for the U.S. Air Force   

June 25, 2014 – Aerojet Rocketdyne, announced today that a  92" diameter second stage solid rocket motor was successfully tested at sea level conditions at the Utah Test and Training Range at Hill Air Force Base (AFB), Utah. This follows  after the first successful test at simulated altitude conditions that was conducted on Feb.12, 2014 at Arnold Engineering Development Center, Tenn. This are the largest motors ever tested at either site.  http://www.rocket.com/article/aerojet-rocketdyne-completes-large-class-second-stage-motor-test-us-air-force-nuclear

 

Aerojet Rocketdyne Successfully Tests Engine Made Entirely with Additive Manufacturing

June 23, 2014 – Aerojet Rocketdyne, successfully completed a series of hot-fire tests on a Bantam demonstration engine built entirely with additive manufacturing.

The engine, which is normally comprised of dozens of parts, consisted of only three additive-manufactured components: the entire injector and dome assembly; the combustion chamber; and a throat and nozzle section.

The team also was able to reduce total design and manufacturing time from more than a year to a couple of months, and reduce the cost of the engine by approximately 65 percent. This engine test was part of a multi-year Aerojet Rocketdyne additive manufacturing development effort that already has demonstrated successful process development, design tool evolution, component fabrication and component hot-fire tests. http://www.rocket.com/article/aerojet-rocketdyne-successfully-tests-engine-made-entirely-additive-manufacturing

 

VULCANO 127/155 mm  Precision Guided Munition

http://www.diehl.com/typo3temp/pics/3a66d2b493.jpg June, 2014 – OTO Melara and Diehl Defence demonstrated the performances of their new VULCANO Precision Guided Munition family during another live firing campaign. The firings took place at Alkantpan Proving Ground, South Africa, in May 2014, using a PzH2000 howitzer.

The fired rounds were in their production configuration and achieved the expected results both in the guided (GPS&SAL) and unguided version.  The maximum range was limited to slightly over 50 km for firing range safety limitation.

It is the first time that a PzH2000 fires unguided ballistic rounds at such extended ranges whereas the guided round, if fired at the same elevation, would have achieved ranges of over 80 km with undiminished precision.  As part of this firing campaign with PzH2000, tests were conducted with IR (InfraRed) guidance, demonstrating the capability of target discrimination and tracking. However, IR terminal guidance will only apply to the Vulcano 127mm naval version.  http://www.diehl.com/en/nc/diehl-defence/press/vulcano-127155mm-precision-guided-munition/557.html

 

Aegis Ashore Achieves Major Test Milestone for Worldwide Ballistic Missile Defense System  

May 20, 2014 –Lockheed Martin, the U.S. Navy and the Missile Defense Agency successfully completed the first live fire test of Aegis Ashore, where the new land-based system safely launched and controlled a missile against a simulated target. The test demonstrated Aegis Ashore’s ability to provide proven missile defense capabilities against a ballistic missile threat.

The test, is the first live fire event for the Aegis Ashore system at the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) in Hawaii. During the event, a Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IB guided missile was launched while a simulated target was tracked by the Aegis Weapon System. This is the first Aegis BMD system test using a land-based missile launcher.
 
As an essential part of the European Phased Adaptive Approach, Aegis Ashore uses the proven capability of sea-based Aegis BMD and deploys it in a land-based application using the newest generation of BMD, known as BMD 5.0. The first Aegis Ashore system is installed in a deckhouse at PMRF, while the second system will be delivered to Romania for operational capability next year. http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/press-releases/2014/may/140521-mst-aegis-ashore-achieves-major-test-milestone-for-worldwide-ballistic-missile-defense-system.html

According to the European Phased Adaptive Approach plan for missile defense, the first Aegis Ashore site will be operational in Romania in 2015. The second Aegis Ashore site is on track for Poland in 2018. Both sites will be capable of launching SM-3 Block IAs, IBs and IIAs (2018).  http://raytheon.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&item=2571

Norway goes four-for-four with Raytheon's NASAMS (AMRAAM)  

June 16, 2014   The Royal Norwegian Air Force successfully fired four Raytheon  Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) from a National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS). All four AMRAAMS intercepted their airborne targets during the annual live fire exercise at the Andoya Rocket Range in Northern Norway.

The success rate of NASAMS' extensive tests and tactical live fire programs has been over 90% against a variety of targets and profiles in challenging scenarios."NASAMS has proven its capability year after year. The success rate of the extensive tests and tactical live fire programs has been over 90 percent against a variety of targets and profiles in challenging scenarios," said Ralph Acaba, vice president for Integrated Air and Missile Defense at Raytheon's Integrated Defense Systems business. " We plan to have our most recent customer, Oman, operationally deployed soon."

Fielded in Norway for more than a decade, NASAMS is operationally deployed in the U.S. National Capital Region, Spain, Finland, the Netherlands and one undisclosed country. It was also recently selected by Oman to strengthen its ground-based air defense capability.  http://raytheon.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&item=2583

 

 

Lockheed Martin Demonstrates Successful Javelin Firing From Turret in U.K. Test

May 15, 2014 – Lockheed Martin  recently demonstrated the successful firing of a Javelin missile from a turret at the Cranfield Ordnance Test & Evaluation Centre (COTEC) near Wiltshire, England.

The turret was designed and built as a joint project between Lockheed Martin U.K. in Ampthill, Bedfordshire, U.K., and Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control in Dallas, Texas, and Orlando, Florida. The production of the turret and successful firing of both a 30mm cannon and a fully integrated Javelin missile has been achieved in a nine-month period. http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/press-releases/2014/may/mfc-051514-lm-demonstrates-successful-javelin-firing.html

 

Small Diameter Bomb II nears end of development phase 

June 26, 2014  Raytheon Company  and the U.S. Air Force concluded a series of flight tests for the Small Diameter Bomb II culminating in direct hits on stationary land targets. The successful tests further position the SDB II program to move from engineering, manufacturing, development phase to low rate initial production.

Using upgraded hardware and electronics during extended periods of flight, SDB II successfully acquired and engaged several stationary targets. http://raytheon.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&item=2589

 

Raytheon conducts first live fire test of Excalibur S  

June 15, 2014   In a company-funded R&D initiative, Raytheon successfully fired the dual-mode GPS- and laser-guided Excalibur S for the first time. Although the Excalibur S was initialized with a GPS target location, it scored a direct hit on a different, or offset, target after being terminally guided with a laser designator.

The new variant incorporates a laser spot tracker (LST) into the combat-proven Excalibur Ib projectile, the world's most precise GPS guided 155mm artillery projectile now in production for the U.S. Army and several international customers.

This test validated the LST's ability to survive the forces of firing from a 155mm howitzer and then successfully hand off from the GPS to guide to a laser spot on the designated target.

Excalibur S also paves the way for Excalibur Ib customers to upgrade their Excalibur Ib guidance and navigation units with GPS and LST capability. Several international customers have expressed strong interest in Excalibur S, and this same capability can also be incorporated into the 5-inch Excalibur naval variant, Excalibur N5, the company is developing.  Raytheon is planning a live fire demonstration of the Excalibur N5 later this year.  http://raytheon.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&item=2581

 

Raytheon's Excalibur Ib moves closer to full rate production 

May 20, 2014 Raytheon and the U.S. Army completed Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) for Excalibur Ib during a series of successful tests. This milestone moves the program one step closer to full rate production. During IOT&E, artillerymen from Fort Riley's 1st Battalion, 5th Field Artillery fired numerous Excalibur Ib rounds, scoring several target hits and averaging less than two meters miss distance.  http://raytheon.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&item=2569

 

Lockheed Martin’s DAGR and HELLFIRE II Missiles Score Direct Hits During Ground-Vehicle Launch Tests

June 17, 2014 Lockheed Martin successfully fired HELLFIRE and DAGR missiles from its Long Range Surveillance and Attack Vehicle (LRSAV) turreted weapon system during recent ground-to-ground tests at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.  The LRSAV is a fully integrated, turreted, ground-vehicle weapon system. It uses advanced missile and weapon control-system technologies and a newly developed 15-inch, spherical, mast-mounted electro-optical/infrared sensor to enable targeting and employment of missiles from a wide range of surface platforms.

During the tests, the vehicle-mounted LRSAV system launched a HELLFIRE II missile from 6.4 km and a DAGR missile from 3.5 km. Both missiles successfully impacted their targets. In both tests, missile lock-on-before-launch and lock-on-after-launch capabilities were used to demonstrate LRSAV’s flexibility for various engagement scenarios. Additionally, an AH-64D Apache helicopter equipped with Lockheed Martin’s Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor (M-TADS/PNVS) was used to remotely designate the short-range target, validating LRSAV’s cooperative battlefield-engagement capability.  

Building on Lockheed Martin’s expertise in designing Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) turrets and its experience in missile systems, in a recent test conducted in the United Kingdom, Lockheed Martin successfully fired a MK44 30mm cannon and the Javelin™ missile from a turret as part of the IFV effort.  http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/press-releases/2014/june/mfc-061714-lm-DAGR-and-HELLFIRE-II-missiles.html

 

Raytheon, US Army certify TALON Laser-Guided Rocket on Apache helicopter 

May 4, 2014  Raytheon and the U.S. Army have completed the certification process for air worthiness release (AWR) of the TALON Laser-Guided Rocket (LGR) on the Apache AH-64D/E Attack helicopter. The AWR certification provides for potential operational employment of the TALON weapon system on U.S. Army Apaches and Apaches in international fleets.

The TALON LGR is a low-cost, digital semi-active laser guidance and control kit co-developed with the United Arab Emirates. TALON integrates directly to the front of the legacy 2.75-inch Hydra-70 unguided rockets.

TALON requires no hardware or software modifications to the launcher or aircraft platform and can be fired from any aircraft that fires 2.75-inch Hydra-70 unguided rockets using the standard M260/261 launchers. http://raytheon.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&item=2560

 

Gripen nears having Meteor operational capability      

Saab and FMV have concluded missile integration firings with Gripen and the MBDA Meteor BVRAAM (Beyond Visual-Range Air-to-Air Missile). These latest firings, conducted earlier this year, further verified missile integration with Gripen and validated seeker performance and missile range. This was the last major trials task required to clear the new missile for operational service on the Gripen C/D multi-role fighter. Full Meteor capability will be delivered as part of Gripen’s latest MS20 (Materiel System 20) combat systems update for the Swedish Air Force. Once MS20 has been cleared for service Sweden, and Gripen, will have the world’s first and only functional Meteor BVRAAM capability. http://www.saabgroup.com/en/About-Saab/Newsroom/Press-releases--News/2014---7/Gripen-Closes-In-On-Operational-Meteor-Capability/#.U7qZ_P4riJA

 

Navy Test-fires Submarine-launched Trident II D5 Missiles  

June 4, 2014 – The U.S. Navy’s Trident II D5 Fleet Ballistic Missile, built by Lockheed Martin, has achieved 150 successful test flights, setting a new reliability record for large ballistic missiles. The Navy launched two unarmed missiles June 2 in the Atlantic Ocean from a submerged Ohio-class submarine, marking the 149th and 150th successful test flights of the missile since design completion in 1989.

The test flights were part of a demonstration and shakedown operation, which the Navy uses to certify a submarine for deployment following an overhaul. The missiles were converted into test configurations with kits containing range safety devices and flight telemetry instrumentation.

Trident II D5 Missile Reaches 150 Successful Test Flights The operation included the first flight of two modernized avionics subsystems that control key missile functions during flight. The subsystems were updated under the D5 Life Extension program, which incorporates current technologies into the missile’s electronics to cost-effectively prolong the service life of the reliable D5 missile design on current and next-generation submarine platforms.

 

First deployed in 1990, the D5 missile is currently aboard U.S. Navy Ohio-class and U.K. Royal Navy Vanguard-class submarines. The three-stage, solid-propellant, inertial-guided missile can travel a nominal range of 4,000 nautical miles and carries independently targeted reentry bodies. http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/press-releases/2014/june/0604-ss-trident.html

 

 

 

Lockheed Martin Demonstrates ADAM Ground-Based Laser System Against Military-Grade Small Boats 

May 7, 2014 – In tests off the California coast, a Lockheed Martin  prototype laser system successfully disabled two boats at a range of approximately 1.6 kilometers . These were the first tests of the Area Defense Anti-Munitions (ADAM) system against maritime targets.

ADAMLockheed Martin is developing the transportable, ground-based ADAM laser system to demonstrate a practical, affordable defense against short-range threats, including Qassam-like rockets, unmanned aerial systems and small boats. 

In less than 30 seconds, the ground-based system’s high-energy laser burned through multiple compartments of the rubber hull of the military-grade small boats operating in the ocean. Lockheed Martin previously demonstrated the system’s capabilities in countering representative airborne targets in flight, including small-caliber rocket targets and an unmanned aerial system target. The system can precisely track moving targets at a range of more than 5 kilometers (3.1 miles), and its 10-kilowatt fiber laser can engage targets up to 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) away. http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/press-releases/2014/may/0507-ss-adam.html

 

Lockheed Martin Wins Contract To Develop Weapons Grade Fiber Laser for U.S. Army Field Test 

April 24, 2014 – The U.S. Army has awarded Lockheed Martin a $25 million contract to design, build and test a 60-kilowatt electric laser to be integrated and tested in a truck-mounted weapon system demonstrator. The laser weapon is designed to significantly improve the warfighters’ ability to counter rockets, artillery, mortars and unmanned aerial threats.

Under a contract managed by the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command’s Technical Center, the Lockheed Martin-provided laser will be integrated on the High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator (HEL MD). This ruggedized laser builds on the corporation’s work under the current Robust Electric Laser Initiative (RELI) contract for the Army.

The corporation’s electric laser system implements multiple compact, rugged fiber laser modules to generate a high power output beam with excellent beam quality and high electrical efficiency. A unique spectral beam combining process is used to combine many fiber lasers into a single beam of light that retains the high beam quality of the individual fiber modules while reaching the 60 kilowatt mark.

Earlier this year, Lockheed Martin announced it had demonstrated a 30-kilowatt fiber laser, the highest power ever documented while retaining beam quality and electrical efficiency. The internally funded research and development demonstration was achieved by combining many fiber lasers into a single, near-perfect quality beam of light—all while using approximately 50 percent less electricity than alternative solid-state laser technologies.

This successful demonstration marked a significant milestone on the path to deploying a mission-relevant laser weapon system for a wide range of air, land and sea military platforms.

Lockheed Martin has specialized in directed energy laser weapon system development for the past 30 years and purchased Aculight in 2008 to further strengthen its offerings at every level—from pioneering research to solid prototyping and flexible manufacturing. http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/press-releases/2014/april/140424-mst-lm-wins-contract-to-develop-weapons-grade-fiber-laser.html

 

In other technology “related” news

Eurosatory  http://www.eurosatory.com/

A number of interesting notes from this year.  The two of us had a very full day with lots of good discussions, and seeing every one of the 1,504 exhibitors.   OK, not really every single booth.   It was interesting to see so many producers displaying the capability of their munition lines from 6 continents around the globe.  We noted Roxel and their display showing progress using RAM Technology (Reasonate Acoustic Mixing), including plans to integrate it to their production lines.  Nexter had multiple large display areas, including their munitions with improved safety and IM technology. It was noted that Rheinmetall’s weapon systems, covering the spectrum  from non-lethal solutions and infantry weapons to medium- and large-calibre systems, would often specifically mention IM or STANAG-4439.   For example:Comprehensive competence in weapon systems and ammunition ,   Mortar systems and ammunition - effective indirect fire support for the infantry ,   The leading one-stop shop for 40mm systems , or Modular Propelling Charge System by Rheinmetall

 

HPEM VehicleHPEM (High-Power-Electro-Magnetic) CarStop 

Diehl is introducing its new HPEM (High-Power-Electro-Magnetic) carStop system to an international audience at the Eurosatory defence exhibition in Paris for the first time. The HPEM effector add-on kit, which can be integrated in different off-road vehicle vehicles, allows stopping escape cars in moving traffic without harming individuals and affecting material objects. The impulse-emitting HPEMcarStop disrupts engine electronics without damaging the target car or affecting its passengers.

The effector is capable of reliably preventing passing maneuvers of target cars at distances of up to eight meters. Successful tests have been conducted with 60 different vehicles of various manufacturers.

Based on the new HPEMcarStop system, Diehl is implementing additional applications of HPEM technology for protection of security and law enforcement personnel. Development of a mobile, trailer-integrated HPEMcheckPoint has been completed. Traffic is redirected around a trailer enabling targeted stopping of suspicious vehicles by activating an HPEM impulse. Applications of HPEM effectors not only include stopping speed boats or disrupting small, flying reconnaissance systems, but countering IEDs as well. A HPEM counter-IED system for convoy protection on the basis of a military transport vehicle was successfully tested in Afghanistan.  http://www.diehl.com/en/nc/diehl-defence/press/diehl-hpemcarstop-system-at-eurosatory/557.html

 

U.S. Army and Lockheed Martin Complete Second Series of Advanced Autonomous Convoy Demonstrations  

June 10, 2014 – The U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) and Lockheed Martin successfully completed new tests validating the ability of driverless military-truck convoys to operate successfully and safely in a variety of environments.

mfc-061014-pr-amas2-hThe second series of demonstrations of the Autonomous Mobility Appliqué System (AMAS) Capabilities Advancement Demonstration (CAD-2) tests were conducted at the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site in South Carolina.  In the CAD-2 demonstration, AMAS completed a series of fully autonomous convoy tests involving a completely unmanned leader vehicle followemfc-061014-pr-amas3-hd by a convoy of up to six additional follower vehicles (also fully autonomous) operating at speeds as high as 40 mph.   

Vehicles used in the CAD-2 demonstration included one Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) truck, one Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR) vehicle, two Palletized Load System trucks, two M915 Line-Haul Tractors and one Heavy Equipment Transport.  Earlier this year at Fort Hood, Texas, AMAS completed the first CAD series of tests, simulating driverless tactical vehicles navigating hazards and obstacles such as road intersections, oncoming traffic, stalled and passing vehicles, pedestrians and traffic circles in both urban and rural test areas.

The AMAS hardware and software are designed to automate the driving task on current tactical vehicles. The Unmanned Mission Module part of AMAS, which includes a high-performance LIDAR sensor, and additional algorithms, is installed as a kit and can be used on virtually any military vehicle. http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/press-releases/2014/june/mfc-061014-us-amy-lockheedmartin-complete-second-series-advanced-autonomous-convoy-demonstrations.html

 

French Navy Integrates UAVs in Naval Combat Management System

The French defence procurement agency (DGA) and naval shipbuilder DCNS have completed a series of sea trials validating the functional integration of an unmanned aerial system operating as part of the combat system of a naval vessel. The four day test was conducted as part of the SERVAL unmanned air systems (UAS) programme. (SERVAL: Système Embarqué de Reconnaissance Vecteur Aérien Léger – translated to: shipboard reconnaissance system – light air vehicle) 

Following sea trials on board the L’Adroit Gowind-class Offshore Patrol Vessel, the DGA, the French Navy and DCNS validated all functional blocks between DCNS’s Polaris combat system and the Camcopter S100 VTOL UAV developed by Schiebel of Austria. Based on the results of the trials, the DGA has issued DCNS with a permit to fly for the Camcopter S100.   http://defense-update.com/20140110_naval-combat-management-system-integrated-camcopter-s100-uav.html#.U7q6z_4riJA

 

Scientists unveil aircraft technologies of the future

Scientists and engineers at BAE Systems have lifted the lid on some futuristic technologies that could be incorporated in military and civil aircraft oby2040 or even earlier 

The four technologies unveiled are: 3D printers so advanced they could print UAVs during a mission; aircraft parts that can heal themselves in minutes; a new type of long range aircraft which divides into a number of smaller aircraft when it reaches its destination, and a directed energy weapon that could engage missiles at the speed of light, destroy them and protect the people below.

Experts at BAE Systems’ Research and Development team at Warton are offering an unique insight into some ‘drawing board’ technologies that would normally be kept well under wraps. The team works with the UK’s leading aviation thinkers from universities, Government and a whole range of companies to predict and explore how aircraft engineering might evolve. Based on their thinking, the four futuristic concept aircraft technologies have been brought to life in short animations.

Nick Colosimo, a Futurist and Engineering Manager within the R&D team said: “Of course we don’t know exactly what sorts of aircraft technologies will be used in 2040 with any certainty, but it’s great to be able to show the public some concepts that might be possible through projecting where today’s technology could get to. BAE Systems has a rich heritage in research and development, and our team builds on literally decades of previous R&D work by thousands of scientists and engineers.”

Research and development has always played a key role in BAE Systems’ defence, aerospace and security business, with the Company investing £117M of its own capital in R&D in 2013. http://www.baesystems.com/article/BAES_168285/scientists-unveil-aircraft-technologies-of-the-future?_afrLoop=2660900895659000

 

British Future of 3D Printing on board US Navy 

The U.S. Navy hosted its first Maker Faire, a series of workshops titled, "Print the Fleet," to introduce 3D printing and additive manufacturing to Sailors and other stakeholders attending the two-day event June 24 and 26 at Combat Direction Systems Activity (CDSA), Dam Neck, a Navy warfare center.

"When you consider the cost and vulnerabilities of our existing Navy logistics and supply chains as well as the resource constraints we face, it quickly becomes clear that we have to reimagine how we do business," said Vice Adm. Phil Cullom. "When advanced manufacturing and 3D printing becomes widely available, we envision a global network of advanced fabrication shops supported by Sailors with the skills and training to identify problems and make products."

The Navy aims to train Sailors with this expertise in the future, according to Cullom. Adopting 3D printing and other advanced manufacturing methods could drastically increase the speed of execution, improve readiness, decrease costs and avoid shipping parts around the world.  The Navy's vision is within days or hours of identifying a needed part on a ship, a model will be designed and uploaded to a database for printing, allowing for a more rapid response to the ship's needs.

Earlier this year, amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) installed a compact 3D printer on board for testing. Essex successfully printed sample parts as well as trained its Sailors on computer-aided design software.

"It's the biggest thing happening on the deck plate," said Capt. Jim Loper, concepts and innovations department head at Navy Warfare Development Center. "We put the printer on Essex specifically to get it in Sailors' hands so they could play with the technology and so we could learn the best way to use the printer."    A number of Navy labs ashore have a 3D printing capability. But at sea, being able to use 3D printing successfully within the dynamic environment of a high sea state will be a major milestone.  "The future of logistics is 3D printing," said Loper. "The quantity of supplies we carry on board could be reduced significantly if we 3D print those products on the ship. There really are no limits."   http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=81936

 

British scientists defy the laws of physics to create a flat lens that thinks it’s curved 16 April 2014

Composite metamaterials antennaScientists from BAE Systems and Queen Mary University of London have seemingly defied the laws of physics by creating a novel composite material which has been used to manufacture a new type of antenna lens.

This breakthrough could revolutionise the design of aircraft, ships, radios and satellite dishes – potentially any product which uses an antenna.

Using a concept known as transformation optics combined with this new artificially engineered composite material known as a metamaterial, the electromagnetic properties of a curved lens have been emulated in a flat panel whilst retaining the same broadband performance. The new composite metamaterials flat antenna lens could be embedded into the skin of an aircraft without compromising aerodynamic performance, representing a major leap forward from current airborne antennas.

BAE Systems is the first company to successfully create a functional composite metamaterial designed using transformational optics which allows a flat lens to perform like a traditional curved lens without any reduction in bandwidth performance. Transformation optics is a concept which allows for control of light or electromagnetic radiation in novel ways. Metamaterials can do things beyond the reach of natural materials and are of significant interest to the scientific community. Whilst traditional metamaterials only operate over narrow frequencies when used in antennas, the new composite material has a greatly extended bandwidth performance. When both transformational optics and the composite materials are applied to antenna design, they have the potential to greatly enhance performance and bandwidth without the need for large dished reflectors or curved lenses.

Dr Sajad Haq from BAE Systems Advanced Technology Centre in Bristol said: “The technology developed could lead to us to think differently about aircraft design as well as lowering radar cross sections, provide weight savings or allow miniaturisation of integrated components. Traditional metamaterials suffer from limited bandwidth whereas the new composite metamaterial we have developed for this antenna does not. The project is a great example of academic and industrial collaboration, illustrating perfectly what can be achieved with the right partnerships and skill set.”

Discussing the project, Professor Yang Hao from Queen Mary’s School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, added: “It’s possible in the future that this research could contribute to the production of even smaller or discrete antennas. This could be useful in all walks of life from telecommunications to healthcare. We’re very pleased that this joint effort between academia and industry has overcome many restrictions on antenna design.”

The Company is now working with the University to explore additional potential applications and exploitation of transformational optic designs using the novel metamaterials for antennas and other disruptive technologies.  http://www.baesystems.com/article/BAES_166271/british-scientists-defy-the-laws-of-physics-to-create-a-flat-lens-that-thinks-it’s-curved?_afrLoop=2662399282966000&_afrWindowMode=2&_afrWindowId=null

 

BAE Systems locates opportunity to replace GPS

BAE Systems has unveiled its latest research on an advanced positioning system that exploits existing transmissions such as Wi-Fi, TV, radio and mobile phone signals, to calculate the user’s location to within a few metres (or meters). 

NAVSOPMilitary platforms commonly use Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to find their position and navigate. GPS rely upon a specific and relatively weak satellite signal that is vulnerable to disruption. Known as Navigation via Signals of Opportunity (NAVSOP), BAE Systems’ new system is able to calculate its position by making use of the hundreds of different signals that are all around us.

By exploiting such a wide range of signals, NAVSOP is resistant to hostile interference such as jamming (a particular weakness of GPS) and spoofing, where a bogus signal tricks a device into misidentifying its location. The new system can learn from signals that are initially unidentified to build an ever more accurate and reliable fix on its location. Even the signals from GPS jammers can be exploited by the device to aid navigation under certain conditions.

The real beauty of NAVSOP is that the infrastructure required to make it work is already in place. There is no need to build costly networks of transmitters and the hardware behind the system is already commercially available. Another benefit is that it can be integrated into existing positioning devices to provide superior performance to GPS.

A major advantage of the system is its ability to function in places where GPS is unable to reach, such as dense urban areas and deep inside buildings. It is also able to work in the most remote parts of the world, such as the Arctic, by picking up signals that include Low-Earth-Orbit satellites and other civilian signals.  http://www.baesystems.com/article/BAES_057640/bae-systems-locates-opportunity-to-replace-gps?_afrLoop=2662640556709000&_afrWindowMode=2&_afrWindowId=null