Where Maritime Satellite Communication Solutions take Center Stage
Dubai, 25 September 2016: Leading Mobile Satellite Services operator, Thuraya Telecommunications Company, and its long-standing service partner, IEC Telecom, will be co-exhibiting at the Offshore Patrol Vessels Middle East 2016 conference in Bahrain.
On display will be a number of solutions from Thuraya’s diverse range of technologically superior and highly reliable mobile satellite voice and broadband devices that provide ease of use, value, quality and efficiency. The line-up of terminals will include the Thuraya Orion IP and Thuraya SF2500, which offers voice and broadband data IP connections that allow users to access navigation charts, weather data, and weather satellite images reporting on their position; or keep in touch with their headquarters or remote offices.
Fahad Kahoor, Director of Market Development at Thuraya, said: “Offshore patrol vessels are intended to carry out a range of missions such as maritime security, border control, routine patrols, anti-smuggling, counter-piracy, and fishery protection, as well as effective disaster relief. Therefore, clear, reliable, uninterrupted satellite connectivity is vital to achieve these tasks, and Thuraya’s easy to install marine terminals are the perfect solution.”
Operating over Thuraya’s powerful and advanced satellite networks, Thuraya’s terminals help ships increase their operational efficiency while ensuring office and welfare communication of their onboard crew by delivering reliable and efficient data and voice capabilities. The SF2500 is a voice satellite terminal that combines voice capabilities, crew calling, GPS tracking, geo-fencing and SMS services in a compact package designed for small- and medium-sized vessels. The Thuraya Orion IP is a broadband terminal, specifically designed for the harsh maritime environment that provides robust and reliable data connectivity at speeds up to 444kbps with a cost effective price plan commitment and supports use of customer security products such as virtual private networks (VPNs) and 3rd party government IP crypto.
Nabil Ben Soussia, General Manager of IEC Telecom in Middle East and Kazakhstan, said: “We are pleased to partner with Thuraya at OPV. With the expansion of Thuraya’s maritime portfolio, we have even more of a selection of high-quality equipment and services to offer customers - vital equipment that keeps crew of navy vessels connected with colleagues, family and friends while away at sea.”
Dubai,11 August 2016: Leading mobile satellite services (MSS) operator Thuraya Telecommunications has signed an agreement with VNPT VinaPhone making its land and maritime handsets available to the Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT). Thuraya’s first service agreement in Vietnam is helping VNPT VinaPhone establish satellite services, which was marked by a ceremony attended by Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in Hanoi on 4th August 2016.
This agreement will extend VNPT VinaPhone’s coverage to two thirds of the world by utilizing Thuraya’s robust and reliable network. It will also give VNPT VinaPhone 100% coverage over Vietnam's territory including its islands. With the satellite mobile and postpaid VinaPhone SIM, customers can easily make voice calls, send SMS, use GPS and stay in touch from any place in Vietnam. This overcomes terrestrial limitations caused by distance, infrastructure, weather or geography.
A representative of VNPT said: “The launch of mobile satellite services confirms our dedication to the primary mission of VNPT, consolidating technology to serve the needs of society. The mobile satellite service marks a significant step for the VNPT VinaPhone mobile network, allowing it to cover all of Vietnam, thereby eliminating communication black spots.”
In its initial launch phase, VNPT will introduce Thuraya’s XT-Lite handsets and maritime communication solution SF2500 for Vietnamese consumers, government agencies and enterprise customers. For government agencies, mobile satellite services are an effective solution to manage and monitor forest rangers and coast guards, allowing them to assist people on the borders and the islands. This is vitally important during natural disasters, when terrestrial networks cease to operate.
For businesses, VNPT will ensure continuous uninterrupted communications for enterprises and their crews in the mining, fishery, transport, construction and tourism industries. Individual customers will also benefit from satellite services, especially those who are constantly on the move or working in areas without cellular networks.
John Huddle, Senior Manager for Market Development, Thuraya Telecommunications Company, said: “Thuraya is proud to partner with the Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group. Our new agreement will give customers in Vietnam the mobile satellite services and maritime communication services they need. Our XT-Lite handsets and SF2500, the robust and versatile maritime communication solution, are small and easy to use. They offer unprecedented value while driving communication costs down by an average of 40%.”
Thuraya’s XT-Lite is the world’s best value satellite phone. It is very easy to use and allows the user to make phone calls and send SMS messages in satellite mode, whether sailing at sea or climbing mountains. The Thuraya SF2500 is a voice satellite terminal that enables users to make voice calls through the Thuraya satellite network with ease. SF2500 combines voice capabilities, crew calling, GPS tracking, geo-fencing and SMS services in a compact, cost-effective package designed for small- and medium-sized vessels.
ABU DHABI, 24th 2016 - His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, has issued a resolution naming the committee members of the International Defence Exhibition (IDEX 2017), under the chairmanship of Major General Faris Khalaf Al Mazrouei.
The resolution also names Major General Ishaq Saleh Mohamed Al Baloushi as Deputy Chairman of the committee.
The committee’s members will include representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; the General Headquarters of the Armed Forces; the General Headquarters of Abu Dhabi Police; the State Security Department; the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court; the Finance Department - Customs; the Department of Municipal Affairs; the Department of Transport; the Executive Affairs Authority; the Health Authority - Abu Dhabi, the Abu Dhabi Airports Company and the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company.
According to the resolution, the committee shall be mandated to manage, control and approve the security plans for IDEX 2017, and to form a team from the relevant authorities to assist in performing the tasks, and coordinating with all stakeholders on organising the exhibition, in addition to any other responsibilities.
Defence and security company Saab, the Swedish Air Force and Sweden’s Defence Materiel Administration have successfully implemented a revolutionary enhancement to the operational capabilities of the Gripen fighter. Among many significant new advances, Gripen is now the world’s first and only combat aircraft to be operational with the MBDA Meteor BVRAAM missile.
Saab, the Swedish Air Force and Sweden’s Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) have now certified, approved and accepted into service the latest operational upgrade and combat enhancement for the Gripen fighter. Known in Swedish terms as MS20, this upgrade is the latest step in Gripen’s process of constant capability expansion. It puts a truly unique operational asset into the hands of Gripen operators.
Speaking today at a the Farnborough International Airshow, at a ceremony to mark the Meteor’s entry into service, Major General mats Helgesson, Chief-of-Staff of the Swedish Air Force said, “After extensive testing by FMV and the Gripen Operational Test and Evaluation unit, all of the new MS20 functions including the Meteor missile are now fully integrated with Gripen. The Swedish Air Force is now in its Initial Operational Capability phase with the Meteor. The Meteor missile is currently the most lethal radar-guided missile in operational service, and the Swedish Air Force is the only operational user so far. I am very proud and satisfied to have the Meteor in the inventory of my air force.”
The complete MS20 upgrade is now flying with Swedish Air Force Gripens and MS20 enhancements will soon be implemented in the Gripens of the Czech Air Force. The upgrade delivers a host of new capability options for air-to-air, air-to-surface and ISTAR missions plus many improved mission systems and other changes. As ever with Gripen, operators are free to choose how, when and to what extent they implement the new capabilities that the upgrade enables.
A key element of Gripen’s MS20 capability expansion is full integration of the MBDA Meteor BVRAAM (Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile). Swedish Air Force Gripens are thus the world’s first and only fighters to be operational with this revolutionary European weapon system. The ramjet-powered Meteor, developed by MBDA with Saab as a key partner, is an advanced, long-range and agile air-to-air weapon that is uniquely designed to counter the most sophisticated airborne threats of the 21st century.
Meteor is a tactical missile with strategic effect. Its extremely long range (beyond 100 km) and unrivalled no escape zone (three times greater than any current BVR missile) will dominate the future air-to-air battlespace, giving a decisive capability to Gripen and its pilots.
Saab CEO Håkan Buskhe added, “Saab greatly appreciates our good relationship with MBDA both as a partner for Meteor development and production, and through our close cooperation on the Meteor integration programme for Gripen. This partnership has been the foundation for the delivery and deployment of a superior missile product. Gripen played a major role in the Meteor development project, and we are very proud to have Gripen as the first fighter to take Meteor into service.”
In the air-to-ground role MS20 delivers further significant enhancements. This includes integration of the Boeing GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) for a high-precision, long-range strike capability. A smart launcher can carry four SDBs, with a maximum of 16 on a single Gripen.
Gripen’s ISTAR (intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance) capabilities are expanded through a modified reconnaissance pod that provides infra-red sensors plus real-time display of images in cockpit and increased data recording.
A further improved Link 16 datalink system supports a significant increase in data exchange between other fighters and C2 nodes. This boosts situational awareness and underpins new air-to-air and air-to-ground capabilities, including high-precision ‘digital’ CAS (close air support).
Among other MS20 pilot-centred enhancements are a new ground collision and avoidance system (GCAS) to protect the aircraft in demanding low-altitude environments, and an improved CBRN system that allows Gripen to stay operational and effective in the event of a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear attack.
Gripen is developed with the long-term future in mind. It is designed for continuous upgrades to take on and defeat new combat challenges – a design approach that has already been proven many times. The implementation of MS20 opens a further chapter in this story, making significant new capabilities available to future users and the current Gripen family alike.
Air power is no longer just a matter of precision targeting. The latest multi-function optronic pods are an integral part of the intelligence chain and a key enabler of network-centric operations, drastically shortening the decision-action loop.
Pilots used to know the locations of their targets before they left on a mission. But today they spend a lot of their time in the air looking for enemy combatants, possible obstructions, ambushes and other threats. High-performance aerial reconnaissance is still a critical capability calling for dedicated systems. But fast jets equipped with the latest generations of multi-function pods play a growing role in the image chain and enhance the C4ISR capabilities of modern armed forces.
Strike fighters used to mainly target buildings and large structures, but in the asymmetrical conflicts of today, targets are smaller and highly mobile. Adversaries may travel in pick-ups and use unconventional tactics. They often operate in urban environments where combatants and civilians are intermingled, making them increasingly time-sensitive targets.
With very limited windows of opportunity to legitimately attack a target, aircrews are under ever increasing pressure. The same image sources now also serve multiple purposes beyond the strike mission itself. In addition to finding and engaging targets, they are the eyes in the sky of ground troops, seeing over the horizon for tactical units and feeding into the broader command structure.
How do pods work?
Optronic pods capture a scene and display it to the crew, who can zoom in on the image to discriminate between civilians and combatants. The system extracts the precise target coordinates, which are then used to guide the weapon, or other friendly forces, to that particular location.
Smart weapons may be launched either from the designating aircraft or by other aircraft or ground units. The laser spot generated by the pod is not visible to the human eye and it is coded to prevent opponents from using their own laser devices to divert a weapon away from its intended target.
Four decades of pods by Thales
Thales has designed laser targeting pods for 40 years, with over 350 units sold worldwide for 11 different aircraft types.
The original ATLIS pod brought air forces a surgical strike capability that changed the face of air warfare. Ten years later, in the 1980s, the second generation of pods added functions such as video recording for damage assessment and infrared sensors for night vision capabilities.
As image quality and data processing technologies improved, the role of the pod expanded again. The DAMOCLES was the first pod capable of monitoring areas of interest at long range, day and night, as well as positioning and engaging targets with fearsome accuracy.
TALIOS is due to enter service with French forces from 2018, representing the fourth generation of multi-function pods and offering innovative features such as colour imagery, laser-enhanced imagery and the ability to cross-cue data from multiple sources through the Permanent Vision™ concept.
Connected pods and the smart image chain
A growing challenge today is to make sense of this deluge of information. With its bi-directional data link, TALIOS will be the first pod-mounted system to cross-cue data from various sources, including terrain models, digital maps and information coming from other aircraft and troops on the ground to provide to the crew and unmatched situational awareness.
Communications are crucial at every point in the chain, providing not only imagery to aircrew, but also securely transmitting image data to command centres and personnel operating Networked Image Exploitation Systems (NIESs) on the ground.
Already, the latest optronic systems support intelligent identification of objects, determining the make, colour and model of a vehicle, for instance, or comparing an object to similar known structures in an intelligence database. And Big Data analytics, machine learning and augmented reality will make tomorrow's pod-mounted systems even smarter.
Flexible service solutions
Thales optronic systems are designed to maximise reliability and minimise the need for maintenance. But when maintenance is required, both the pod design and the support tools provided by Thales make the job as quick and simple as possible both on-site and in the field.
With a full range of repair, maintenance and life cycle management options available, Thales works with individual customers to design tailored service solutions that complement their own support organisations and keep pace with their requirements.
For customers with their own repair and maintenance organisations, Thales can provide consultancy, training, tools and spare parts — even a turnkey maintenance centre.
Remote assistance and predictive maintenance
The REMAIN (Remote Assistance and Investigation) solution is a secure video maintenance service that provides real-time access to Thales know-how to assist in diagnostics and repair. For the most delicate maintenance or reassembly operations, Thales also proposes remote assistance solutions using augmented reality.
For the TALIOS programme, a predictive maintenance function known as AMI will collect data from sensors embedded in each pod to optimise maintenance logistics and improve operational readiness.
It is often the case that the smaller an item, the greater the design effort that goes into it and the new Fulmar X unmanned aerial system (UAS) from Thales proves the point.
Classed as a mini-UAS, Fulmar X may be small, weighing in at 20kg with a 3.1m wingspan, but it offers a capability and flexibility out of proportion to its dimensions.
Developed by Thales Spain and due to enter the market later this year, Fulmar X stands out from its rivals, setting a new benchmark in its class of UAS and complementing the tactical Watchkeeper X in Thales’s range of systems.
Matt Moore, UAS Product Development Manager at Thales, said: “Fulmar is designed for customers who need persistence and high quality sensors but have to work within limited spaces for take-off and recovery. Fulmar offers high mobility with performance.”
Fulmar X’s flying wing fuselage takes advantage of the latest materials, technologies and avionics to optimise performance. A carbon-fibre and Kevlar construction enhances survivability against counter-UAS measures while a lightweight, long-life, all-aluminium engine boosts fuel efficiency and endurance, giving it more than 8 hours on task and a range of up to 80km.
Despite its advanced concept however, simplicity is the watchword; with only a small number of line replaceable units and modular construction, the body is designed for easy maintenance and repair.
The modular approach also extends to Fulmar’s 4kg payload which can be tailored to the customer’s needs. A range of interchangeable sensors based around a 2-inch gimbal design offer HD optical, IR optical, combined electro-optical and IR,.
Easy to use, anywhere
The complete Fulmar X system comprises two vehicles, launch and recovery equipment and a ground control station (GCS) that can all be transported in a medium-sized commercial van or trailer.
From arrival to launch requires just three people and less than 30 minutes. A catapult take-off and automatic unfolded recovery system allow deployment from almost anywhere and, combined with a small logistic footprint, it is a convenient option for a moving platform such as a ship.
The GCS’s stabilised data-link provides a common interface for data sharing and mission control. It is designed to be man-portable for installation in a range of locations from small vehicles to ships. Control of the UAV can also be transferred between GCS.
Designed for persistent surveillance and reconnaissance operations where the customer needs to maintain “eyes on” the target for long periods of time, Fulmar X can offer intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities to users across a wide range of applications and in challenging environments.
With a NATO standard and commercial HTML5 interface, Fulmar X can be controlled by, and share intelligence with, military, security and civil systems.
Its control station can integrate into a ship’s mission system, so Fulmar X is equally at home in ocean, littoral and coastal environments as well as patrolling land borders or keeping watch over critical or sensitive land installations.
Its simplicity of design, performance and flexibility make Fulmar X ideally suited to roles from border surveillance, counter-smuggling and fisheries protection, through intelligence missions and security, to emergencies and disaster relief, particularly where rapid deployment is essential in an area with little infrastructure.
Adapt to thrive
The fulmar is a seabird with a rugged capacity for survival. Hunted to near extinction in its home on a remote Scottish island, it can now be found on the English and French coasts.
Like its namesake, Fulmar X has an equally impressive capacity for adaptation to new challenges and environments which makes it an appealing option for customers who need to operate in less than ideal conditions.
The Farnborough Airshow has a reputation for attracting the most innovative ideas from the aerospace industry, so it is appropriate that Airbus’ new cabin concept “Airspace by Airbus” was in focus all week.
Airspace was highlighted on Day 4, when the company also wrapped up its Farnborough Airshow commercial activity with $35 billion of total business announced during the week.
Pleasing passengers and operators alike
Visitors to Farnborough have seen a preview of the Airspace by Airbus experience, which connects the well-being of passengers and the operational performance for airline customers with the perfect blend of features and services. Based on four dimensions – comfort, ambience, service and design – Airspace brings together the best of Airbus’ innovation.
Airbus is displaying a representative Airspace cabin interior section in the Airbus Group pavilion, along with showing off the new cabin brand on large video boards and advertisements spread around the show. This messaging showcases the Airspace principles, which create a unique passenger experience that is more relaxing, inspiring, beautiful and functional.
Airbus’ A330neo is the launch vehicle for Airspace. The aircraft – along with the A350 XWB – will begin a new family of cabins that inspire airlines to build new-generation flying experiences for passengers, while optimising economic performance of their aircraft.
Airspace: The signature passenger experience
The Airspace cabin is inspired by the A350 XWB and shaped by the excellent passenger feedback Airbus has already received from people flying on its new-generation widebody aircraft. On the A350 XWB, Airspace cabins will increase the already-significant passenger and operator appeal of the jetliner – which is shaping the future of medium- to long-haul airline operations around the globe.
Signature design elements recognisable throughout all Airspace cabins include wider seats; larger overhead storage bins; spacious, contemporary lavatories with antibacterial surfaces; along with unobstructed under-seat foot space. Other features are a unique and customisable welcome area at the main passenger boarding door, the latest in LED technology for ambient lighting, as well as clean shapes and surfaces throughout the interior.
Airspace was launched earlier this year and Airbus’ commercial activity at the Farnborough Airshow showed the concept already is taking off with passengers and operators. Announcements during the week that involved aircraft to be equipped with the Airspace cabin included Virgin Atlantic Airways’ A350 XWB order and the four A330-900neo (new engine option) aircraft that ARKIA Israeli Airlines will receive.
Farnborough, England, July 13, 2016 – Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) unveiled a European-built Sikorsky BLACK HAWK helicopter at theFarnborough International Airshow, showcasing the types of weapons that can be integrated onto the multirole aircraft. Armed external wings on either side of the displayed aircraft feature a total of four weapons stations:
-Launchers for a mix of air-to-ground missiles
-A 19-shot Hydra-70 rocket pod
-An FN HERSTAL Belgium manufactured rocket machine gun pod.
For laser designating of a future weapons system as well as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions, the aircraft’s cockpit chin features Lockheed Martin’s INFIRNO™ sensor system. Now a Lockheed Martin company, Sikorsky can configure an armed helicopter to the specific preferences of current and future customers.
LONDON, July 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) and Norway's Kongsberg Defence Systems are finalizing plans to assemble, integrate and test the Naval Strike Missile in the United States. The two companies also plan to produce NSM launchers in the U.S.
A Naval Strike Missile (NSM) is launched from the Littoral Combat Ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) during a Sept. 23, 2014, test off the coast of Southern California. US Navy photo.
"NSM production in America is the latest evolution of our decades-long relationship with Kongsberg," said Dr. Taylor W. Lawrence, Raytheon Missile Systems president. "We will assemble the missile and launchers in the same Raytheon factories where we produce many of the world's most advanced missiles and other weapons systems."
Raytheon expects to perform final assembly, integration and test of NSM at the company's Tucson, Arizona facility. Launchers would be manufactured at Raytheon's factory in Louisville, Kentucky.
With a range of more than 100 nautical miles, NSM is a long-range, anti-ship missile that provides superior strike capability against land and sea targets. Raytheon and Kongsberg believe NSM is an ideal solution for navies around the globe and the best over-the-horizon missile for the U.S. Navy's Littoral Combat Ship.
"Warfighters around the globe will benefit from the Kongsberg-Raytheon partnership on NSM," said Harald Ånnestad, President Kongsberg Defence Systems. "Production of NSM in the United States will secure ramp up and sustainability of NSM, the world's only Fifth Generation Naval Strike Missile with Land Target capabilities, for the US and our allies. Increased volume of NSM creates and secures jobs in both the US and Norway."
The companies are also teamed on the development of the Joint Strike Missile and National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems also known as NASAMS.
Provides excellent penetration capability against enemy air defense systems
Features an advanced Imaging Infrared Seeker with Autonomous Target Recognition
Has high survivability against modern and future air defense systems
Can fly at extremely low sea-skimming altitude, and has terrain-following flight capability