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ISSN 1416-300X Volume 11, Issue 3 December 2008


Moving to Eurosatory, there was a similar slant to the exhibits towards IEDs and MRAP vehicles. The show was awash with new and old armoured vehicles claiming to defeat and provide protection from all manner of IEDs and mines.

Denny Dillinger of BAE Systems suggested that the MRAP tide was turning and that the mix of vehicles would change for customers outside the USA to lighter and more agile vehicles supported by fleets of armoured and unarmoured trucks. The MRAP used by the U.S. Forces was for a very specific threat and usage in urban areas. New systems needed to be able to work cross-country and be nimble in urban areas.

To that end Nexter, Renault, Krauss-Maffei and Rheinmetall amongst others, introduced new vehicles, whilst International and BAE Systems showed existing or improved versions of their U.S. MRAP vehicles.

But, in other areas, firms concentrated on IED defeat.


In our EUROSATORY issue we said that, ‘The acquisition of EDO has propelled the ITT into new areas that are transforming the business at an accelerating and positive rate.’ This is even more pertinent by the fact that EDO is the world leader in IED defeat systems. ITT already possessed considerable expertise in this area, so linking EDO’s IED business created a world beating combination.

ITT’s internal development laboratories won the Requirement for the new Counter-Radio Controlled Improvised Explosive Device Electronic Warfare Systems (CREW) 3 systems. The award further validates ITT’s strategic acquisition of EDO Corporation; EDO developed and fielded the Warlock Green and Red systems whilst ITT won a development contract for the new systems in a competitive bid against EDO and others. Together they plan to leverage EDO’s strong Counter-IED history with ITT’s broad range of advanced Counter-IED measures, systems engineering and communications expertise. The Navy manages the joint CREW program for Office of the Secretary of Defense. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C. is the contracting activity.

The segment has announced further significant CREW awards including one on April 11th worth $45,194,148 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-07-C-6311) for the production and support of 586 JCREW 2.1 Radio-Controlled Improvised Explosive Device (RCIED) Electronic Warfare (CREW) systems to meet urgent Department of Defense (DoD) requirements in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Vehicle mounted CREW systems are one element of the DoD's Joint Counter RCIED Electronic Warfare program. Spiral 2.1 CREW systems are vehicle mounted electronic jammers designed to prevent the initiation of RCIED. This contract is for the urgent procurement and support of CREW systems, to be used by the military service of the Air Force for the Global War on Terror.  Work will be performed in Thousand Oaks, Calif. (87 percent) and Lancaster, Calif. (13 percent) and is expected to be complete by November 2008. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  Significant orders have been received since April.
Dave Keith, Director Business Development for ITT Electronic Systems, previously EDO, gave the Editor an update during EUROSATORY.

“The technology to defeat proximity fused indirect fire weapons was developed during the 1991 Operation Desert Storm, when concerns were raised about indirect fire weapons using proximity fuzes. Thus EDO was contracted to produce ‘Shortstop’ a device which could detect a proximity fuze in flight and confuse it to self-destruct. In the event the threat did not materialize but U.S. Forces found 80,000 shells with Proximity Fuzes waiting to be launched. There were an amazing 14 different fuzes from 11 different countries.” Keith said.

Thus a requirement was established for every appropriate Army unit for Shortstop. EDO delivered about 300 toward a requirement of about 20,000.

The IED threat was first encountered in 2002 and thus EDO was contracted to build the Warlock Green system, a reactive system based on Shortstop.

After a series of new IED threats, Warlock Red an active IED defeat system, was developed, this became CREW 1. EDO lost the CREW 2 Requirement to Syracuse Research.

In 2006 both ITT and EDO competed for CREW 2.1 and EDO won the contract for 10,000 systems and thus the ITT orders flowed post-acquisition.

There is now a Joint IED Defeat Organization (JIEDD) consisting of members from the USA, UK, Australia and Canada. Thus, although ITT cannot market the U.S.-developed system it can supply information on a Government-to-Government basis.

“In addition to the IED threat there is also the growing concern of IED and other systems interfering in the radio spectrum?” The Editor asked.

“Yes, this is certainly a problem and EDO in particular has been leading the way in developing interference cancellation systems for a number of U.S. platforms. The company recently won an order for suppression systems on the EA-18 Growler EW aircraft which now allows all systems to be fully operational whilst the EW systems are activated. The CV-22 is also being fitted with similar systems as well as the Coastguard Cutters.”

In Iraq, interference is a huge problem and given that the IED detectors work in the VHF spectrum, some VHF radios have had to be turned off during counter-IED operations. There is also the added problem of many contractors operating different system in the spectrum which cannot be managed by the military.

Allen Vanguard

Allen Vanguard is a global leader in developing and marketing technologies, tools and training for defeating and minimizing the effects of hazardous devices and materials, whether Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear or Explosive (CBRNE), including improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and remotely controlled IEDs (RCIEDs).

The company operates in close collaboration with its customers to develop and field solutions for sustainable capability against the evolving threat of hazardous CBRNE devices and materials.  Over the years the company has brought to market world leading products such as the Med-EngTM bomb suit and helmet, advanced digital bomb disposal robot systems, Defender and VanguardTM, CASCADTM blast suppression and decontaminating foam, and classified, advanced electronic counter measures (ECM) systems to prevent the detonation of RCIEDs.

Senior staff includes world-leading experts, trainers and decorated practitioners in counter-IED and explosive ordnance disposal (EOD), with many years of front line experience in theaters of conflict involving thousands of hazardous devices and a deep understanding of evolving threats and tactics.  The company’s research, engineering and technical staff include experts in blast mitigation, robotics, chemical-biological agents and decontaminants, and electronic warfare systems.

The company is headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, where it has three office and manufacturing sites.  The company has additional Canadian manufacturing facilities in Pembroke and in Stoney Creek, Ontario. In the United States the company has manufacturing operations in Ogdensburg, New York, and sales and service offices in Ashburn, Virginia and Arlington, Virginia. Overseas, Allen Vanguard has manufacturing and sales offices in Tewkesbury, Gloucester, U.K., and additional manufacturing facilities in Kentree, Ireland. The company employs more than 650 staff worldwide.  Staff and facilities are cleared for classified programs in the U.S., Canada and the U.K.  Customers include elite military and civilian security forces in more than 100 countries. Allen Vanguard is a public company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol “VRS”.

David Luxton, CEO of Allen Vanguard gave BATTLESPACE a brief on the Company’s products designed to defeat the IED threat, “Through acquisition and product development, we have built Allen Vanguard into a leading specialist in EoD and related products. Allen Vanguard combines deep front-line user experience and advanced technologies to create the world’s most trusted solutions for sustainable capability against the rapidly evolving threat of hazardous devices, including improvised explosive devices (IEDs), radio-controlled IEDs (RCIEDs), and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) hazards.”

New Product Launch

Allen-Vanguard announced the launch of its new OPUS and SOLO Electronic Counter Measures equipment at Eurosatory.

The OPUS jammer is the successor to the Company's Taranis vehicle-mounted jammer for international security forces requiring high performance against radio controlled improvised explosive devices (RCIEDs). SOLO is the man-portable version of OPUS. This new family of jammers offers proven effectiveness against RCIEDs in an updatable and highly compact and ruggedized unit for long life.
As an option, OPUS can be seamlessly combined with Allen Vanguard's Electronic Protection and Integrated Cooling (EPIC) solution. EPIC environmentally seals and assist cools any vehicle mounted electronics. EPIC enables state-of-the-art, high-powered electronic systems to operate in the harshest of environments both inside and outside the vehicle while extending life-span.

David Luxton said that, “The Company continues to evolve advanced new versions of its Hybrid ECM technology, including a multi-purpose next-generation platform for release later this year, that combines jamming, communications and electronic warfare capabilities in a single system.”

Allen Vanguard specializes in counter-IED solutions and has thousands of jammers in use with security forces around the world, including the U.S. military.

Nuances Technologies

Another Company exhibiting expertise in IED jammers was Nuances Technologies. However the Company was reluctant to discuss its products on the stand and the Editor was directed to its web site, where the required buttons to discover the capabilities also appeared to be jammed!

However we found that Nuances Technologies is: ‘A French company created around the experience of men and women coming from the IT and Communication segments. Our expertise is focused on new technologies and turned towards the security of Internet environments and cellular telecommunications. Our strategy is based on the concept of a mastered technology serving the society. For instance, the generalized use of cellular phones has created new conditions for all units in charge of security and crime prevention. This use makes it easier for members of a group to exchange information, but this also means it is more difficult, when not more dangerous, to control or capture them. Our offer is based on products and services allowing you to control and, if necessary, to limit the information streams. It addresses the needs of governmental, military or legal authorities.’

Local Knowledge

However, it is not just ECM and other devices which will defeat the IED. Local knowledge of the community is vital to the system which may explain the tragic loss of Corporal Sarah Bryant the Intelligence Specialist killed this week by an IED in Afghanistan. She was on a secret mission deep into Afghanistan to meet a Taliban informer when her vehicle was hit, killing her and her 23 SAS escort.

In Northern Ireland, the combination of local knowledge, technology and uparmoured equipment, defeated the pipe bomber. The IED threat is complicated by clever electronic systems in a crowded spectrum, but there is little doubt, that even with tragic losses, the battle is being won.

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