News & Events
U.S. Marines and U.S. Navy Seabees jointly deployed a WFEL Medium Girder Bridge (MGB) in Norway recently
The troops demonstrated their bridge-building skills in a constricted workspace in an extremely harsh weather environment and tested their ability to ensure mobility of forces during the scenario of an existing bridge over a gap becoming structurally unsound due to battle damage and unsafe for military vehicles to cross. The need for the new bridge was, therefore, critical.
Almost 100 U.S. Marine Light Armoured Vehicles and Norwegian Bandvagns (all-terrain tracked carrier vehicles) crossed the bridge immediately after its completion.
Gap crossing is a critical skill that engineers need to accomplish; the military acknowledge that being able to rapidly assess and breach a gap takes a great deal of planning and co-ordination - and is always a challenge.
In recent years, most US Forces operations have been carried out in warm or desert environments, eg Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. Recently however, the focus has moved such, there has now become a priority for training between NATO allies in areas where temperatures often drop well below freezing.
The overall exercise, including bridge-building construction, helped to test and validate warfighting capabilities across the warfighting domains, better preparing them to help support NATO Allies and partners.
To assist with the logistics challenge, a strategic pre-positioning programme was called upon. Since 1981, equipment and supplies had been pre-positioned in Norway to enable a quicker response by the military in times of crisis. The U.S. Marine Corps Prepositioning Program has been used to support logistics for combat operations such as the war in Iraq and, during Trident Juncture 18, the U.S. Marines once again utilized this concept by withdrawing equipment from caves to build the WFEL Medium Girder Bridge.
Around 50,000 participants from some 30 NATO and partner countries took part in exercise Trident Juncture 2018, the largest in a series of long-planned exercises to ensure that NATO forces are trained, able to operate seamlessly together and ready to respond to any threat, from any direction.
The exercise took place in central and eastern Norway and surrounding areas of the North Atlantic and Baltic Sea, including Iceland and the airspace of Finland and Sweden. Air, land, maritime, special operation forces and amphibious forces participated. Around 250 aircraft, 65 vessels and up to 10,000 vehicles were used during the exercise, including the British Army which deployed some 1600 soldiers and over 1000 vehicles and equipment.
Owen International is very pleased to be a supporter of the Invictus Games both as a donor and in helping to promote awareness and support.
"Invictus" means "unconquered". It embodies the fighting spirit of wounded, injured and sick Service personnel and personifies what these tenacious men and women can achieve post injury.
The games are an international adaptive multi-sport event for wounded, sick and injured service personnel, and will take place in Sydney from 20 - 27 October 2018.
Owen International is not only providing financial support, but also involved in helping international family and friends spectate the sailing events on Sydney harbour.
UK special operations vehicle developer, Supacat, is displaying its HMT 600 tactical support vehicle, best known as `Coyote`, in an anti-UAV defence role for the first time at DVD. It will be installed with AUDS (Anti-UAV defence system), the only operationally proven counter drone system, supplied by Chess Dynamics and the AUDS Team.
In November an AUDS mounted `Coyote` will participate in `Autonomous Warrior- the 2018 Army Warfighting Experiment’, which will test how Robotic and Autonomous Systems (RAS) can be exploited in the Land Environment and assess their ability to reduce the danger to troops during combat.
“This is a further example of the flexibility of the HMT platform, which can be reconfigured to integrate the latest technology and enhance capability for our armed forces on the modern battlefield,” said Phil Applegarth, Head of Supacat.
The Coyote mounted AUDS is the latest collaboration in a long standing relationship between Supacat and fellow UK SME, Chess Dynamics, and demonstrates the agility of both UK companies in coming together to deliver battle ready solutions that fill a capability gap.
“We are both innovative, high technology British SMEs of similar size and geared to responding at speed to customer requirements. We both build world beating products in Britain that are successful abroad, making exports a central focus for our businesses”, said Applegarth.
AUDS is in service with the US forces in both its field mast configuration and has also been installed on Stryker vehicles. It has over 700 confirmed “kills” and has been on continuous combat operations since it deployed almost 2 years ago. It is designed to disrupt and neutralise unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) or unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) engaged in hostile airborne surveillance and potentially lethal activity.
Liteye Systems has received an $18 million follow on contract for delivery of numerous containerized anti-unmanned aircraft systems, or C-AUDS for short, from the US Air Force. These systems will all deliver in the next 120 days. This is the 5th contract for C-UAS systems and services Liteye has received since the fall of 2016.
The US version of the AUDS system first deployed with the US Army in late 2016 and has fast become the go to defense system in combat. With many systems already in the field providing real world experience, against very real threats, Liteye is developing more advanced capabilities that can be layered into their solutions. These advancements will be needed to combat the growing threat today, and for years to come, from the fast growing unmanned or robotic systems market.
“The unmanned systems industry is innovating at an incredible rate.” said Kenneth Geyer, CEO of Liteye, “Unfortunately with all the great benefits that provides it also spawns the rogue operator who uses that tech in a malicious way. At Liteye our goal is to stay ahead of that threat.”
Liteye’s close partner companies of Pratt & Miller, Numerica, and Chess Dynamics form the core team that is producing the new C-AUDS variant in Centennial. This containerized system features a state-of-theart operator suite, hardened for use in any climate, that can easily be moved between locations. The platforms innovative design allows for the ability to “Bolt on” new technologies in the future as threats evolve in the field.
Liteye is now deploying and supporting their AUDS, M-AUDS, M-AUDS-KE, and C-AUDS variants of their CUAS system. All four have the capabilities to detect, track, identify, and defeat enemy UAS with layers of different technologies coming together to create a solid line of defense.
Under the Land 155 Enhanced Gap Crossing Capability Project, the Australian Defence Force (ADF) has taken delivery of the first scheduled tranche of WFEL’s rapidly-deployable military bridges, including Dry Support Bridges and Medium Girder Bridges. This project milestone includes some of the first configurations of the Dry Support Bridge launching vehicle on a fully-armoured Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicle (RMMV) 45m 10 x 10 chassis.
The Dry Support Bridges (DSBs), capable of carrying over 120 tonnes, have been delivered following extensive trials at the UK’s Millbrook Proving Ground, to verify both off-road and on-road capability and in accordance with a series of demanding mandated Specifications, Audits and Project Reviews determined by the Australian Government. Also supplied for Land 155 are WFEL’s double-storey, link-reinforced Medium Girder Bridge systems (MGBs), which can span up to 49 metres and which will be supplemented by additional portable Pier and Span equipment, allowing bridges of up to 76 metres to be constructed.
As the bridges provide temporary infrastructure and will be used in the ADF’s Combat Support and Disaster Relief operations, both DSB and MGB bridging systems are being delivered complete with walkways, to allow the separation of vehicular traffic from pedestrians. WFEL’s comprehensive Integrated Logistics Support package is also being supplied, to cover through-life support for the bridges.
The adoption and acceptance of the latest variant of the DSB by Australia further helps to support WFEL’s position in respect of ‘Project Tyro’, the Assessment Phase program contract that it won to look at replacing the UK’s ageing BR90 systems nearing their end of service.