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$315 MILLION CONTRACT
TO SUPPLY LIFTSYSTEM
Rolls-Royce, the global power systems company, announced on May 1
that it has received a contract for $315 Million from Pratt & Whitney to
supply the Rolls-Royce LiftSystem® for 17 F-35B Lightning II aircraft.
Rolls-Royce says it is the only company in the world to produce the
advanced technology that enables F-35B aircraft to perform Short Take
Off and Vertical Landings (STOVL), which provides increased mission
Neil Mehta, Rolls-Royce, LiftSystem Programme Director said, “Rolls-
Royce continues to focus on increasing efficiency as we provide this vital
capability to the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter programme. We
anticipate continuous cost improvements as production volumes ramp
up to meet the needs of the F-35 programme.”
The LiftSystem comprises a Rolls-Royce LiftFan®, Roll Posts and
a 3-Bearing Swivel Module. Rolls-Royce is a subcontractor to Pratt &
Whitney, which manufactures the F135 engine for the F-35 Lightning II
programme. Under the contract, Rolls-Royce will produce 17 LiftSystems
for the fourth lot of Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP) in 2012, with a
further order for the fifth lot expected later in the year. To date, Rolls-
Royce has delivered 32 LiftSystems, plus spare parts.
In 2011, the LiftSystem proved successful in the first ship-borne
landings on the USS Wasp, as well as completing 268 vertical landings
overall. The first three production F-35B aircraft were delivered to Eglin
Air Force Base in the US in January to begin training. APDR
Sentient demonstrates Moving
Target Indication and Ground
Change Detection Capabilities
for Ground Vehicles
Melbourne-based company Sentient announced on April 18 the
successful demonstration of Desert Owl, a software solution that
automatically indicates movement and changes in electro-optical (EO)
full motion video (FMV) imagery captured by ground vehicles.
Developed as part of the Defence’s Capability and Technology
Demonstrator Program (CTD), Desert Owl addresses two distinct
Defence capability requirements: moving target indication (MTI) and
ground change detection (GCD).
“Desert Owl adds unique capabilities to ADF vehicles,” said Dr Paul
Boxer, Managing Director at Sentient Vision Systems. “This technology
makes it much easier to detect and track moving objects and changes on
the ground, thus delivering improved situational awareness to the vehicle
Desert Owl is a suite of software. The MTI component processes the
live video feed from a stationary, sweeping camera on the ground vehicle.
As the camera sweeps the area of observation, Desert Owl automatically
indicates moving objects in the camera’s field of view. Slow and stationary
objects almost impossible for a human to notice can be detected at
ranges of over 4 km.
At the demonstration, held at the Puckapunyal Army training facility
in Victoria (Australia), Vinod Puri, Chief Technology Officer, DSTO Land
Operations Division, stated that Desert Owl was able to provide precise
detections, down to a few pixels in size, cueing operators to small or slow
By simply comparing live imagery with previously recorded imagery
Desert Owl’s GCD technology can also identify visual changes.
Dr Boxer explained that the GCD software can process live video in a
vehicle moving at up to 60 km/h.
It analyses the roadway and landscape ahead of the vehicle, detecting
objects that have been added, moved or removed since the last transit,
whilst effectively handling environmental and lighting changes.
“The software’s ability to remember everything in detail allows it to
indicate changes that are impossible for a human operator to locate, such
as disturbances to the ground surface,” said Dr Boxer.
“Finding those ground changes and detecting potential threats is key
to situation awareness in today’s ground operations,” he added. “The
ability of Desert Owl to detect that a pile of rocks or a bush has moved
since yesterday has a very high potential to benefit counter - improvised
explosive devices (C-IED) operations.” APDR
Credit: Lockheed Martin
APDR May 2012.indd 8
3/05/12 6:33 PM
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